[TCML] "Phantom Streamer" Photographs
piranha at drsstc.com
Thu May 22 00:41:42 MDT 2008
The long exposure time "smears" things a bit. The camera has some "hot
pixels" (modern cameras "subtract" them, but they don't "linearly
account" for them. So they show up under "brightness" where they
disappear under "simple dark")... But the corona and leaders are very
The current in them is super dependent on space charge capacitance
depending on the shape and size of the terminal and the voltage and
frequency as well as the exact driving voltage waveform. Higher
frequencies have higher currents in this case, and so it goes...
The direction matters since a leader going right towards the camera lens
will be much brighter. All the brightness at zero degrees rather than
Be a bit careful since digital cameras worked to the ends of their
capabilities can do very odd "ghosting" things... They seems to be
happily immune to local HV fields now days though :)
What really counts, is how pretty of a picture you can get out of it all :D
Jeff Behary wrote:
> Hey All,
> A friend of mine Cip just got a digital camera much better than mine. He can attach lenses and do exposures more than 1 second. I told him of my ordeal with capturing "Phantom Streamers" in photos and he decided to give it a shot. The results are interesting...
> The violet light surrounding the brush discharge indicates the roots or nearer portions of the Phantoms.
> With 4 second exposures, they started to appear. Their constant movement and lack of light results in a consistent blur that in the photo extends , but this is all I can manage at the moment with the camera and the settings I'm familiar with.
> The "Phantom Streams" are strange faint discharges that extend perpendicular from the electrode/top load. They can change appearance by changing the frequency of the coil, becoming straight lines that strobe inward and outward, or take on the appearance of faint static electric discharges, plume-like or slightly branching. With low voltage tank circuits (~500V - 2kV) they seem to appear best when large caps are used (1/2 - 1 mfd) and intermittent spark gaps (opened to the point where they start to sputter or become irregular). With higher voltage tank circuits (10 - 30kV) they seem to appear best when very little current is used (30mA or less) and a spark gap rather close (set to fire at only a few thousand volts).
> In the case of a few of my Pancakes, I can get them to appear from 8 - 12" or more using a 9" flat spiral of magnet wire heavily insulated in wax. I've been able to also produce them in cylindrical Tesla Coils, normally those physically large compared to the tank circuit's capacity. In large coils they can appear an inch or more in diameter, for most 8 - 10" Pancakes they appear as luminous threads 1/16" - 1/8" in diameter or more.
> To show some unusual proof of their existance, I grounded myself to one end of a series spark gap and approached the other end to the region of air containing the "Phantoms". The result was a consistent firing of the gap, the total section length going from 1 1/4" - 2" or more.
> In another batch of photos, they appear as a sort of halo around the brush discharge. The actual discharges are about twice the length of the halos that got captured. One photo, slightly blurry in appearance, is actually a 30 second exposure!
> Complete blueprints for a simple machine to make "Phantom Streamers" are currently being drawn.
> Jeff Behary
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