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[TCML] Lightning inside your garage
Please use caution and common sense when operating your coil inside buildings!
One has got to be absolutely insane to let power arcs hit walls and ceilings that are constructed with conventional materials such as wood, drywall and nails. If you are not able to fire up your coil outside; at least use a ground strike plate or grounded stinger! The walls in my lab are constructed from fire resistant Performwall (same as Rastra), rebar re-inforced and concrete filled with a grounded steel roof. Knowing that I wanted to run Zotzilla (5kva/12kv) http://www.audiotesla.org/images/Zotzilla%20Pictures/zotzilla%20web%20images/IMG_1303.JPG inside on occasion, I mounted several grounded stingers made from steel brazing rod from the C-perlins and steel I-beam to protect the florescent lights and the roll-type insulation from lightning strikes! http://www.drspark.org/images/bigsgtc/Dsc_0219.jpg The sparks in the photo are over 10 feet in length, ceiling height is 20 feet. One can see the stingers hanging from the ceiling.
Please be careful with your coil and don't burn you house down! Nails through drywall are excellent strike points and are not grounded on the other end ! They are sharp on the pointed end and driven into wood. The sharp end can easily catch the structure on fire! Also note that if you're using a single-ended coil, use a good RF ground. There have been instances where arcing has occurred in the wall sockets and started a fire due to the ungrounded RF seeking a ground. The neutral and ground conductor of your wall socket should never be considered an adequate ground! Water pipes may not be properly grounded either due to the extensive use of plastic pipe today. I doesn't take long to install a dedicated ground for your system......do it!
"If you dare to dream it, build it!"
> [Original Message]
> From: David Rieben <drieben@xxxxxxxxxxx>
> To: Tesla Coil Mailing List <tesla@xxxxxxxxxx>
> Date: 4/21/2008 8:17:10 AM
> Subject: Re: [TCML] First (or maybe 2nd) light on my medium-sized SG coil
> Mark, DC, all,
> Yessir, I did catch the insulation in my attic on fire from
> a streamer hit back in the mid-90s. I didn't realize what
> had happened at first but around 30 minutes after firing
> my coil, I kept noticing a smoke smell in the house. Be-
> ing a professional firefighter, I was on the ball pretty quick
> and found a patch of the cellulose insulation smoldering
> in the attic above where I had fired the coil. Fortunately,
> it was ONLY smoldering and a pan full of water handily
> extinguished the dinner plate sized patch of charred insu-
> lation. If I had gone off and left the house for several hours
> while this was occuring, the outcome likely would have
> been far more grave. The house that I'm in now is of a
> newer construction and has the non-combusitble fiberglass
> insulation, but letting power arc streamers hit walls and
> ceilings is still definitely NOT a good idea!!
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Mark W. Stolz" <mark_w_stolz@xxxxxxxxxxx>
> To: "Tesla Coil Mailing List" <tesla@xxxxxxxxxx>
> Sent: Monday, April 21, 2008 8:12 AM
> Subject: RE: [TCML] First (or maybe 2nd) light on my medium-sized SG coil
> Listen to DC on this!
> I thought for sure I had set the house on fire in this manner when playing
> with MOT supplies.
> Fortunately there was no fire....this time. Taking it outside is not a bad
> Mark Stolz
> Pearland, TX
> > Date: Sat, 19 Apr 2008 13:28:23 -0700
> > From: resonance@xxxxxxxxxxxx
> > To: tesla@xxxxxxxxxx
> > Subject: Re: [TCML] First (or maybe 2nd) light on my medium-sized SG coil
> > CC:
> > You hit upon something that is very dangerous to any that runs a large
> > coil
> > in their garage. The greatest danger is that if a spark strikes a wall,
> > travels thru the wall seeking a ground source such as a wire, the
> > dissipated
> > energy within the wall construction materials may not lead to an immediate
> > fire which can be detected and extinguished. The greatest danger is the
> > smoldering of construction materials which continues to smolder and
> > eventually breaks out into a fire a few hours after you have retired for
> > the
> > evening.
> > You could simple string a grid of 12 inch spacing of enameled magnet wire
> > (sand off the enamel) at intervals along an adjacent wall such that any
> > errant sparks will strike the grounded magnet wire grid and not go into
> > your
> > wall where it could cause a fire hours later. A 1/2 of a dozen wires in
> > nearby areas gives the spark a definite ground attachment point and will
> > prevent fires from forming as you snooze. Of course, this does not always
> > occur but it only has to happen once to give you a real bad hair day.
> > An example I can recall from recent memory is in the photos in Dan
> > McCauley's book on soild state resonance transformers. The sparks
> > striking
> > the wall could have been seeking grounds in construction materials which
> > could several hours later burst into a large house fire. Again, this did
> > not occur, but it's like driving on bald tires. A blowout (or flameup)
> > only
> > has to happen once to give you a bad day. This is an extreme example of
> > exactly what NOT to do under any circumstances. Use ground wires on the
> > interior surface of the wall or do it outside ---- NEVER INSIDE YOUR
> > HOME! If you insurance company ever saw a photo of this occuring you
> > could
> > be cancelled immediately!
> > Safety first and happy coiling!
> > Regards,
> > Dr. Resonance
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