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Re: Why am I getting small sparks? Am I underpowered? (fwd)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2007 19:01:00 -0700 (PDT)
From: G Hunter <dogbrain_39560@xxxxxxxxx>
To: Tesla list <tesla@xxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: Why am I getting small sparks? Am I underpowered? (fwd)
> Hi Guys,
> I managed to reach 'first light' with my coil last
> night however I was unable to get the spark length
> that I was hoping for and feel I may be
> A basic overview of my coil is as follows:
> 6 inch secondary diameter
> 24 inch secondary length
> approx 900 windings on secondary (24 AWG magnet
> 13 Turns on primary made from 1/4 copper tube
> static spark gap
> beer bottle cap (14 bottles)
> 15,000V 30mA NST
> 4 inch dryer tube toroid (approx 12in diameter)
> I tuned it as best I could but was unable to get
> sparks bigger than about 6 inches. They were also
> quite dim and could hardly be seen unless in the
> I am wondering if I am underpowered? How can I
> improve spark length?
> I greatly appreciate any advice or comments.
Congrats on "first light". The sparks from my
first-ever Tesla coil couldn't have zapped a bug, but
I was still excited that it worked at all. You're
doing way better than I did.
I have a number of informed guesses:
I think your tank cap is too big. Try cutting back to
the 6-8 bottle range. You'll have to tap more primary
turns to tune up with the smaller cap.
Try a better gap. A couple of threaded rods is
unlikely to quench well (or at all). Try some big,
smooth electrodes like a couple of copper pipe caps
facing each other. Blow some air through it using any
sort of fan or blower you can get ahold of. Better
yet, try a sucker gap.
Run more power. A 6" x 24" coil can process 3 or 4
kilowatts of input power without breaking a sweat.
Parallel on a few more 15kv NSTs, or else cobble
together a 4-pack of MOTs.
Good luck with it.
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