PCB TeslaCoil, USB powered




A new and improved PCB spiral Teslacoil. This Teslacoil has etched windings on a print circuit board. It  has a USB interface which also powers the coil. The resonance frequency is about 4MHz. It has a turns ratio of 1:160 with 6mil tracks for the secondary. The total trace length of the secondary is 25m.

PCB TeslaCoil, USB powered

What most Tesla coils have in common is that they are quite big and dangerous. You do not just put them on your desk to play with. There is a lot of energy in these devices, so the chance of a shock or burn is present. To make a (relatively) harmless Teslacoil the most important point is: limit the energy!

The big advantage of the Spiral MicroTesla is that it is powered by USB. With 5V 1A at your disposal you can not do much damage. The sparks of this Teslacoil can be touched with bare hands. Do not aim too much at the same spot, because it does get hot. With a voltage level of approximately 30kV you would expect to get a big shock, but the current is so low that you hardly feel it. When you touch the protective earth(PE) with one hand and with the other the spark you can feel a little tingling sensation.

Usually the most dangerous part of a Teslacoil is the primary circuit. Due to the series resonance, the primary voltage also spikes. But the big difference is that this circuit has much more power available. In this case the primary operating voltage is 32V with currents over 20A.

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This Teslacoil has all windings etched onto the PCB. The coupling between the primary and secondary circuits is very good, but the secondary circuit has a less steep Q factor due to the parasitic capacitance between the turns and the lack of a toroid. In electrical terms, this construction is less ideal than the classic helicoil and toroid construction. However, this does not weigh against the simple production. The induction and distances between the windings are constant and do not require any manual work. Therefore, the characteristics are always identical. The PCB uses standard manufacturing specifications. The trace is drawn as a 6 mil spiral coil and has 6 mil clearance. The total trace length is about 25 meters, divided over 160 turns. One primary winding is on the bottom layer under the outer ring of the secondary.

At the end of the secondary winding is a spring pressure pin of an IC socket. Here you can attach a pin or a needle. A pointed tip causes a much higher local field strength, which makes it easier for the spark to get started. This is also called a breakout point. This allows you to ´aim´ the direction of the sparks with a conventional Teslacoil.

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