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I just got a 15 KV neon sign transformer, so of course now the only thing to do with it is hurry up and assemble a Tesla coil! Does anyone here have any experience with them? I'm not looking for advice, I've got the whole internet for that, I'm just looking for personal feedback. I'm really excited to see this thing up and running.
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I once made a quick DIY voltage step-up circuit using a breadboard and salvaged electronic components, to power a neon lamp.
The only thing I can say is that working with any voltages > 20V (let alone a few hundred/thousands) can deliver a pretty nasty "bite" if you are not careful. Also, at 15 kV, insulation breakdown and arcing/sparking as well as ionization/ozone production of air become real issues. Make sure you have properly specified components and cables, as most electronic scrap you might have won't cut it at these voltages.
Oh, I intend to spend a little money getting the right stuff. And this thing is only going to run outside, so no ozone problem. My biggest issue is finding ~1200 feet of magnet wire and two 1 K Ohm 100W wire-wrapped resistors. So yeah. I figured I could increase the voltage rating of a bunch of capacitors by wiring them in series, and then make up for the loss in capacitance by wiring even more in parallel. Real exciting stuff.
My biggest issue is finding ~1200 feet of magnet wire and two 1 K Ohm 100W wire-wrapped resistors.