G'Zot! A Mini Valve Tesla Coil
Written December 2001

by Fred Nachbaur, Dogstar Music ©2001


Here's one of those "just for fun" projects. This is a tube-driven miniature tesla generator (also known as "tesla coil") that I tossed together from odds and ends from my junk bin. It does all the usual tesla coil things; plasma globes (as implemented here), lighting flourescent or other gas bulbs without contact, Jacob's Ladders, all that sort of thing.

Plasma globes are especially effective with this kind of design. An ordinary clear 3" "vanity" light bulb (40-60 watt) is connected to the hot side of the output. Bringing ones hands close to the globe causes deep blue arcs to be emitted from the filament supports. Touching the globe intensifies the effect, colouring the plasma arc with an orangish tint due to an added content of metal ions in the plasma stream. Pictures don't really do it justice, but at least will give a bit of an idea:

G'Zot as seen under normal room lighting
"G'Zot!" Plasma Globe under normal room lighting

Before we get on with it, here's the usual disclaimer:
This project should be attempted only by experienced electronicists, or under the direct supervision of such a person. High voltages can be dangerous, even lethal. Even at low currents, carelessness with high voltage can result in painful burns.
This device can furthermore generate ozone, which is harmless (perhaps even beneficial) in low concentrations, but higher concentrations may be hazardous. Use this device only with adequate ventilation.

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