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Around the turn of the century, Nikola Tesla gave his name to a high frequency air-cored transformer in an attempt to transmit electrical power without wires. (Something that we still haven’t managed to do.)

Although unsuccessful for a number of reasons, it proved an incredibly good way to produce huge voltages with very few turns. His Colorado Springs coil produced around 20 MV from little more than 100 turns which was incredible.

It is relatively easy to build your own impressive coil with a few inexpensive components, scrap parts and DIY store parts.

Basic coil running from 10KV neon transformer.
This is about the biggest spark you can get from this sort of small power supply.
You will need a high voltage capacitor of 10-30 nF and some kind of spark gap.

tesla small

For more impressive results you need more power...
That comes from 4 microwave oven transformers with their secondaries wired in series to give 8KV at 0.5A (Lethal). These are dropped into a plastic tub and covered in transformer oil. This isn’t essential but it will help, as parts of the transformers are running at higher than their normal voltage.

tesla psu

For higher power outputs, a rotary spark gap is recommended.
This one is made by clamping down an angle grinder and making a disk from teflon sheet.

tesla gap

This will give impressive results and 4-5 foot arcs on a well tuned coil.

tesla big

Moving it outside avoids you setting fire to the garage. :)

tesla garden