Sunday, January 30, 2011

PTSOS: What IS this thing?


A PTSOSer brought this device in hoping to learn what it was and how to use it. Click the pic to access more pics.

It appears to be a transformer whose inner (secondary?) coil is connected to electrodes who come close to one another. The upper arm can be moved to change the space of the gap.

There are no binding/connecting posts above or below. The underside is clean.

Our collective wisdom, such as it was, suggested connecting an AC source to the outer (primary?) coil via alligator clips or equivalent. That outer coils appears capable of handling many amps.

It has a Welch nameplate (before the merger with Sargent).

Have you seen such a thing? Please advise (in the comments) as to its function and proper setup. (I've added a new post tag: Mr. Equipment—it's like the words "mystery" and "equipment" joined together.)


Chris said...

Sure looks like a tesla coil. Try is out!

Dean Baird said...

Agreed. My experience with Tesla coils is limited. This was an item in the Welch catalog at some point in history. Google image searches for "tesla coil" and welch tesla coil" didn't bear much fruit relative to this specific design.

Al Sefl said...

This is the primary and secondary of a Welch Tesla Coil. It is an air core transformer, as are all Tesla coils, so it must be energized with high frequency AC across the primary winding and will not work efficiently with normal 60Hz AC. The energizer is somewhat dangerous since it involves a high voltage transformer, a spark gap, and a bank of high voltage capacitors.
The energizer unit has two clips that attach to the primary coil and are used to tune the primary frequency 'tank circuit' to match the resonance of the secondary coil for maximum energy transfer.
Beware the energizer that goes with this coil, voltages and currents are LETHAL. This cannot be emphasized enough.
Best wishes... Al Sefl

Anonymous said...

My physics teacher has one just like this. my friends and i took it apart and the inside is empty. as far as we know no metal is running through the wood. we've been playing with it for a few days and can't figure much out about it