Step 1: Assemble the interrupter

 tinyTesla interrupter board

  R1 1.5kΩ (brown green red)
  R2, R3     68Ω (blue grey black)
  R4 100Ω (brown black brown)  
  C1 1uF (labeled 105)
  CN1 mini USB connector
  D1, D2 3.6V Zener Diodes
  IC1 ATtiny and socket
  IC2 optical transmitter
    slide switch


The interrupter is the Tesla coil’s music controller. It connects via a mini USB cable to a computer, and appears as a MIDI device. Assemble it first because you will need to use it to ensure the low-voltage side of the main driver board is working. The interrupter is also a small board with few parts, which—if soldered correctly—should work right away.

  • A. Install R1 through R4.
  • B. Install C1.
  • C. Install CN1, the mini USB connector.
  • D. Install zener diodes D1 and D2. Note that they are directional! Match the band on the diode to the band on the board. Don’t confuse them with the 1N4148 signal diodes, which look the same except for their part number.
  • E. Install the socket of IC1. Do not solder the ATtiny directly to the board! Make sure that the notch on the socket matches the notch on the board. Do not solder the socket with the ATtiny inserted!
  • F. Insert the ATtiny into its socket, making sure that the dot on the chip is on the same side as the notch on the socket.
  • G. Install IC2, the optical transmitter. Be careful! This component is delicate. Secure it with a bolt and nut before soldering it in.
  • H. Install the slide switch.


Don’t worry, the ATtiny microcontroller in your kit is already programmed. If you ever need to re-program your ATtiny, install a 6-pin header. Since your ATtiny comes programmed, we didn’t include one.



<< Previous: Before You Begin    |    Next: Steps 2–3 >>