Here's some more references from the main Tesla list:
>From richard.quick@... May 3 22:14:15 1996
Date: Fri, 3 May 1996 02:50:00 GMT
From: Richard Quick <richard.quick@...
Subject: Tesla References
> Updated 4-15-96
> HIGH FREQUENCY APPARATUS
Thomas Stanley Curtis, 1916, Everday Mechanics Co., Inc., New
York; Reprinted 1988, paper ISBN 1-55918-003-X, cloth ISBN 55918-
004-8, Lindsay Publications Inc., Bradley IL. 60915. Paperback,
246pp, Lindsay order number 20030, $ 11.95 : Classic coil text,
much of which was reprinted in 1985 by R.A. Ford in his book
"Tesla Coil Secrets". "Classic" means before the age of plastics,
and these historical coils and coil components frequently lack
efficiency, reliablity, and safety. The sections on rotary spark
gaps and step-up transformers is excellent however.
> TESLA COIL SECRETS: Construction Notes and Novel Uses
R.A. Ford, 1985, Lindsay Publications, Inc., Bradley IL 60915
ISBN 0-917914-31-7, paperback, 74pp. Ford researches and repro-
duces several classic Tesla coil and component designs from
publications of yesteryear. He updated nothing, but did include a
very good section on rotary spark gap designs.
> DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION OF INDUCTION COILS
# 20404, $ 12.95; Step-by-step guide to building your own
induction coil. Reprint from early 20th century magazine project.
Fascinating, but many turned brass parts, etc..
> EXPERIMENTS WITH ALTERNATE CURRENTS OF HIGH POTENTIAL
# 4392, $ 9.95; (no review given by Mark, but it is an EXCELLENT
> HOW TO BUILD A 40,000 VOLT INDUCTION COIL
# 844, $ 4.95; A solid state design that uses a surplus auto
ignition coil and a power transistor. Almost all Radio Shack
parts. Small booklet. Some info on Kirlian photography, ozone
production, etc. Interesting (and easy - no coil winding)
project, but not a Tesla coil.
> HIGH POWER WIRELESS EQUIPMENT
# 4953, $ 9.95; Step-by-step process from old radio magazine on
building an spark-gap transmitter. Nice historical information,
fascinating processes and diagrams.
> TESLA'S LOST INVENTIONS
# 748, $ 5.95; Booklet (by George Trinkaus). Short descriptions
of several of Tesla's most interesting inventions, including
turbines, etc. Good, but too short!
> TESLA COIL DESIGN MANUAL
> JHCTES TESLA COIL DESIGN SOFTWARE
> TESLA HANDBOOK
> TESLA COIL CONSTRUCTION GUIDE
(Separate Titles) John H. Couture, 1992, 1992, 1988, & 1994;
JHC Engineering Co., 10823 New Salem Point, San Diego, CA., 92126
USA. No ISBN or Lib. of Congress catalog #, but these are
available from the author and the bookdealers listed previously.
The first two titles are based on John Couture's design theory
and some empirical data. The basic math for 1/4 wave coil
winding, tank circuit design, performance, etc., is well laid
out, but when it comes to using his charts to predict the best
design parameters, it falls short. Many of my best coils would
never have been built if I had gone by his data. His JHCTES TESLA
COIL DESIGN SOFTWARE also kicks out my coil designs, saying they
exceed the construction voltage breakdown limits! The program is
based on the same sets of data.
The TESLA COIL CONSTRUCTION GUIDE is a 1994 update of the TESLA
COIL DESIGN MANUAL. This update does away with some of the prob-
lems of the earlier publications, but the author still advises
that coils be wound with insulated stranded wire, and advocates
using small (even tiny) primaries, large capacitors and small
dischargers. These guidelines indicate that John Couture's design
process is derived more from radio theory, and not from years
of experience in actual Tesla coil construction and testing.
Coils built with this design method do work, but they require
larger power supplies, and they sacrifice a lot efficiency and
reliability. His grounding suggestions have improved only slight-
ly from his previous titles (they are still inadequate), but his
ideas for RF filters and choking are now closer in agreement with
mine. A beginner would find this a useful book. Couture has laid
out some good wiring diagrams, wire tables, some "OK" coil plans,
Faraday cage instructions, and a series of experiments. As usual,
his math section is very well thought out and organized.
> TESLA COILS! 100 Years of Electrical Magic
Brent C. Turner, 1991, self published, 118 pp, soft cover, no
ISBN, contact the author at: 18321 Edgewood Ave., Villa Park, CA
92667 USA. The sales address for the book is: P.O. Box 3612
Fullerton, CA 92634-3612. This book does a good job of briefly
covering all three basic coil types: Spark Gap, Vacuum Tube,
Solid State. Useful to have for the wiring diagrams, specs, and
basic math. This makes a good general purpose reference book.
Well organized. Brent has a home page at:
> TESLA COIL
George Trinkaus, 1986, 1987, & 1989, Third Edition, Extensively
Revised. No ISBN, published by High Voltage Press, 4326 S.E.
Woodstock, #489, Portland, OR., 97206 ($4.95). Mr. Trinkaus has a
few Tesla booklets out for under $10.00. This one is a simple
Tesla Coil built from scratch: neon sign xfrmr, beer bottle salt
water capacitor, brass bolt spark gaps, PVC plastic pipe second-
ary, primary wound on a Rubbermaid "Servin' Saver" bowl, copper
toilet tank float for a discharger... Need I say more?
> TABLE-TOP LIGHTNING : HOW TO BUILD A
> POWERFUL, COMPACT, TESLA COIL
Lloyd F. Ritchey, Jr., 1992, published by the Tesla Book Co.,
paperback, 38pp, ISBN: 0-914119-26-5. The author also advertises
manuals, kits, and parts: Ritchey Productions, 7803 Stanford,
Dallas, TX 75225, USA.. This short booklet details the plans for
two basic Tesla coils evolved from the "classical" designs of the
1920s and 30s. While I am sure the coils that are detailed will
live up to the promised performance of 24 inches of spark... My
own designs and techniques are years ahead of Mr. Ritchey. I
found the book to be full of the misunderstandings and misinform-
ation that are extensions of the design errors that coilers began
making 70 years ago. I like a high inductance, all plastic,
hermetically sealed secondary coil with no holes in the coil form
and a large high Q copper pipe primary that can be tapped for a
wide range of efficient operating frequencies; I am sorry Mr.
Ritchey, you missed the boat to the 20th century.
> MODERN TESLA COIL THEORY
Duane A. Bylund, 1990, Tesla Book Co., no ISBN or Lib. of
Congress No, paperback 142pp. Available from Tesla bookdealers
and the author: Duane A. Bylund, 140 S. 700 E., Spanish Fork,
Utah 84660 USA. Duane has developed very powerful, efficient, and
reliable, solid state oscillator circuits for base feeding Tesla
resonators. These solid state driver and coil designs are excel-
lent for lighting bulbs and for conducting experiments with wire-
less power transmission through ground currents. The book is also
chock full of Tesla math and theory, and includes chapters on
spark gap and tube coils, sections on waveforms, grounding and
counterpoise experiments, multiphase coil systems. This is a must
have book for any serious coiler.
> HIGH VOLTAGE GENERATION WITH AIR CORE SOLENOIDS
Thomas W. Lee, 1995, self published, contact the author at:
8329 East San Salvador Drive, Scottsdale, AZ, 85258, USA,
No ISBN, 146 pp, hardcover, $40.00 (usd). This is an interesting
publication as it covers many areas of Tesla coiling that are
only briefly mentioned in other books, "singing" coils for
example. It suffers from poor editing, off topic discussions, and
lack of focus on what really does work for high performance Tesla
coiling. The coil designs are poor.
> THE CAPACITOR HANDBOOK
Cletus J. Kaiser, 1993, CJ Publishing, 2851 W. 127th St., Olathe,
KS 66061, ISBN 0-442-01558-5, Lib. of Congress No. 92-35798,
hardcover 124pp. This is a nice little book. I found it both
interesting and useful, but still not the last word in a cap-
acitor reference book. The book opens with a chapter explaining
theory, including basic math, then moves on to separate chapters
for each type of commercial capacitor design. The book concludes
with a very nice math appendix, a decent glossary, and biblio-
graphy. What I found missing were dielectric tables, which given
the detail of the rest of the book seemed a glaring omission.
> HIGH VOLTAGE CAPACITOR DESIGN HANDBOOK
K.R. Scott, 1994, published by Lambda Publishing Group, P.O.BOX
1894 Lawrence, KS, 66044-8894, USA. No ISBN number, booklet of
about 25 pages, cover price $6.50. This is a compilation of
reprints from: old Pop. Magazine capacitor projects, a Tesla
patent, some capacitor descriptions from an old radio catalog,
some instructions taken from Transtrom's book (reviewed above)
and finally; some recent tables showing electrical properties and
constants for modern plastics, and several pages of essential
capacitor math (which you could photocopy out of any current
amateur radio or electrical engineering handbook).
> THE TESLA COIL COMPENDIUM
Randall S. Peterson, no date, ISBN, publisher, etc.. I guess it
is available from Randy at: 16671 T.R.51, MT. Cory, Ohio, 45868
This publication is a compilation of Randy's favorite designs.
The coils are "OK", but a little dated. Randy used to ship out
complete kits and fully assembled coils in his spare time...
> "The Incredible Inventions of Nikola Tesla", by David Hatcher
> Childress... it is not presented as a textbook IMHO, but more
as a cartoony overview. It also contains the Lecture NT gave to
the IEE in London. This one seems to be regurgitated every time a
new Tesla Book comes out. I didn't buy it! Phil Mason
> MODERN RESONANCE TRANSFORMER DESIGN THEORY
D.C. Cox, no date or ISBN, published by the Tesla Book Co..
I will quote from the inside jacket: "This book was written and
dedicated to the young coil builders who will design, modify,
measure, test, and evaluate today's technology, and then, design
and develop tomorrows highly efficient Tesla coil systems."
I don't think I ever got a thing out of this book, although it
does have design math, toroid math, etc.. DC Cox is a pro, and
his company Resonance Research, designs and builds museum coils;
but never forget he is in it for the $$$$$...
... Additional resources, reviews
> Resonance Research Corp. RTE. 1, Shadylane Rd. Baraboo, WI
> 53913 USA, Tel: 608-356-3647
This is D.C. Cox's company (see publication notes above) and I
assume he sells completed coils, plans, and parts (sources say he
sells rotary gaps). But he won't reply to even an information
request without $10.00 in his hands (no personal checks accepted:
bank money orders or cashiers checks only).... Go Figure...
> Tesla Technology Research, 2527 Treelane Ave, Monrovia, CA
> 91016 USA ; Bill Wysock is a well known, respected coiler. My
sources say he sells rotary gaps.
> THE BELL JAR
Journal on vacuum work written by Steve Hanson and published
quarterly, $15.00, 35 Windsor Drive, Amherst, NH, 03031
Many high voltage projects.
> THE TESLA COIL DESIGNER
IBM DOS coil construction software by Walt Noon. Available from
Lindsay Publications, others. This is a first class Tesla
Coil design package that reduces the hours and hours of paper,
pencil, and calculator time to mere seconds. All constants and
formulas are already programed into the menu driven package, just
"plug n chug" for fast 'n' accurate coil calculations. Write to:
> Walt Noon III, 3283 Belvedere, Riverside, CA 92507 USA
> B & L Scientific, 215 West First Street, Suite 105-4
> Tustin, Ca. 92680
This address for B & L Scientific is a few years old (8?)
They have second (third?) rate Tesla coil plans & instructions.
> October 1992, Popular Electronics pp 69-71, Fun With Tesla
> Coils, by Charles D. Rakes
This article builds a small solid state coil using a driver
oscillator which base feeds the HV HF Coil. The project uses
a 567 tone decoder IC, a few resistors, caps, and a power supply
to drive a small coil to light bulbs etc.. The secondary is wound
on a piece of 4" PVC, looks simple and inexpensive (~$80.00). My
archives contain a self extracting program (TESLABLD.EXE) that
gives detailed instructions on building this project.
> November 1993, Electronics World + Wireless World, (magazine)
pp 937-942. "The spark that gave RADIO to the world", by George
Pickworth: "Marconi" this and "Marconi" that; Tesla mentioned
only once; but it did have clear photos and diagrams of what not
to do... As well as useful photos of damped wave trains produced
with authentic gap systems. A good general explanation of spark
gap types and functions.
> March 1995, Electronics World + Wireless World, pp 190-195.
"Like Lightning?", by Malcolm Watts: This is a fine article on
the basic principals and theory of Tesla coil design, con-
struction, and operation for the beginning coiler. The article
includes wiring diagrams (including how to connect diagnostic
equipment), basic coil math, component design and construction,
and both spark and fully lighted photos of a small coil built by
the author. Highlights include a section on steps to take to
bring a coil into tune, and construction of a dry fired poly-AL
capacitor from scratch. A corrected formula for a minor error
appeared on page 271 of the April 1995 issue of the same
> BUILD YOUR OWN LASER, PHASER, ION RAY GUN & Other working Space
> age Projects
by Robert E. Iannini. Sounds goofy, but there a lot of inter-
esting and workable designs here. One chapter on a neon sign
transformer based Tesla coil. ~250,000volts.
> GADGETEER's GOLDMINE
by Gordon McComb. Similar to above. Lots of parts sources listed.
Also has a chapter on building your own PLASMA GLOBE.
> RADIO ELECTRONICS - SEPTEMBER 1991
This issue has a construction project for a soild state Tesla
coil by Duane A. Bylund. ~ 100,000volt system
> A SOLID-STATE LOW-VOLTAGE TESLA COIL DEMONSTRATOR by Donald G.
Bruns, American Journal of Physics. #60 (9), Sept. 1992, pg 797
> HIGH POWER ELECTRONICS
by W. James Sarjeant and R.E. Dollinger c1989 Tab Books
ISBN 0-8306-9094-8; Absolutely great with chapters on spark gaps,
hard-tube pulsers, transmission lines and pulse-forming networks
(blumleins too), marx gens, HV air-core pulse transformers, and
more. Your mind will be expanded, and the math is very
manageable. Zap, Mark
> * INTERNET - freebie *
The Tesla group archive <tesla@...
> is online. The
ftp-site is nic.funet.fi alias ftp.funet.fi and this site can
be connected using anon-ftp. The files are in the directory
/pub/sci/electrical/tesla and it's subdirectories.
If one does not have online-ftp it is possible to get the files
using ftp2mail-gateways via e-mail. Some ftp2mail-services:
bitftp@dearn or to bitftp@...
-lyon.fr or ftpmail@...
or bitftp@plearn (Europe)
In order to get more information on this subject one has to send
mail to an address above and use just "help" as a body-of-letter
to get information on the precise format of the script language
that the particular site uses. If one uses the keyword "ftplist"
one will receive a list of the other sites available.
The information is available via World Wide Web as well - the url
just the beginning of Tesla on WWW - there shall be more in the
nearby future. <FTP tips by Kristian Ukkonen>
> Another INTERNET-freebie; Check out anon ftp to
ftp.ee.ualberta.ca (circuit cookbook directory) There is a nice
small book by Harry Suomalainen called TESLA COIL THEORY AND
APPLICATIONS - it's in POSTSCRIPT
fax (215) 654-0651