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Mr. Apol made a tabletop Tesla coil:

After studying and tinkering with different components for a year, I finally assembled my first Tesla coil. I chose a bipolar design inspired by one in THE BOY ELECTRICIAN by Alfred P. Morgan (first published 1913, reprinted by Lindsay Publications and available at Unlike the more common upright coils, the bipolar coil has a horizontal secondary and primary, and the ends of the secondary coil terminate in vertical electrodes. As I wanted to build a small tabletop model, this appealed to me because the coil would not need an external ground connection. I also decided to build the coil in modular fashion, with easily separated spark gap assembly, tank capacitors, and power supply. This way I could experiment with different components and see what changing these parts did to the overall performance of the coil.

Becky Stern

Becky Stern

Becky Stern ( is a DIY guru and director of wearable electronics at Adafruit. She publishes a new project video every week and hosts a live show on YouTube. Formerly Becky was Senior Video Producer for MAKE. Becky lives in Brooklyn, NY and belongs to art groups Free Art & Technology (“release early, often, and with rap music”) and Madagascar Institute (“fear is never boring”).