Tap Input

buildscc | 15 Oct 2010 | | projects

Tap Input is currently in research and will be on hold until Musical Stairs is nearing completion.

Scope and aims

Current research

The Team

Similar Projects

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Tesla Coil

What is a Tesla Coil?

On the technical side of things a Tesla coil is a pair of resonant RC circuits that operate at voltages high enough to create arcs. The idea is that there are two coils of wire called the primary and the secondary that act as inductors for their respective circuits. A large toroid acts as the capacitor for the secondary circuit as well as a site for the arcs to discharge. A large bank of capacitors connects to the primary coil forming the primary circuit. The primary and secondary circuits are designed so that they have the same resonance frequency and will transfer power between one and the other.

Project Goals

  • Construct a small working Tesla coil
  • Experiment with attaching a keyboard to Tesla coil
  • Build a large scale Tesla coil to amaze friends and crush enemies
  • profit

Build Order

There’s a lot of online documentation about how to put one together a coil. One site is linked below and it walks through design specs using a sensible progression from a desired arc length. Using this site I’ve done a few calculations for a coil designed around a 6 diameter secondary coil.


Most of the materials can be found easily on McMaster Carr, but the one thing thats holding up calculations is acquiring a high voltage transformer either from a microwave or a neon sign. Otherwise, major materials as follows:

  • copper wire (secondary coil)
  • aluminum ducting (toroid)
  • copper tubing (primary coil)
  • capacitors (primary circuit)
  • Hi V transformer
  • other assorted odds and ends to be accounted for

Walk-through mentioned above http://deepfriedneon.com/tesla_guide.html

Somewhere else http://www.teslacoildesign.com/#design

Some equations on a strangely religious site. http://www.teslacoils4christ.org/TCFormulas/TCFormulas.htm


If you’re interested in helping out or want to lend expertise, sign up below or let me know.

Patrick Ehrlicher

Mikhail Andreev


Meeting Minutes for 2010-10-27

BUILDS meeting 8

10/27/2010 6:30pm

Valerie Young

  • Musical Staircase
    • Updates: sensors are working now and calibrated
    • Now working on installation

John-Nicholas Furst

  • Musical Stairs Admin Business
    • After a very fruitful meeting with Dean Elmore et al, plans are in the works to set up the pilot staircase in GSU
    • Note: we are saying PILOT staircase. This could turn into more awesomeness if done well.
  • Videogame collective
    • Status update: pausing on work with open GL to work with XNA (microsoft’s game making monster) that must be used for those working on the Microsoft Imagine Cup

Kyle Brogle

Brian Hepler

  • The Putnam Competition and Mathematics Brain dump
    • For all those looking to jack up your creative math skills, Brian will (tentatively) be holding meetings sundays at 12pm.
    • Primary goals will be mini lectures/ brain dumps on requested topics in mathematics/ advanced material not normally covered in undergraduate math classes *Email at bhepler@bu.edu if interested

Meeting ended 6:50pm