RE: Flaming sparks (fwd)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 1997 19:20:52 GMT
From: Robert Michaels <robert.michaels-at-online.sme-dot-org>
Subject: RE: Flaming sparks
M>Subject: Flaming sparks
M>I put some paper on top of my tesla coil and lit it. as the flames
M>started there were bolts coming from the ends of the flames, very
M>interesting. As the fire grew, however, the sparks came to a standstill.
M>They did not return untill the fire subsided. Did the fire somehow
M>detune the coil?
M>Kevin M. Conkey
The combination of Tesla coils and flame phenomena is quite
a fascinating one. As has been pointed out recently by a
List subscriber patently more sophisticated than I, a flame
is rich in ions and highly conductive electrically, even at
low (i.e. battery) voltages.
I've taken your lit paper experiment to several increments
higher and invite you to do likewise.
Obtain a Fourth-of-July (or if need be Guy Fawkes Day)
fireworks "fountain". Light the fountain and place it atop
the coil, and power it up.
Now try that with a roman candle.
Even a sparkler, or a group of them, is quite interesting.
Some of these items will self-ignite if upon the terminus
of an operating Tesla coil.
SAFETY NOTE: Some fountains contain powdered aluminum
or powdered iron (iron filings) or powdered magnesium.
Some of these will self-ignite =internally=. Do stand
clear in doing this work - and keep the area of combust-
ibles. And for openers it's best to
restrict yourself to fountains containing only carbon or
powdered charcoal. Else, remove the pyrotechnic compo-
sition from the fountain and place it in a loose pile
atop the coil terminus. This is not quite as dramatic,
but it's =much= safer.
This work carries a double-whammy: if the high-voltage
doesn't do you the explosives may.
- - - - - - -
I've yet to try this with either a string of firecrackers
or a multi-shot tube item (widely called a "birthday cake"
in parts of the U.S.) -- but hey, one needs something to
live for, and the Fourth is only 4 months away!
SPARKS!! - any which way you can,
Robert (boom-boom) Michaels.