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Passive Ballasting for DRSSTC - My thoughts before Ed Wingates Teslathon
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- Subject: Passive Ballasting for DRSSTC - My thoughts before Ed Wingates Teslathon
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- Date: Thu, 25 Aug 2005 18:49:20 -0600
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Original poster: "Mccauley, Daniel H" <daniel.h.mccauley@xxxxxxxx>
Apparently, there has been an offlist discussion (without me of course)
regarding my ideas of a "passive ballast" for use in a DRSSTC. Also, i
received word that Steve Ward was planning on basically debunking this
theory to fellow list members at the upcoming Teslathon this weekend,
again without me being present to provide my feedback on the subject.
Anyways, i thought I would add my thoughts on this practice ahead of
time so you can hear my side of the story.
Firstly, regarding the passive ballasting action of the DRSSTC, it
works. Perhaps not in the way i think it works, but it does in fact
work. Now, i'm much more of a practical engineer, than one that dives
into the hard core theory behind everything, so i'll be the first to
tell you that my theory could be incorrect. But again, regardless, it
Here are several of my arguments so you can get my side of the story
before you hear someone elses ideas.
1. The first argument Steve and Jimmy provided was that the ON time in
both of my experimental data was different. Okay, this is a valid
argument. I checked the data and in fact the ON time *is* different.
However, i was sure my drive pulsewidth was constant. To verify this, i
had my technician re-check this data. Again, the data was identical.
Even when the drive pulsewidth was identical, the ON time (primary
current) differed in each one. Perhaps, this is more of a clue to why
the ballasting effect occurs.
2. The second argument is that somehow the length of the wire affected
tuning or coupling. Again, a good point, however i no longer use longer
wires when ballasting. I use same length as original 4 AWG cabling, but
just use 8 AWG instead. Steve also made a comment that perhaps I do not
retune when switching the wire sizes. I personally can't see how
changing an identical wire length to a smaller gauge would affect
tuning. Again, his point his valid, and this is something i can explore
3. The third argument proposed to me was that this was a fluke.
However, I have built (well, my technician working for me) has built
five identical DRSSTC II coils in the past year. Three of which are
used for demonstrations i do during the year, and two which were sold.
In every case, this ballasting effect occurred and is measurable.
4. The fourth argument is that this passive ballasting is inefficient
and lossy. This again is not true at all. Power input to my coils
barely change at all when switching from the 4AWG to 8AWG primary wire.
Spark length also remains unchanged and in fact, the ballasting effect
only appears to work during ground strikes when currents peak to their
Again, i don't claim to me an expert on theory and i'll be the first to
tell you that i am not. My theory behind why this actually occurs may be
incorrect, but the so called passive ballasting does work. You can
argue with me and debate this as much as you want, but my experience and
measured data show it to exist.
Now there are two ways to answer this post. One is to be close minded,
act with attitude, and tell me that passive ballasting is impossible,
wastes energy, and does NOT work - as has been the typical response.
The second would be to try to discuss this in a positive manner and
perhaps provide insight to why i am getting these results. Perhaps the
action isn't purely resistive or inductive as in a typical ballast - as
i originally thought. But you guys tell me. What are your thoughts.
I'm open ears.
Also, keep to the subject. We all know active current limiting is the
ideal way to go (albeit at the expense of being a bit more complex) so
please don't turn this into an Active Limiting vs. Passive Limiting