Friday, September 2, 2011

NIC Tesla Coil Update

Back to work on the coils now, need to have them working and tested before the course starts up again. Ive included Arduino boards in the design sporting ATmega 328p micro-controllers. These will act as the reprogrammable brains of the coils. They will control many aspects of the coil while running.

The controllers provide a number of features to be implemented easily.
  • A start-up delay to all circuitry. It will disable drivers and oscillators for a few seconds when power is applied to allow capacitors to charge up during the initial inrush currents.
  • Advanced interrupter effects via external potentiometer and switches.
  • Audio modulation from computer, on-board demo tunes. Will also allow input from external source and automatically detect signals.
  • Power down and standby modes to allow it to turn off the coil or put it into standby when no audio signals are detected for a period of time.
  • Over current watchdog will provide a momentary disable of driver when over currents are detected, preventing FET death.
  • Reprogrammable! Allows for future expansion without physical changes.

Also fixed the top-load, it is now connected to the secondary and in addition added a bit of copper wire to act as a breakout. The top-loads have bearings and can spin in place to aim the breakout point in any direction. This is because they are actually foil covered lawnmower wheels ;)

Thats it for today! Will fix some cosmetic things and begin testing the driver circuit and wire up the control panel in the next few days. Then lots of testing!

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