Tesla coil - my primary circuit doesn't work

by Guigui   Last Updated October 23, 2018 18:25 PM

Hi and sorry in advance for the bad grammar, I'm not English but i'll try my best :)

I would like to make a Tesla coil, so I bought a 10kv 120W 30mA neon sign transformer from aliexpress (yes i know it might not be a good idea ahah). First potential problem, while playing with it, I noticed that when it stops arcing (because the probes are too far appart), if I put them closer again it doesn't arc anymore and I have to turn off and on the transformer to generate the arc again. From what I saw online, the arc comes back with a regular NST so I don't know if it will be a problem. On the other hand, If I "short circuit" the probes and then separate them everything works fine, the arc is still there.

Next I created a capacitor using wine bottles inside a bucket and salty water, I get around 4.5 nF with 3 bottles. I connected the capacitor in parallel with the NST + I added a spark gap also in parallel (that's all I did for the moment, no secondary or anything, I just wanted to check how it's gonna react). When I power everything on I get no sparks on the spark gap, the NST makes the same sound as if it was "short circuited" but nothing ! If I put the probes of the spark gap really close together (like 1mm or 0,04 inchs) I do get some really tiny sparks but I don't get this "high frequency discharge" sound (I mean the tazer sound that we hear on teslas).

Do you know whats the problem ? My guess is the way the NST is built, maybe it's not built the same way as a regular one. Also I tried using 2 bottles and 1 so about 2.25nF and 1.5nF, same results.

Thanks !

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