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Re: The 1500t secondary myth (long)
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- Subject: Re: The 1500t secondary myth (long)
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- Date: Sat, 04 Dec 2004 15:45:19 -0700
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Original poster: FIFTYGUY@xxxxxxx
In a message dated 12/3/04 9:21:02 PM Eastern Standard Time,
We are sort of grasping for little clues and things that help us predict
further into the unknown. It seems we are fairly good at it really!! We
can't solidly explain it, but by using these odd tools we learn more and it
does prove out in the end.
Why are we still going about things this way? How come we don't know
more about the streamers themselves? There must be somebody out there who
needed to know the properties of arcs.
Whatabout the folks who study natural lightning?
Three weeks ago I was pestering Richard Hull. He told me that there's
a book by Von Engel on electrical conduction of gases "that will tell you
more about how to make sparks with a Tesla coil than any book on Tesla
coils." He said that Von Engel's book barely mentions equipment, but goes
into great detail on the physics involved. Might be titled "Ionized Gases".
I'll clarify next weekend when I see Richard again (or he could pipe up if
he reads this! :) ).
From casual observation of my SGTC, there seems to be a discharge that
is very similar to "normal" arcs from "normal" sources that degrades into
the forked, random-path streamer. The "normal" arc is sinuous and bright,
and wiggles in approximately the same area from the breakout point to about
18" from the toroid. After this, the spark has a conical probability
distribution as it "searches" through the air. Perhaps this is due to two
And as far as the analysis of the self-limiting effects of increasing
various coil parameters, I agree with everything Steve said (so far as my
limited experience!). So where is the room for improvement, if increasing
one value hurts in another way, and there's quite a broad region for coils
to work very well? One nice thing would be how to design for minimum size
or expense of the various components, even if all can't be minimized at
once. There are plenty of us experimenters with only limited access to
components - somebody might have a decent transformer, or set of IGBT's,
but not any good coil forms or wire sizes or caps, for example. Squeezing
good performance with a less-than-optimum component might be useful. I'm
especially interested in how Richard Hull got such good performance out of
an exceptionally small resonator, and why nobody has duplicated this.
I think the one realm we could concentrate on would be higher primary
voltages (at least for the SGTC's). We're limited by the math to a voltage
gain by ratios of component values, coupling, geometry, etc. And at least a
minimum BPS - higher BPS with higher energy throughput apparently gives a
better appearing spark, but not necessarily longer (which seems to be the
general goal). How can we obtain higher primary voltages, as this does seem
to always give longer sparks, all other factors being equal? DC charging
with high-current multipliers? Marx-like charging schemes? Fabricating our
own higher-voltage transformers (which a few folks have done)?