Faux Tesla Coil, or What to-do with a bad secondary?

Hmmm..  So I wound an unusable secondary, but it’s 1200 turns of yummy goodness; what do I do with it?    How about making a Faux Coil?   I have an old Radio Shack Illuma-Storm plasma globe, and it fits atop the secondary perfectly.   I squared off some scrap 1/4″ plexi-glass for a base, and cut about 5 inches of 3-inch PVC for a primary form (looked pleasing), grabbed some Little Rubber Feet (LRF’s), a lamp-cord, lamp-socket, screws, and:

faux coil parts

After putting the base together and figuring out how I was going to assemble and glue everything together (in reverse-order, of course), I wound the faux primary (ugh, grunt; next time I’ll use smaller wire), polished it with steel-wool and coated it with clear-gloss (non-yellowing) Krylon enamel:

faux primary

After epoxying the faux-primary to the base, I ran the lamp-cord through the base and the primary, and up through a hole in the secondary (for the plasma-globe topper), then the secondary was epoxied into place.   I tied a knot in the cord (at the appropriate place) as a strain-relief

faux primary & secondary

I drilled a few large holes in the base of the bad secondary so that cooling air could be drawn up and out/over the globe electronics.

After letting it dry a bit, I screwed the AC wiring to a lamp-socket base, and screwed in the Illuma-storm to give it a test.   Like most real Tesla Coils, it’s very weak in daylight, and much more impressive in the dark.    This globe has a mode that activates it based on ambient sound, as-well-as full-time operation.  Here’s how it turned out:

Final Faux Coil

The whole faux coil is about 33 inches tall.   Now that the wiring is done, I have a small thumb-switch to put on the lamp-cord for turning it on & off.

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3 Responses to Faux Tesla Coil, or What to-do with a bad secondary?

  1. Thank you, I have recently been searching for information about this topic for ages and yours is the best I have discovered so far.

  2. Ron Tedwater says:

    Great work keep it coming

  3. Rick Jackson says:

    I have that same illuma storm got it years ago when it first came out. Over the years, it has gotten so weak, I can’t see it unless you put your hands on it or its pitch dark. I don’t know if the globe is weak or if the unit has lost its high voltage.

    At first I thought you were building a large tesla coil transformer and use the output to drive the globe directly to make a supercharged plasma ball but found out it was just the base. Now I think I’m going to try to bump up the power output of mine.

    It’s a cool looking base though. I like it.
    Keep up the good work.

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