--Previous Message-- : Hi, I am a 4th year electrical engineering student and I am about to start : my senior design project which is to build a low power Tesla Coil using : modern RF electronic techniques to attempt to improve the overall : performance of the Tesla Coil and modulate the input to the coil with an : electronic instrument to use the plasma as a speaker. I am finding alot of : good resources online concerning high power tesla coils but unfortunately : my design has to be 10 Watts or less. I was wondering if someone could : give me a push in the right direction as to where to start with such a low : power design. :
Since you'll be using it as a plasma speaker, you'll likely want to use a DC powered CW RF oscillator and scaled down primary and secondary. Although a classical Tesla Coil would use a primary and secondary circuit that is tuned to oscillate at the same frequency, you could use a higher primary:secondary coupling and drive the secondary as a HV stepup transformer or even a flyback transformer. By using a sharp pointed electrode at the top of the winding, you should be able to establish a corona (plasma) discharge with only a few thousand volts of output. Or, you might simply draw an arc across the secondary coil instead of using corona.
There are a variety of approaches that can be taken for the RF oscillator. Here are some examples that you can look at for ideas: