Re First Tesla coil, skin effect formula and wire guages
Subject: Re First Tesla coil, skin effect formula and wire guages
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 1997 22:09:06 -0400
From: "Owen Lawrence" <owen-at-iosphere-dot-net>
To: "Tesla List" <tesla-at-pupman-dot-com>
> You might try a neon sign transformer instead of the 2N3055 ocsillator
> driving a flyback xmfr. This setup will only produce 1-2 ma of drive
> current. Usually you need around 30-60 ma of drive at 12 Kv which
Thanks for your response. What assumptions are being made to arrive at
these specs ("need 30-60ma at 12KV")? I intend to build a small (but
hopefully effective) coil to begin with. If I know ahead of time I only
have 1-2ma to work with, I should be able to design around that.
> A good suggestion not to use a pole pig until you have built a few
> units first. Pole xmfrs are extremely dangerous and will fry you in an
I intend to stay very far away from them until I know what I'm doing.
this point I consider neon sign transformers very dangerous. I'm just
curious how you folks go about procuring one of these bigger ones. If I
don't know what they're worth I won't know if I stumble across a good
and should grab it for one of you, if not for myself.
I called a motor shop yesterday for a price on wire. I was told
$16(Cdn)/lb, no matter what guage. So I found some tables of values
adopted by AIEE in January, 1914 and still in effect (as of 1977)
AWG ft/lb ohms/1000ft diameter(mm)
32 5160 162 .203
30 3300 104 .254
28 2080 65.3 .320
26 1310 41.0 .404
24 818 25.7 .511
22 516 16.2 .643
20 323 10.1 .813
18 256 8.05 1.02
16 128 4.02 1.29
14 80.4 2.52 1.63
12 50.6 1.59 2.05
56 1 380 000 43.2k .012 (over 261 miles/lb!)
Sorry I can't quote the reference, I just have photocopies. I CAN get
from a friend if you're interested. The table includes all values from
down to 4/0, and even values up to 56. I thought these might be
If you're interested in a guage not shown let me know. There are lots
other formulas such as relation between temperature, conductivity and
resistivity of copper, but this is getting pretty picky for me.
While looking up this table, there on the previous page was the
for skin effect, which I recall someone asking about recently.
Here it is:
"The current intensity falls off exponentially with depth. The depth of
penetration (s=sigma) is the depth at which the current intensity has
fallen to 1/e of its value at the surface, where e equals 2.718...
At three- and four-times the depth of penetration, the current intensity
5 percent and 2 percent of that at the surface respectively.
Where the diameter of the conductor is large compared to the depth of
penetration, the total current is the same as if the surface current
intensity were maintained to a depth of penetration.
s = 503.3sqrt(rho/(urf)) millimeters
rho = resistivity in ohm-meters
= 1.72x10e-8 for copper
= 2.83x10e-8 for aluminum
ur = mu r = relative magnetic permeability
= 1 for both copper and aluminum
f = frequency in magahertz
For example, for copper the depth of penetration is as follows:
MHz Depth of Penetration sigma (mm)
Sorry, .1 is the lowest frequency it gives. Anyone know the quanities of
skin effect for skin?
I hope this information is of use.
- Owen -