Re: Light Bulb Experiment (ala Brent Turner)
>>From bert.hickman-at-aquila-dot-comSun Sep 15 21:41:18 1996
>Date: Sun, 15 Sep 1996 14:31:17 -0700
>From: Bert Hickman <bert.hickman-at-aquila-dot-com>
>Subject: Light Bulb Experiment (ala Brent Turner)
>After looking at Brent's picture (BRENT_1.JPG) showing a 40W bulb being
>lit from current coming off his coil, I decided to replicate this on my
>10" coil (without me being an integral part of the experiment. ;^) I
>took a standard 120V ceramic light socket and mounted it to a piece of
>wood. A short piece of magnet wire was connected to one terminal of the
>socket, and the other end was run to the reverse side of the wood block
>and secured with a piece of conductive aluminum heating-duct tape. The
>other socket terminal ran to a 1 foot piece of HV wire. By setting the
>assembly on the top of the toroid, I could position it so that the loose
>end of the HV wire just poked out from the outer edge of the toroid. Any
>current flowing through the corona would flow through any light bulb
>screwed into the socket.
>I then proceeded to try various sizes of incandescent light bulbs to see
>if they would light from the current drawn by the corona coming off the
>HV wire. Although a 40 W bulb would light (orange color), I got the best
>results from 15 and 25 Watt bulbs, lighting them to almost full
>brilliance. I also succeeded in blowing out the filament of one 15 watt
>bulb - this bulb had a filament that started jumping all over the place
>once current started flowing through it, and it finally just openned up.
>I'm also thinking about getting one of those trick "party" bulbs that
>has a dancing filament to see how it would work.
>Anyway... I made an interesting discovery: If I had a fairly steady
>streamer that didn't arc to gound, the 25W bulb lit up at a fairly
>bright and constant level. However, once I got heavy discharges to
>ground, the brightness level declined significantly, and my AC primary
>current climbed from about 22A to >28A off the 120V main. I don't
>understand why this should be! I would have expected that the bulb would
>brighten, since the discharge current to ground clearly seems to be much
>higher than the corona streamers. The fact that my primary current
>climbs also would suggest that I am processing more power under this
>Some other information that may be relevant... the system's 15 KV 120 MA
>neons and tank cap resonate at about 60 Hz (by design), and I'm using
>about 170 uF of PFC capacitance. The gaps are a combination of static
>and vacuum, totaling about 0.54".
>Any ideas about what is going on??
>-- Bert --
This is an interesting experiment. I would like to propose that you
also install a tungsten filament bulb in series with the base of the
secondary winding and RF ground and simultaneously view this lamp and
the one upstairs. Could lead to more insight.
As a possible attempt at explaining your phenomenon of the light
dimming as power to make a bright arc is drawn through it to a ground target,
I wonder if under these conditions, since there is more RF current being passed
through the bulb circuit (we would think?) perhaps the inductance
of the filament is causing the energy to seek a more direct path and
there is some bypass arcing occuring in the base of the lamp or in
On the matter of your primary current increasing when you load the
secondary output with a power arc to ground, I think under these
conditions your tank curcuit Q drops more than when just feeding streamers
to air. Reducing the tank Q would draw more power from your 60 Hz
resonant balancing act you say you have deliberately engineered into your
power supply. This extra loading could well be causing it to shift tune off 60
Hz resonance and thus drawing more primary current from the mains as its
own Q becomes reduced.
What does everyone/anyone think?