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I found this little jewel on the RMCybernetics website.

A DIY Tesla Coil Tuner


By Terry Fritz
The Tesla Coil Tuner (TCT) is a simple and low cost signal
source that can be used to Iind the resonant Irequencies oI the
primary and secondary circuits oI Tesla coils. It uses simple
commonly available parts. It can be assembled in a Iew hours
with minimal electronic skills. The cost oI all the parts is about
$20.
The TCT is simply a LMC555 IC square wave generator. An
audio taper pot and a 2 polypropylene timing capacitor control
the 50 duty cycle oscillator's Irequency.
A bi-color LED in series with the output senses the current being drawn and a Irequency dial
indicates the Irequency setting.

Qty Parts
2 Sets red / black alligator clips
1 Large control knob
1 Bi-Color LED
2 10uF 16V tantalum capacitors
1 LMC555 CMOS IC timer chip
1 8 pin IC socket
2 470 ohm 1/2 watt resistors
1 1.8nF 50V Polypropylene 2 capacitor
1 10K Audio taper pot with switch
1 Plastic box
1 Battery Clip
1 Battery Holder
1 Prototyping Board
My Note.
The Polypropylene cap can be replaced with ceramic, tantalum, or whatever you have in your
box (high tolerance is better). The larger the cap, the lower the frequency. The smaller the cap,
the higher the frequency. you may have to change caps at C3 for your setup to get readings on
your coils. (Each Coil setup is different and most 555s only go up to 1Mh:, some 2Mh:) You
can make this adfustable at C3 with a rotary switch and different caps, or an adfustable
capacitor. Bi-Color LED can be two LEDs reversed to each other.
Assembly:
There are many ways to put the TCT together and it will work Iine. For those less Iamiliar with
assembling things like this, I will describe how I did it.
I selected the plastic cover and located two points on the cover. The Iirst was two inches Irom
the bottom and the other one inch Irom the top. I drilled a 1/4 inch hole at the bottom mark and
enlarged it a bit to Iit the 10k pot. I then snapped the little tab oII the pot with pliers and mounted
the pot with the 2.25 x 2.25 inch scale under the nut. I then installed the knob using the oII
position Ior alignment. I connected a 470 ohm resistor to the center leg oI the pot. I drilled a 3/16
hole at the top mark and was able to Iorce the bi-color led into it. I added a bit oI epoxy to hold it
in place. I also epoxied the battery holder in the bottom halI oI the box. I drilled two 9/64 inch
holes Ior two 8 inch lengths oI wire to act as test leads in the bottom oI the box. I tied and
epoxied the leads to the box and installed alligator clips to the ends.

I used two other alligator clips to make a 6 inch jumper to short
the spark gap Ior primary testing.
Circuit: Snap the two circuit boards in halI and solder the 8 pin
socket in the center oI one. Following the schematic, solder the
components to the circuit boards noting that S1, R2, R3, LED1,
and the battery are mounted oII the board. Use hookup wire to
make the needed connections and bridge the pads with solder
where needed. I put leads on the board Ior parts oII the board.
Finish wiring the top and bottom oI the box together Iollowing the schematic. See the picture Ior
how the pot leads and switch are wired.
Install the battery and assemble the box top with the Iour screws.

Calibration:
The provided scale will be Iairly close. However, iI you have a
Irequency counter or voltmeter with that Iunction, you can
calibrate your own scale
Operation:
The TCT is very easy to use Ior primary and secondary Irequency
measurements. Obviously, these test should be done will all
power removed Irom the coil and all capacitors completely
discharged! The procedures Iollow:
Insure all power is removed from the coil and all the capacitors are completely discharged!
Testing the TCT: To tests the TCT's operation, connect the two test leads together. The LED
should light and remain lit through the entire Irequency range. Replace the battery iI the light is
dim.
Secondary Fo: To test the secondary's
Iundamental Irequency, simply connect the TCT
between the ground and the base wire Irom the
secondary as shown below. Slowly turn the
Irequency through the range until the brightest spot
is Iound. The lowest and brightest Irequency spot
is the Iundamental. You may see the dimmer 3rd
harmonic at ~3 x Fo. It is probably best to test the
secondary Irequency on the coil in the actual
conIiguration since the secondary Irequency is
sensitive to the surrounding objects.

Primary Fo: To test the primary circuit's Irequency, simply connect the TCT across the primary
cap and short the spark gap with the jumper. Slowly turn the Irequency through the range until
the dimmest spot is Iound and read the Irequency on the dial. You may want to remove the
secondary coil to prevent the secondary Irom aIIecting this test.
My note.
The idea here is to match primary to secondary so you get the voltage rise from resonance.
Example. You find your mark on your secondary with this meter, then you leave it there and
"tune" your primary to that mark or the other way around. .-)