Musical Tesla Coil Kit (instructions)

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About: Hello, I'm Bruce. I'm a student in Belgium. I have a wide variety of interests: electronics, computers, technology, ... In my spare time I spend a lot of time on: projects, exploring the internet, cycling. ...

A couple of years ago I've built a large tesla coil. Since then I was curious about how to make it play music.
I had made a plasma speaker once based on a instructable with a TL494 and a flyback transformer. Which worked pretty good till something broke again.

Recently I found this musical tesla coil kit on ebay. And decided I should give it a try.
Because the instructions were in Chinese, I made an instructable so people with little electronics knowledge can make this kit as well. You can find a copy of the schematic and original instructions on my website.

The arc length is only a few millimetres, but the sound quality and volume is pretty good. With an additional amplifier like a headphone output from computer speakers.

Step 1: Order the Kit

Get your hands on such a kit, I bought mine from ebay but I found the same kit on Aliexpress and Amazon as well.

You can get the parts yourself or just buy the kit.

When I bought mine I paid $12 now it is only $5 and free shipping: Musical Tesla Coil on Ebay

Step 2: Included in the Kit

  • 2 * heatsinks
  • 2 * resistors
  • 2 * resistors
  • 1 * Female DC power connector
  • 1 * Female Audio Jack
  • 1 * Mosfet
  • 1 * Mosfet
  • 1 * Transistor
  • 2 * LEDS Blue and Red
  • 1 * Capacitor
  • 1 * Capacitor
  • 4 * stand-offs and screws
  • 1 * aux cable
  • 1 * pcb
  • 1 * secundary coil
  • 1 * piece of wire
  • 1 * bag of thermal paste
  • 1 * neon lightbulb

Step 3: Placing the Resistors

In the kit are 4 resistors:

  • 2 x 2K with the colour bands RED-BLACK-BLACK-BROWN
  • 2 x 10K with the colour bands BROWN-BLACK-BLACK-RED

Place them at the right place according to the silkscreen (white text on PCB) or have a look at the picture.

Step 4: Placing the LEDS

For the LEDS it's important to check the polarity and to be sure you place them in the right orientation.

On the PCB are "+" symbols this is where the anode of the LED has to go, This is the LONG LEG of the LED.
Another trick is to check the flat side on the plastic of the LED (this is the "-" or the cathode, short leg) this has to go to the flat side of the circle on the PCB.

Step 5: Placing the Capacitors

Step 6: Preparing the Mosfets

Before you mount the mosfets onto the heat-sinks you'll need to apply some thermal paste between them.

Step 7: Placing the Mosfets

Step 8: Placing the Connectors

Step 9: Making the Primary Coil

Step 10: Placing the Secondary Coil

Before placing the secondary coil you'll need to do the following preparations.

From both sides of the secondary coil you need to pull off a little of the coil wire.
One of the wires should be "stripped before soldering" you can do this in many ways.

  • use sandpaper to sand off the varnish
  • use a lighter to burn it off
  • scrape it of with a knife
  • set your soldering iron to it's hottest temperature and apply solder to the wire and hope it solders through the varnish. (What I did)

Step 11: Add the Standoffs

Step 12: Testing Without Sound

Step 13: Testing With Sound

8 People Made This Project!

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16 Discussions

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BodokiG

2 months ago

Hello all!
I try to answer the questions in row.
The circuit has a small flow. Reverse the LED on the base of the TIP41 (it should point to the base, from the GND), in that way, it will protect the base from excess negative voltage, while it won't be stressed with breakdown voltage. In short, it will lit during operation. :-)
Those, whose circuit doesn't start to oscillate: reverse the winding direction of primary coil. It can work in only one direction, as the climbing current of primary will have to induce the opposite polarity in the secondary. And make sure the primary is wound even the lowest part of the secondary.
There is only a via in the inside of the coil, on the PCB, don't solder to it.
I fastened the coil with UV glue, but it doesn't matter, just have short cables and avoid the coil's upper part to get close either the primary, or any part of the circuit-it may cause shortage between windings.
Thermal paste is a must, just like proper cooling!
FET can be anything N channel able to source few ampers at least. Capacitor is of your choice, 1 uF ones. Preferrably foils.

tesla2.jpg
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LiondargentBodokiG

Reply 25 days ago

I tried to wound primary differently no success,
which led are you talking about, led1, led 2 ?

Forget it !!!!
I found the problem, I mismatched the mosfets !!
As a professional i'm not proud of that !

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LiondargentBodokiG

Reply 25 days ago

Hi, some problem after doing the kit:
what should I see, any electric arc coming out at the coil top wire ?
Does the both led should lit together (it's my case)?
Under 20 volts there is no amps, and radiators are at room temperature..
I'm suspicious about polarity of led 1 does positive is at the closest edge of
the circuit board ?
Do you have any clue ...
Thanks for the reply.

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Liondargent

Question 25 days ago on Step 13

Hi Bruce, I complete the kit, it seems not working...
what should I see, any electric arc coming out at the coil top wire ?
Does the both led should lit together (it's my case)?
Under 20 volts there is no amps, and radiators are at room temperature..
I'm suspicious about polarity of led 1 does positive is at the closest edge of
the circuit board ?
Do you have any clue ...
Thanks for the reply.

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instructme90

5 weeks ago on Step 3

I think you have the 2k and 10k resistor description reversed.

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Cactoose

7 weeks ago

Thanks for this, it's been very helpful. I'm just sourcing a suitable power supply. Can you let me know if the power supply should be centre positive or centre negative?
Thank you.

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GeorgeB282

Question 2 months ago on Step 10

Hello, im trying to make such device without odering the details from ali-express. So im going to buy all these components in radio market, therefore i want to ask, what inductance must have the secondary coil. Or, perhaps, you could tell the diametr of wire, which is used in those coil

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ChrisB978

Question 3 months ago on Step 13

What should you see when you test with sound? How can you test it?

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SteveG-23

Question 5 months ago on Step 12

This is really helpful - I wish I'd found it before doing most of the assembly - BUT: -

1. What gets soldered tot he solder point inside the coil?

2. How do you attach the coil to the board? (Does it matter?)

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skolic

Question 9 months ago on Step 13

Hi Bruce, I think you have 1 * Transistor surplus in used material,
I did all but I have no sound, please let me know what can be wrong with sound, other things work well
but there is not sound.

Another one question (opinion) regarding thermal paste, I did not use it (I did not even get one in the package) ?

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electron1979

9 months ago

Sorry Bruce,

this does not show me anything that is not obvious.

What did you do with the wire in the centre of the coil?

What is the pad inside the 2 circles on the PCB for?

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kevyhodges

10 months ago

Thanks Bruce,

Works great. Thanks to your instructions!

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Spencer97TJ

1 year ago

Just soldered one up, all that happened was a heat sink got super hot. No light, nothing.

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DiamondD11

1 year ago

So I read through it but you don't mention what the MOSFETS or the CAPACITORS are. Might you find them and post them. Thank you