I have a general understanding of how a transformer works and the whole magnetic induction process works, and I also understand that there is heat associated with high current electricity flow, so my question is this:

Is it safe to construct a homemade transformer that would function similar to a neon sign transformer by converting 120V AC into ~3000V AC? If so, where would I find the materials to do this?

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ If you have to ask here... no it is not safe and I would not advise you to do so. Try something lower voltage \$\endgroup\$ Nov 10, 2017 at 2:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SomeHardwareGuy Well, my goal is to build a tesla coil which ultimately requires high voltage. I was looking at buying a NST, but I was interested a price saving alternative. Thanks though. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 10, 2017 at 2:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ 3kV is in the sweet spot for killing hobbyists though... high enough that "don't touch this" isn't enough safety, and high enough current to get your hand stuck if you hold the wrong thing. A hobbyist tesla coil seems much safer \$\endgroup\$
    – FrancoVS
    Nov 10, 2017 at 2:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ NSTs are strongly current limiting as well, which makes them safer than just a straight homebrew transformer. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 10, 2017 at 2:56
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Tesla coils run at >100kHz, so you cannot get stuck at them and your heart won't either. You can get massive burns which might kill you if exposed long enough. 3kV@60Hz will kill you after a second or less (and you are stuck!) \$\endgroup\$
    – Janka
    Nov 10, 2017 at 5:16

1 Answer 1


Read this slowly 10 times.

Tesla Coil Safety

Read this. Noting the creative way people have removed themselves from the gene pool.

Darwin Awards

Excuse the hashness of the answer. My first job, years and years ago was in Microwave and Carriers dept. I saw some very scary things happen when high voltages and in some cases high current occur.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hey I get it. I appreciate your candor. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 10, 2017 at 16:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Now that we have scared you into being very, very careful. Have fun. Here is a link into the foil hat wearing nut jobs, but are interesting to read and show pictures of apparently build units, that use neon transformers etc. You can see, spacing of coils, thickness of wires. free-energy-info.com/Smith.pdf \$\endgroup\$
    – kingchris
    Nov 11, 2017 at 3:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ha ha I do appreciate the straightforwardness about the dangers. Thank you for bearing with me. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 11, 2017 at 4:13

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