Tesla Music Coil

Length of Project:
Project theme:
Suitable for grades:
Tools & Materials
Material List

    Contents of Tesla Coil Kit

  • 1 Printed circuit board (PCB)
  • 2x Heatsinks
  • 2x 2kΩ Resistors (marked red, black, black, brown, brown)
  • 2x 10kΩ Resistors (marked brown, black, black, red, brown)
  • Female DC power connector
  • Female audio jack
  • TIP41C Transistor
  • IRF530N Mosfet
  • 3x Red LEDs
  • “105” 1uF Capacitor
  • 1uF Electrolytic capacitor
  • 4x M3 Standoffs
  • 6x M3 Screws
  • Secondary coil (350T)
  • 22 AWG wire (1T)
  • Neon light bulb
  • Not pictured:

  • Power cable
  • Safety glasses
Tool list
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder (0.8mm recommended)
  • Wire cutters
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Tape
  • Hot glue gun (optional)
  • Solder wick or solder sucker
  • Third hand tool (optional)
  • #1 Phillips screwdriver

    Safety Note: Always wear safety goggles and ensure good ventilation while soldering. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling solder.

    Note: additional detailed instructional photos available with the Tesla Coil Kit

  1. Solder the two 10kΩ resistors (marked brown, black, black, red, brown) to the R1 and R4 spots on the board. Begin by bending the leads of each resistor 90 degrees with needle-nose pliers (1a), then inserting the leads into the board (1b). On the back side, bend the leads flat against the board to hold the components in place while soldering (1c). Clip the leads with wire cutters once the solder has cooled (1d).
  2. Solder the two 2kΩ resistors (marked red, black, black, brown, brown) to the R3 and R5 spots on the board, using the same techniques as outlined in step 1.
  3. Solder the female DC power connector to the J1 spot on the board. Do not try to cut the legs once soldered in place.
  4. Solder the “105” 1uF capacitor to the C2 spot on the board. Use the same technique as with the resistors.
  5. Solder the 1uF electrolytic capacitor to the C1 spot on the board. This capacitor is polarity-sensitive -- the negative end is marked with a white stripe on the capacitor, and its lead is shorter than the positive end. Install the component with the positive, long lead on the + side of the board, and the negative, short lead on the shaded white side. Cut the leads once soldered down.
  6. Solder the female audio jack to the J2 spot on the board. As with the power jack, do not try to cut the legs once installed. Note that there are 5 dummy pins with no conductor on this component - these should not be soldered, and are only there to hold the piece in place.
  7. Install the heatsinks to the backs of the transistor and mosfet using one screw per component. Use a screwdriver to make the components snug, but do not over-tighten.
  8. Solder the TIP41C transistor to the TIP41 spot on the board, ensuring the heatsink faces towards the outside of the board. Trim the legs once installed.
  9. Follow the same procedure to solder the IRF530N to the IRF530 spot on the board.
  10. Using hot glue, install the secondary winding to the 350T spot on the board. The lead that is taped under the arrow sticker should be facing up, away from the board.
  11. Solder the lead closest to the board to the L2 spot on the board.
  12. Strip 1⁄4”-1⁄2” of insulation from both ends of the red wire (12a). Solder one end to the lower L1 spot on the board (12b).
  13. Wrap the red wire around the secondary coil as many times as you can, starting from the bottom and working upwards, before soldering the other end to the top L1 spot on the board. The wire in the photo below is shorter than the one in your kit.
  14. Solder the LEDs to the LED1 and LED2 spots on the board. LEDs are polarity sensitive, and the negative lead is shorter than the positive one. The negative side on the board is marked by a hashmark.
  15. Ensure the end of the free lead is not touching the coil or another wire - it will generate a spark as soon as power is applied. Plug the power cord into the jack, then the other end into a socket. LED2 will illuminate to show power is on.
  16. Finish by installing the four screws and standoffs in the holes on the corners of the board.
  17. Hold the neon bulb by the leads, and wave the bulb close to the coil. Power from the primary winding (the red wire wrapped around the secondary coil) is transferred into the secondary coil, and even though there is no physical electrical connection, you will see the neon bulb glow brighter as it approaches the primary winding! You can also plug in an audio source to the audio jack, and the coil will buzz in sync to the music.
Suggest an Edit