Did you know a Tesla coil is an electrical resonant transformer circuit? Of course you didn’t… you know it as the thing that makes big sparks, can sing a tune in a hair-tingling way, and lets you perform the Uncle Fester trick of illuminating a light bulb without it being plugged into anything. They’re awesome and you need to understand a lot of electron theory to fabricate one from scratch.
If you want to beef up your mad scientist credentials, then a Tesla coil is a great device to have in your
laboratory garage. Building is the best way to show your prowess, but Bluer has a kit to put a Tesla Coil on your bench right now.
As seen in the video below, this coil doesn’t appear to make excessive visual sparks as you might have seen in movies or in a museum. On the other hand, it does turn on a variety of lights, and emits a small spark from the top—still pretty neat. And I couldn’t help but chuckle when the video narration mentions “the camera will mess up” if he gets any closer.
As of this writing, there’s not much description on the unit’s listing. Looking at the smaller Tesla coil sold by Bluer, however, there’s a pretty heavy disclaimer on there, including that you shouldn’t use it to replace conventional lighting, and that it can be a fire hazard. Obviously caution is needed any time you’re dealing with high voltage electronics.
There’s another reason to be careful. If you get into simple Tesla Coils, your interest might escalate until you have an outdoor installation that plays House of the Rising Sun.