Beginners Electricity Lab Starting Guide

//Beginners Electricity Lab Starting Guide

Beginners Electricity Lab Starting Guide

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.




Electronic Components
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.

  • Connectors
  • Heat Shrink Tubing
  • Alligator Clips and Test Leads
  • Breadboards
  • Resistors
  • Capacitors
  • LEDs and Diodes
  • On Off Switches and Potentiometers
  • etc…

This is just a good starting point, the real joy will come from growing your own lab your own way.



By | 2017-05-08T18:04:42+00:00 June 22nd, 2013|Uncategorized|15 Comments

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  • Robert

    OK, very good. But forgive me if I take a Devil’s Advocate position here:

    You’re clearly describing a different “track” of Tesla tech than that which Eric is embarked upon, where you were saying that vacuum tube technology was required because only it could handle the millions of volts that were required for Eric’s research.

    I mean, if the millions of volts tech is the way forward, then what is this all this solid-state gear in aid of? A couple of possibilities come to mind:

    1. Eric is investigating one area, according to his own preferences, but there are other potentially fruitful (lower voltage) areas of research as well. Discoveries of useful tech may be made in both areas.


    2. We’re wasting our time with this solid state gear, just messing around, and Eric’s approach is “the real deal” to develop technology that is going to make a difference in the world.

  • Geometric Algebra

    I say use whatever tools you can to explore. It’s fairly low cost to use a transducer and a transistor/opamp or tube amplifier to observe and manipulate the oscillations of a physical system under study. Purify with books from Steinmetz and MacFarlane.

    If you’re so inclined, go ahead and use KVL, KCL, Laplace transforms, SPICE, etc. to get your circuitry to the point of conditioning those signal waveforms. Just remember that when using these techniques you’re dealing with proportional analogs and plane projected quantities of the actual system. We have to translate what we measure back into space quantities and so forth, and none of the EE/ME textbooks are generalizing beyond the plane.

    Basic books for putting circuit systems together that I find helpful are: “Building Scientific Apparatus” by Moore, Davis and Coplan, and the “Pulse Digital and Switching Waveforms” by Millman.

    How Eric ever came across MacFarlanes’s papers is a mystery, but they are just what the doctor ordered. Now I can breath easier not completely understanding all of the theoretical minutia of the dogmatic electronic technique, and use what’s available in the practical technical literature for putting equipment together for experimentation and analysis beyond the Argand diagram.

  • Robert

    Thanks for the book recommendations. I’ve ordered them from the ever dependable Abebooks.

  • Peter Robinson

    I am an Electronic Engineering student at my community college and we have most of these tools and components. I was just wondering if there are any interesting experiments you could give me to mess around with while in the lab at school.


  • Geometric Algebra and are good sources for components, data sheets, tolerances, pricing and other general searches. Learn to use the search engine.,, etc., for tubes, sockets, and other tube related hardware. has a search tool for tubes and contains many scanned data sheets.

    Micromark, Grizzley, Sherline, have good tools for putting together your own small machineshop. After you get at least a small drill press, I would suggest considering the purchase of some type of small lathe with a mill attachment and a stack of mill and lathe cutters for modifying parts and creating new ones from scrap or raw material.

    Start putting a reference library of the data sheets for various components together. PDF’s in file folders on the hardrive, printouts in binders/file folders.

  • Tech Zombie

    I am doing them myself now. The most useful Ones I shall soon be posting up for all. Please bear with us. We are all learning together 🙂

  • Robert

    Incidentally, I found a PDF of Millman & Taub’s – Pulse and Digital Switching Waveforms (1965). I have now OCR’d and bookmarked it and uploaded it to the Public Chest.

  • Robert

    I’m embarrassed to say this, having already ordered a second-hand copy, but I found the other book online as well: “Building Scientific Apparatus” by Moore, Davis and Coplan. It is dated 2009 so I shouldn’t upload it to this site, but it can be found here:

  • Tech Zombie

    AWESOME book!!! thank you for this Robert!!

  • Tech Zombie

    awesome find and a truly awesome book, thanks Geometric Algebra

  • Tech Zombie

    awesome advice!!

    you are obviously a pro. Looking forward to having my own machine shop

  • Derek Worthington

    Thanks Big Time Robert!

    Robert if it’s through Amazon you can always get into your account and cancel.

    Thanks to everyone uploading and sharing books!

    I tried to get “Resonant Frequency Therapy – Building The Rife Beam Ray Device” at Rifeforum, No one wanted to hook me up with a PDF. I even tried the writter himself. He couldn’t help me.

    I try to do what I can.

    Warm regards,


  • Geometric Algebra

    Yeah, those two are gold. I didn’t know pdf’s of those books existed.

    I like Millman’s because it’s a good balance between tube and transistor analysis related to transients(!), it’s packed with practical circuits to study and experiment with, and the mathematical details tie in nicely with the papers from MacFarlane and Steinmetz. Although still 2d engineering reality, try to think in terms of what MacFarlane is up to with extending into spatial possibilities (we really need a holographic/spatial oscilloscope).

    The authors of building scientific apparatus would probably not appreciate a pdf floating around, but I’m pretty sure that we’re at the end of western civilization so do what you have to do.

    Chapter 2/3 of apparatus combined with the youtube videos that glasslinger has posted (namely the one on the small turbo molecular pumping system) should be of interest to anyone that wants to scramble a vacuum system together from parts off of ebay etc.

  • Robert

    Something else to consider, if using high voltages, is an isolation transformer:

    And safety gear such as electrician’s gauntlets.

  • Tech Zombie

    again… AWESOME resource list

    thank u!

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