Here are some basic troubleshooting tips for your simple blocking oscillator solid state Tesla coil
- Pay close attention to all documentation.
- Mind the pinout of the transistor, the base is NOT the middle pin of the TIP31C
- Mind the reverse bias of the diode.
- Make sure all magnet wire ends that meet other wire or terminals are properly stripped or burned of any plastic coating.
- Make sure all connections at all terminals are tight- 32AWG is too thin for most terminals. Consider folding back a couple inches from either end of the L2, and twist them around eachother, and tin them with a bit of solder to ensure a good connection in the terminal.
- Immediately after winding the L2, wrap it in electrical tape, at a minimum of a double helix type design, and/or spray it with lacquer to prevent overlaps. This will protect the coil from some physical damage. Copper at these lengths expands and contracts a noticeable amount with slight temperature variations, and it will soon unwind around itself and become unusable if it is not secured.
- The leads of L1 are polarized, meaning they will only work in one direction. Try switching the leads of L1 if the circuit fails to function.
- If constructing a transistor socket from scratch, take extra care when crimping. There are 2 tiny hooks on each of the three metal leads for both ends of the socket extension. One hook gets crimped to the edge of the insulated portion, and the other hook gets crimped to the wire itself to form a contact. All of these metal leads should snap securely into the plastic sockets.