Starting your very own Tesla Lab is made much easier when you know what gear you shall need.
We’re all in this process of learning together so let’s share our research and experience in everything, no matter how small. It all helps. Each of these items I have ordered myself and can vouch for their quality. If you have other suggestions and leads please share.
Each item shall have a score of 1-5 : Five being “absolutely essential” to 3 being “very useful past the novice stage” and 1 being “acquire only at advanced stage when needed”
- Multi-Meter -5
Every electricians very first tool. These measure voltage, current, resistance and more. You can find these in analog and digital, cheap and expensive. A high quality one is this one for $30.00 and the very best is a Fluke for $320 . Here is an excellent tutorial on using multimeters.
- Basic Tools for Harvesting Parts (more details later) -5
- Electronic components Toolkit (more details later) -5
- Battery -4
It is good to have some batteries around for isolated tests. A small motorcycle battery 12 volts 2 amps is a very useful item to have. You can also just use a bunch of 9 volt and AA batteries and replace them as needed but this gets VERY expensive over time.
- DC Variable Power Supply -4
Instead of just using batteries with set voltage and amperage and having to recharge them get a variable digital DC power supply. You can set both the voltage and amperage and don’t have to worry about recharging. These little things come in extremely handy. The Sinometer HY3005D Lab PSU does 5-30volts and 0-5Amps for $120 Here is a tutorial guide on how to use one.
- Oscilloscope -3
This little beauty will become your favorite tool once you begin to see the need to visually see the waveforms running through your circuits and coils. The Rigol DS1052E Dual Channel 50MHZ $364 is an hobbyist favorite with excellent reviews. It can supposedly be upgraded to 100mhz with a firmware upgrade…. The Higher the MHZ the more detail on the waveforms you can see. For more info on what they are why you need them check this video.
- Function Generator -2
One of these can help you customize waveforms to send through your circuits. These can vary the frequency and the amplitude of waves and come in very handy when you want to get into complex harmonic resonance which Tesla was big into. Of course he only had brass, wood and iron to work with. The Atten ATF20B is a nice choice for only $320. For more info on what they are and what you can use them for check this video.
- Screw driver, variable bits Socket Set. Proxxon is the best and it can be used for motorcycles and cars as well.
- Wire stripper
- Soldering Station
- Heat Gun
- Dremel Tool or better (proxxon) with accessories such as the Multibit Pro Keyless chuck (proxxon) to let you take standard drill bits.
These are basic elements and you can find them at a Radioshack. Acquire them as you need them. The best way to collect them is by harvesting old used electronics.
- Heat Shrink Tubing
- Alligator Clips and Test Leads
- LEDs and Diodes
- On Off Switches and Potentiometers
This is just a good starting point, the real joy will come from growing your own lab your own way.