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A DIY kit for a solid-state Tesla coil that plays music, shoots 2-foot-long sparks, and teaches you electronics.
A DIY kit for a solid-state Tesla coil that plays music, shoots 2-foot-long sparks, and teaches you electronics.
A DIY kit for a solid-state Tesla coil that plays music, shoots 2-foot-long sparks, and teaches you electronics.
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928 backers pledged $169,155 to help bring this project to life.

Toroids at last! (and other news, too)

Dear backers,

We have some updates for you! Let's start with the good news: Our toroid manufacturer has finally pulled it off! We got three beautiful samples on Wednesday, and we gave him the go-ahead for mass production.

What have we learned from this ordeal? First of all, it’s critical that your manufacturer have experience in exactly the process that you need. Our manufacturer is a reputable machinist, but did not have specific experience in metal stamping. What he thought was an easy job gave him a seven-month headache. We’re surprised that he pulled through, and didn’t give up and return our deposit. We had even gotten quotes from other manufacturers, prepared to start over right away if we got our money back.

There’s some bad news as well, which is the reason all the rewards haven’t been shipped yet. The manufacturer producing the laser cut chassis had a fire in his laser cutter, which is putting him out of commission for a month. This was the manufacturer that, according to our last update, we previously could not get in touch with. Strangely, despite being impossible to contact, he kept sending us 25-50 units per week. This rate is far too slow for our needs, but at least he didn’t just take our money and run. We were not very explicit about deadlines in our initial correspondence with him, so despite all our frustration with him, he was technically not violating any contract. When searching for suppliers many months ago, we had also gotten quotes and samples from a Chinese firm. We decided to quickly reach out to them so that we would minimize the delay in shipments. Our design had changed slightly since the spring, and he insisted on our approval of another round of samples before he started production of several hundred chassis. Those have arrived this week, so we’re working around the clock to fill the boxes we’ve got ready with the missing chassis and ship them out. Despite having paid for everything with the first manufacturer, we will probably have to commission several hundred more from overseas so that we don’t run into another roadblock with the last round of Kickstarter orders. We didn’t think it would be so complicated to find a reliable firm to do laser cutting of 1/8" acrylic sheet, but in truth you never know when you’ll run into a roadblock.

What have we learned from this?

  • Ensure that your manufacturer is capable of handling your order volume. We got an excellent price and communicated easily with our first manufacturer to begin with, but now we’re under the impression that he only has a single small laser cutter. If we were to start again, we would demand more information about the production facility, such as pictures or an in-person visit.
  • It would also have been nice to have found someone local to do the production, so that when he stopped replying to our emails and phone calls we could have knocked on his office door to ask what’s going on.
  • You need to be explicit about deadlines with manufacturers, and set penalties for not meeting them.

Had it not been for the missing chassis, we would have already shipped all of your rewards (minus toroids, of course). The toroids will be boxed and sent out as they arrive, which should be very soon, now that mass-production has begun. It will be a very busy next few weeks!

Happy coiling,

The oneTesla team


    1. Creator espen sommer eide on January 6, 2014

      Any news at all?

    2. Creator Chris Guffey on November 3, 2013

      Is there any master list or anything to know what order # you are and what # your at as far as shipping. Kinda tough just being out in the dark with no idea of how long it's going to be especially with all the delays already pushing it late into the year.

    3. Creator Steve on November 3, 2013

      Any update on when my unit is due to me in Australia?

    4. Creator Ken Purcell on October 8, 2013

      Got my kit today, thanks! I have to say it looks very well packed and the torroids came out great. Love the instructions/assembly guide, figured I was going to need to print that out myself.

    5. Creator Ken Purcell on September 15, 2013

      That's all we needed. Just a little comment to know it's still an ongoing project. Thanks!

    6. Creator oneTesla on September 11, 2013

      Hey Ken,
      We'd like to keep you informed, but there doesn't seem to be enough content for a new update. We have received several hundred toroids that we've shipped to backers that already, which took up time. At this point, we're holding boxes until we receive more toroids, because it increases shipping costs too much to ship two boxes.
      The toroids were shipped in four custom 1/2" cardboard tubes with 8" inner diameter. While shipping back the tubes, UPS lost two of them, slowing down the last two shipments. We just got 60 today, instead of the expected 200.

    7. Creator Ken Purcell on September 11, 2013

      Come on guys, we are rooting for you to succeed but you have to keep us informed. Even if it is to say the we are out of cases/toriods/igbts/ whatever.

    8. Creator Michael Knowles on September 3, 2013

      Any updates? Any chance you're sending out round four soon?


    9. Creator Sven Möller on September 3, 2013

      @Matthias Lange
      DANKE so hatte ich es auch vor und ist auch in der regel problemlos aber bei elektronischen bauteilen ohne CE zeichen gibt es manchmal stress...
      da hilft wie ich mal irgendwo gelesen habe zu sagen das es kein fertiges endprodukt ist und nicht für den endverbraucher bestimmte "forschungsmittel" o.ä. ka ob sowas im ernstfall hilft.
      das es sress geben kann hat man ja bei der ouya gesehen der zoll wa zu blöd das CE zeichen im batteriefach zu finden und hat sämtliche ouyas blockiert gehabt nachdem es einen aufgefallen ist...

    10. Creator Matthias Lange on September 1, 2013

      @Sven Möller:
      Ich habe einen Brief bekommen, dass das Paket beim für meinen Landkreis zuständigen Zollamt liegt(Nossen - Mittelsachsen).
      Hab dann einen Ausdruck von den E-Mails:
      - "Thanks for becoming a backer..."
      - "...successfully funded"
      - "You Have Authorized a Payment to Kickstarter" Amazon Payments
      - von der Amazon Payments Seite "Transaction Details" einen Ausdruck
      - Kreditkartenabrechnung
      mitgenommen und dort vorgezeigt.
      Musste dort dann noch eine Beschreibung abgeben, was das ist. Da hab ich angegeben "Bausatz für Mini-Teslaspule"
      Dann hab ich noch ca. 42€ bezahlt(3,7% Zoll und 19% Mwst. auf 230$ -> 176,88€ auf KK-Abrechnung) und das wars.

      Hoffe konnte helfen.


    11. Creator Sven Möller on September 1, 2013

      Please give us a new update...
      Waiting witout any information is really annoying!
      And let us know how we handle it with the German custom if you send it out...

    12. Creator Chip Crell on August 30, 2013

      Still waiting, any idea when you will ship me mine?

    13. Creator oneTesla on August 9, 2013

      John, we're still working through round 3 right now.

    14. Creator John Robin Dierauer on August 9, 2013

      Any good news for the shipment to Switzeland?

    15. Creator oneTesla on July 30, 2013

      Alex, send us a message on Kickstarter or email with your updated address.

    16. Creator Alex Kiwerski on July 29, 2013

      With all the delays (and I understand, thanks for keeping us updated!), I have moved since the survey was sent out for shipping information. How can I get my shipping address updated with you as UPS and FedEx don't do forwarding like the US Mail does......?

    17. Creator eric korenman on July 27, 2013

      here here! I second Geoffrey's comments. I've so enjoyed reading the updates, the unexpected bumps in the road and, ultimately your success. Well worth the cost of admission and slight wait.
      now I just need to take a deep breath and build mine!

    18. Creator Matthias Lange on July 20, 2013

      Thanks for the update!
      The toroid looks awesome!

    19. Creator Geoffrey Ward on July 19, 2013

      I don’t mean to sound condescending, but for such a young group of people, with existing study commitments and no previous experience with procurement, you have all done a truly amazing job!

      I know any future employer would be extremely lucky to have any one of you guys.

      Great work!

    20. Creator Steve Fish on July 19, 2013

      Excellent update. Bummer about all the delays, but y'all are handling it very well. I can't wait for my toroid to arrive. :)

    21. Creator Scott S. on July 19, 2013

      Bravo for not throwing in the towel yourselves. And just think of how much your efficiency will improve for the next round of orders now that all the hard work is done and the lessons learned. :)