It’s been a long time since I built something that isn’t a robot, a motor controller, anelectric vehicle, or a multirotor. Also, the Edgerton Center Summer Engineering Workshop (responsible for the DIY Segway, BWD Scooter, Cap Kart, and tinyKart) isn’t running this year, so I feel the need to take on a summer project of my own. Inspired by the work of MITERS regulars Tyler, Daniel, Bayley, and Ggy, I’m attempting to build..
Specifically, I’m building a Dual-Resonant Solid State Tesla Coil (DRSSTC). Tesla coils generate high voltage and pretty sparks using electromagnetic induction. They’re loosely-coupled air-core transformers where the world is your output load. (Or just the toroidal “top load” and the air around the Tesla coil.) “Dual-resonant” implies that both the primary and the secondary form RLC series resonant circuits, tuned to about the same natural frequency. “Solid state” implies that the primary circuit is driven (near resonant frequency) by transistors, usually IGBTs although I will be starting with MOSFETs.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.