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Learn electronics, shoot lightning, and play music using electricity with tinyTesla! Also introducing oneTeslaTS, its big brother.
Learn electronics, shoot lightning, and play music using electricity with tinyTesla! Also introducing oneTeslaTS, its big brother.
Learn electronics, shoot lightning, and play music using electricity with tinyTesla! Also introducing oneTeslaTS, its big brother.
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1,568 backers pledged $336,271 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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tinyTesla: the Little Singing Tesla Coil Anyone Can Build

$336,271

1,568

Missed the campaign? Don't worry! Our kits will be available at onetesla.com.

tinyTesla is a little Tesla coil that shoots sparks, plays MIDI tracks, and exercises your soldering skills. This coil kit is designed to be easy to build and assemble for anyone with basic soldering skills. Shooting lightning and playing music using electricity itself is an exciting way to learn about physics and electronics!

tinyTesla is a desktop musical Tesla coil that fits into your hand.
tinyTesla is a desktop musical Tesla coil that fits into your hand.

Read about tinyTesla:

CNET / Product Design and Development / BostInno / gizmag / Slash Gear / GimmeDigital / Nuts and Volts / technabob / synthtopia / Geeky Gadgets / walyou / creatables / Mike ShoutsAberto até de Madrugada (Portuguese) / Doble69 (Spanish) / Xataka (Spanish) / Bixi News (Chinese) / haceradores (Spanish) / FayerWayer (Spanish) / NeoTeo (Spanish) / Gigazine (Japanese)

Now introducing the pre-soldered tinyTesla kit! It still requires mechanical assembly, but will get you up and running with beautiful singing sparks faster.

New addition: Pre-soldered tinyTesla kits! Perfect for demo units.
New addition: Pre-soldered tinyTesla kits! Perfect for demo units.

Check our our preliminary tinyTesla User Manual. It will be updated continuously, so make sure you have the latest version!

Students of all ages can learn electronics with tinyTesla. If you can solder, you can build this kit!
Students of all ages can learn electronics with tinyTesla. If you can solder, you can build this kit!

Also introducing oneTeslaTS, tiny’s big brother

You talked, we listened. We've gathered feedback from hundreds of builders of our previous kit to determine what we could do better. With oneTeslaTS we've designed what we think is the ideal compact Tesla coil, with a focus on reliability, ease of assembly, portability, and usability.

Check out the preliminary oneTeslaTS User Manual. Make sure you refresh every once in a while, as it's going to be continuously updated. 

oneTeslaTS, the compact and powerful DRSSTC, approximately 12" tall.
oneTeslaTS, the compact and powerful DRSSTC, approximately 12" tall.
A close-up of the oneTeslaTS PCB chassis. The primary coil is etched onto the top PCB.
A close-up of the oneTeslaTS PCB chassis. The primary coil is etched onto the top PCB.
TS without its chassis. You can see the driver, the shield board in the middle, and the resonator on top.
TS without its chassis. You can see the driver, the shield board in the middle, and the resonator on top.
Same great performance, sweet new look
Same great performance, sweet new look

How do Tesla coils work?

A Tesla coil is a resonant transformer that builds up extremely high voltages using AC electricity at high frequency. 

Tesla coils make music by heating up air and creating pressure waves that you can hear as sound. There’s no membrane pushing air back and forth, like in a speaker or conventional instrument. The electricity itself is what you’re hearing! 

Both coils are controlled via a fiber optic link through a device called an interrupter, which converts music input from your computer or instrument to pulses of light that gate the entire coil on and off at the audio frequency. 

For tinyTesla, the interrupter connects to your computer via USB and can be controlled using our own software or many other MIDI playback programs. tinyTesla can also be controlled through a MIDI instrument (such as a piano keyboard) using a USB to MIDI adapter and our software, which allows the input from the adapter to be passed through to the interrupter.

oneTeslaTS's interrupter directly interfaces with MIDI devices through a MIDI-in port. It can be connected to your computer using the included USB adapter, or directly to an instrument with a MIDI cable. oneTeslaTS supports an additional set of MIDI features, such as note sustain and pitch bend, that make it ideal for real-time, interactive use.

Science and engineering education is what we’re all about! 

Our mission is to promote hands-on learning by providing kits that are well-engineered, beautiful, and fun to build. We pride ourselves on our thorough documentation and an active support community on our forum. To add to our resources, we have started a series of tutorial articles and videos. This is still work in progress, and we need your support and feedback to keep it going! Check out the tutorials we have so far:

Let’s get Technical

tinyTesla is a Solid-State Tesla Coil (SSTC), which has a non-resonant primary and a resonant secondary. Because the feedback loop locks on to the resonant frequency of the secondary, not the primary, tinyTesla is insensitive to its surroundings, allowing you to safely pull arcs off the coil with a metal object (pulling an arc with your finger will result in a nasty burn and is not recommended!).

oneTeslaTS is a Dual-Resonant Solid State Tesla Coil (DRSSTC), which uses a tuned primary circuit for improved performance. This design allows the coil to efficiently produce long sparks (nearly two feet!) using a compact driver and a minimum of power.

Both coils are powered by IGBT half-bridge inverters running on a 340V bus, and both are available in 110V and 220V versions (backers can specify a preference in a survey that will be sent after the campaign).


Partnering with a Local, Family-Owned Assembly House

To ensure the integrity and timely fulfillment of your kits, we have partnered with a local, family-owned contract manufacturer, AmTech. Their 6000 sq. ft. space and decades of experience in electronics assembly mean that your rewards will be in good hands! 

We're working with Atlantic Manufacturing Technologies, a local, family-owned contract manufacturer.
We're working with Atlantic Manufacturing Technologies, a local, family-owned contract manufacturer.

 Rewards

Fulfillment Timeline

 Stretch Goals

Super stretch goal added!
Super stretch goal added!
Track us on Kicktraq! How high do you think we'll go?
Track us on Kicktraq! How high do you think we'll go?

Risks and challenges

The primary risk in delivering tinyTesla and oneTeslaTS kits is running into delays with suppliers of custom components, which could set back our timeline. Fortunately, we have established relationships with all the suppliers of the custom parts we will source, and we have an understanding with them about our fulfillment timeline.

Another risk is ensuring the integrity of each kit. In the past we had issues with parts not making it into boxes before shipping due to the difficulty of managing the QA process for so many tiny components. We were also working with very limited space and resources. To mitigate this risk we have approached the design of tinyTesla and oneTeslaTS (as well as their packaging) with the kitting process in mind. We are also partnering with a local family-owned assembly house with decades of experience in electronics assembly to ensure a better QA process.

Lastly, the risk that we are most excited about tackling is the difficulty of explaining advanced concepts in electronics to people of all skill levels. To do this well, we will listen to questions and suggestions, and incorporate detailed construction and troubleshooting information in our user manuals. We also will continue developing a video tutorial series about electronics as well as video walkthroughs of our kits.

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FAQ

  • tinyTesla is suitable for anybody who can solder. Middle and high school students can build this kit under adult supervision.

    oneTesla TS is a more complex kit that is suitable for people with at least some experience in electronics.

    We will ask that all backers agree to our Terms and Conditions (http://onetesla.com/kickstarter-terms-and-conditions).

    Last updated:
  • • High voltage at high frequency. Never touch the output of a Tesla coil.

    • High current. The primary side of the Tesla coil has hundreds of amps flowing through it. Never operate a Tesla coil outside of its chassis, and do all power testing hands-off.

    • Ozone buildup. Ionized air creates ozone, which is an irritant gas. Only use a Tesla coil in a well-ventilated area.

    • EMI hazard. Radiated energy from the Tesla coil can interfere with nearby electronics. KEEP AWAY FROM THE TESLA COIL IF YOU HAVE A PACEMAKER OR OTHER ELECTRONIC MEDICAL DEVICE.

    • Ear protection recommended. tinyTesla is not very loud, but oneTeslaTS is. Wear ear protection if you're in an enclosed space.

    Last updated:
  • Yes, there is only a one-component difference between the 110V and 220V versions. We can ship internationally. Just remember to add the appropriate amount for international shipping!

    Last updated:
  • tinyTesla draws about 150W and oneTeslaTS draws about 500W.

    Last updated:
  • • A 3” diameter, round Tesla coil driver PCB, and MIDI interrupter PCB.

    • All necessary electronic components for assembling the two PCBs.

    • Pre-wound secondary coil on a clear acrylic laser cut former

    • Round heat sink

    • Mounting hardware for the secondary coil onto the heat sink.

    • A power cable and fiber optic cable for the optical link between the interrupter and the Tesla coil.

    • An enclosure for the interrupter.

    Last updated:
  • • A Tesla coil driver printed circuit board, primary resonator circuit board, and MIDI interrupter printed circuit board. Four PCBs also form the chassis sides.

    • All necessary electronic components for assembling the two printed circuit boards.

    • Pre-wound secondary coil.

    • Heat sink.

    • All necessary mounting hardware.

    • A power cable and fiber optic cable for the optical link between the interrupter and the Tesla coil.

    • An enclosure for the interrupter.

    Last updated:
  • The primary windings on tinyTesla will be made of thicker wire to eliminate the corona shown in the video. We may redesign the antenna base for tinyTesla to be slightly sturdier. The oneTeslaTS PCB chassis will have holes in each plate that allow it to be screwed in place.

    Last updated:
  • You need a good soldering iron, a multimeter, and common hand tools: a small screwdriver, wire cutters, diagonal cutters, needlenose pliers. You’ll also need a small amount of your favorite type of glue.

    If you build your circuit properly and do not need to do extensive troubleshooting, you will get by fine without an oscilloscope or any sophisticated test equipment. However, it’s recommended to have a scope or access to one if you run into problems.

    Last updated:
  • tinyTesla and oneTeslaTS play MIDI files. They are both polyphonic, meaning they can play two notes at once. They can't play full-spectrum audio, but you can use an mp3-MIDI converter to convert your song of choice into MIDI. These conversions aren't perfect, however, so you may need to tweak your MIDI file later to get your perfect song.

    Last updated:
  • Kickstarter's reward options are not very sophisticated, so we'll have to sort out your add-ons with a survey later. To get an add-on, just add the appropriate amount to your pledge. You will specify which options you want later on.

    Last updated:
  • The replacement parts sets are useful for having the chance to start anew if you run into issues like installing components backwards by accident-- classic rookie mistakes everyone is bound to make! It’s also useful to have a set of replacement parts during troubleshooting, to let you have a known working set of parts if you’re tracing down a bug. They contain the main board and interrupter board, as well as all components to populate them.

    Last updated:

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Thank you from the oneTesla team! Get a chance to view backer exclusive updates, vote on packaging design, and have your name displayed on our website as a supporter of engineering education.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    You're awesome! To show our appreciation for your support, we'll mail you a "Danger High Voltage" sticker. You will also get the rewards from the $5 level.

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    18 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    You're electrifying! At this reward tier you'll receive all of the above rewards plus a graphic tee so that you can show off your support for the DIY movement and hands-on electrical engineering!

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $59 or more About $59

    This reward gets you an interrupter with SD card support, perfect for your own Tesla coil or for upgrading your existing oneTesla kit to have SD card support. If you pick the oneTeslaTS kit option you don't need this, since the SD card interrupter is already included with your kit.

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    Pledge $99 or more About $99

    Super early bird special! Round 1 of the tinyTesla kit rewards.

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    Reward no longer available 50 backers
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    Pledge $129 or more About $129

    Early bird special! Round 2 of the tinyTesla kit rewards: everything you need to build a little desktop musical Tesla coil. Add $49 for a replacement parts set, $10 for a printed manual, and $35 for a graphic tee included in your kit! Get any second kit for the Round 1 price: just add the amount to your pledge!

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    Reward no longer available 150 backers
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  7. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $149 or more About $149

    Round 3 of tinyTesla kit rewards: everything you need to build a little desktop musical Tesla coil. Add $49 for a replacement parts set, $10 for a printed manual, and $35 for a graphic tee included in your kit! Get any second kit for the Round 1 price: just add the amount to your pledge!

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 250 backers
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  8. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $149 or more About $149

    Round 4 of tinyTesla kit rewards: everything you need to build a little desktop musical Tesla coil. Add $49 for a replacement parts set, $10 for a printed manual, and $35 for a graphic tee included in your kit! Get any second kit for the Round 1 price: just add the amount to your pledge!

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 250 backers
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    Pledge $149 or more About $149

    Round 5 of tinyTesla kit rewards. Add $49 for a replacement parts set, $10 for a printed manual, and $35 for a graphic tee included in your kit! Get any second kit for the Round 1 price: just add the amount to your pledge!

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  10. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $199 or more About $199

    Pre-soldered tinyTesla kit! Just wind, bolt, glue, plug in, and watch the sparks fly. Perfect for demos.

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    Reward no longer available 100 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $229 or more About $229

    Round 2 pre-soldered tinyTesla kit! Just wind, bolt, glue, plug in, and watch the sparks fly. Perfect for demos.

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    Limited 98 backers
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  12. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $299 or more About $299

    Super early bird special! Round 1 rewards of the oneTeslaTS kit. Add $99 for a replacement parts set, $10 for a printed manual, $35 for a graphic tee. Get any second kit for the Round 1 price: just add the amount to your pledge!

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 50 backers
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  13. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $349 or more About $349

    Early bird special! Round 2 rewards of the oneTeslaTS kit. Add $99 for a replacement parts set, $10 for a printed manual, $35 for a graphic tee. Get any second kit for the Round 1 price: just add the amount to your pledge!

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 100 backers
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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $399 or more About $399

    Round 3 rewards of the oneTeslaTS kit. Add $99 for a replacement parts set, $10 for a printed manual, $35 for a graphic tee. Get any second kit for the Round 1 price: just add the amount to your pledge!

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    Limited 109 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)