Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Pronunciation: "ne-guh-tive wan-tess-luh"

This summer, I'm working as a slave for oneTesla, a start-up founded by three MIT students: Bayley, Heidi, and Kramnik.

The recent bout of employment happened to coincide with my recent quest to get a "singing" SSTC working, and so -oneTesla was born.

Conceived from its namesake, oneTesla, -oneTesla is the SSTC derivative of the DRSSTC. The conversion process involved, to name a few things, removing the tank cap, fiddling with the feedback, and some trace rerouting.

DISCLAIMER: I do not recommend that you undertake this path as an alternative to purchasing an actual oneTesla kit. Trust me. The amount of pure butthurt incurred in troubleshooting alone is not worth the minuscule monetary sum that you'd save.

I started out with this very humble chassis and fan assembly, orphaned from Minuet 1.x:
4020, some lasercut acrylic, and HDPE (currently smothered in electrical tape) machined on a lathe. obligatory zip-tied fan included.
The original plan involved simply etching a oneTesla. It went less than swimmingly. For the longest time, I was under the impression that the optical receiver on the board was dead. Four hours later, I tried the interrupter on a oneTesla unit and it also didn't seem to work, and it turned out that the interrupter was just running out of batteries and the LED on the output just wasn't bright enough. Oh, and this was after I accidentally shorted +12 to ground, frying a few traces.

Important lessons learned:
1. Humans are not manufacturing houses.
2. Traces are not magical.
3. Always check the battery to your opto-coupled interrupter.

Version 1.1(6/10/13)

After receiving the board file for one of the original oneTeslas (meant to be etched), some more finagling occurred, which lead to the creation of another functional board.

Results: 3" of spark run at ~8% duty cycle.

Not bad considering the low duty cycle. Too bad that the bridge fried itself a few times before I could reflash the interrupter to increase the pulse width.

To be continued...

UPDATE (7/22/13)

New and improved -oneTeslas with secondary base feedback have been sent to the fabhouse. ETA July 29th.

UPDATE (7/30/13)


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