Advanced Measurement Techniques For Tesla Coils



Building, operating, and optimizing a working Tesla Magnifying Transmitter (TMT) system for the maximum transfer of electric power with minimum loss, requires detailed measurement, tuning, and accurate generator and load matching. Measurement of such a TMT system in the frequency domain, using affordable yet sophisticated equipment such as a vector network analyzer (VNA), can reveal a wealth of important experimental data. Properly interpreted, this data can show how best to operate and tune the system, as well as revealing a deeper understanding of how these fascinating electrical systems work.

Network analysis is a vast and complex subject which has classically involved considerable training, an established background in electrical engineering, combined with very expensive equipment. The purpose of this presentation is to introduce this advanced measurement technique in a simple and practical fashion with equipment affordable to the individual researcher, experimenter, or inventor.

The presentation presented by Dr. Adrian Marsh, which includes a practical demonstration, is intended to lead the participant through the steps necessary to gain a working understanding of using a vector network analyzer, and to characterize the small signal impedance characteristics with frequency for a Tesla transformer, and hence for a complete working TMT system. The presentation includes the complete analysis of two different Tesla transformers. The first is the Golden-Ratio/Fractal Fern Discharge Coil, and the second is the Cylindrical Telluric Transference of Electric Power Coil.

The Tesla transformer used in the demonstration is the Golden-Ratio/Fractal Fern Discharge Coil, first analyzed using the VNA to reveal the AC small signal analysis, and then driven using a high-power 2.5kW Class-C Armstrong auto-tune power oscillator. This demonstration shows for the first time since Eric Dollard’s demonstration in the 1990s, the Golden-Ratio/Fractal Fern Discharge, showing the underlying natural order and organization of electricity, in this fascinating electrical phenomena.

The presentation and demonstration includes:

1. A philosophy of science type introduction to the why, how, and what of electrical measurement.

2. An introduction to the properties of Tesla coils, including resonance, coupling, tuning, and matching generators and loads.

3. An introduction to the principles of vector network analysis.

4. Taking a look at equipment suited to this measurement technique both at the high-end, and the affordable end, with a comparison of the range of measurements available from both, and the likely accuracy and limitations which they present.

5. How to calibrate, setup, and prepare a network analyzer to measure a Tesla coil.

6. How to make impedance measurements over a frequency band, and interpret the meaning of the measured results.

7. Impedance measurement comparison under different operating conditions, including the effects of coupling, primary, secondary, and extra coil tuning, and loading.

8. How to identify the best points of operation from the measurements, and then optimize the system for the maximum transference of electric power.

9. How to match a generator to a Tesla coil using the measured impedance characteristics.

10. A live measurement demonstration using the Golden-Ratio/Fractal Fern Discharge coil connected to a portable and affordable vector network analyzer.

11. A Tesla transformer discharge demonstration using the VNA measured coil to show the Golden-Ratio/Fractal Fern Discharge electrical phenomena for the first time since Eric Dollard in the 1990s. The coil causes a lot of interference with the sound equipment so the demonstration is also included as a separate mp4 file with cleaned audio.



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