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.

  5 comments for “Troubleshooting

  1. Jim Bow
    March 31, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Thank you for all the work you have been doing!

  2. CaveJohnson123
    January 3, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    I want to point out the obvious and say that these kits are fantastic! I only have one issue and is that I don’t understand why mine is not working. I’ve read the troubleshoot numerous of times and I’ve redone both my primary coil and circuit board over and over again. I really don’t want to redo my secondary coil unless it is for sure the issue. I’ve looked online at all the other devices (and I must say they are pretty impressive!) but alas mine still is stubborn. Help would be much appreciated! Thank you and again great stuff!

    • admin
      January 5, 2014 at 11:54 pm

      Try reversing the leads on the L1 coil. If your L2 is continuous, do not attempt to re do it because it will be unlikely you will be able to recover all the magnet wire. Does your volt meter test transistors? Beware the pinout of the TIP31c, make sure the pins are not reversed.

  3. lplane
    January 13, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Hi…my son is having some trouble getting power to flow through L1. He accidentally broke the magnet wire that came with the kit, and we were only able to find 18AWG magnet wire. Would that be affect the ability of the two 9v’s to power the circuit?

    • admin
      January 13, 2014 at 2:49 pm

      18 AWG should be fine for the L1 (the 5- 10 turn coil). The polarity of L1 matters. Try reversing the leads. Make sure all the thin plastic coating on that 18AWG is stripped at the ends where they connect to the terminals. You want to see shiny scraped copper on those leads.

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