[TCML] Electrum Photo
lod at pacbell.net
Tue Sep 16 11:07:51 MDT 2008
> Neat photo! The discharge looks shorter than some of the pictures
> on your web site. Was it running at reduced power? Was a breakout
> point used to control the origina of the streamers? I seem to recall
> the thing stands lone and unafraid and exposed to "the elements". Is
> that correct?
I was wondering that myself. The break rate wasn't mentioned for this
photo, and since the arc length depends on break rate it's hard to tell.
I've requested some waveform shots of the secondary current, to see if
the tuning has drifted any within the last ten years. I haven't heard
of any attempts to check tuning of the structure since I was last there
ten years ago.
> Very nice photo Greg. Out of curiosity, how has Electrum been running?
> Any component failures, tuning issues, etc. New Zealand sure is a
> beautiful place for the coil to reside. She looks really good over the
> water and appears very happy to be there.
The primary maintenance item is of course the rotary gap. The rotary
gap system uses 32 Cu electrodes on four ganged rotors, and eight
stationary tungsten electrodes. The total rotating mass is 220lbs, and
requires about 30HP to reach full speed. The electrodes are 3 inches in
width. Typically, I ship a replacement set of tungstens every 2 years.
Last year there was a primary-to-secondary flashover spotted on the
in-vault camera that required adding an insulating layer, but no other
component failures have been reported.
> Hopefully Greg doesn't mind (or Big Alba Photography), but I went
> ahead and real quickly lightened up the pic with Photoshop.
> This picture just doesn't do the beautiful New Zealand landscape
> justice (IMHO).
Photographers are typically very careful about how lighting levels are
set, and whether the photo appears as a daytime or nighttime shot. I
would strongly recommend checking with the original photographer first,
as it is their work, with their name attached.
> The photo is great but with a long exposure they could have had more
> dramatic effects with a rotating breakout point. This simple $20 battery
> driven attachment is bolted on the top. Switched by a long fishing line and
> microswitch. Effects like these:
> It probably detunes it a little depending on the length of the rod but it
> doesn't take much to get a good visual effect. Even 6 feet would be
> interesting but 12 feet for electrum would give a spectacular photo.
> I'd be happy to pop over the ditch to do it for them.....
Although that might make for an interesting effect it wouldn't be proper
to request modifications to an artists' sculpture, post-humously. GL
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