[TCML] Jacob's Ladder
sdbogard at gmail.com
Mon Feb 7 10:15:45 MST 2011
On 2/7/11, David Steinberg <david.steinberg at rogers.com> wrote:
> Thank you all for your suggestions.
> I'm considering the glass enclosure with argon gas. As I've never worked
> with glass enclosures or argon before, I have a couple of questions:
> 1. What length of arc should I expect?
Hmm, a lot of guesswork here... Here is the deal, as your gas gets
more pure it will make the arc stretch longer, as the resistance will
go down. I suspect once it is completely pure, it will not be able to
extinguish on its own under NST currents, unless you stretch it
extremely wide (more than is economical for a glass enclosure.) I
also suggest you go for atmospheric pressure, if you vacuum out the
air you will create a neon sign, and the arc will stretch for many,
many feet, and probably cover the rods an no longer behave like a
> 2. Does anyone have a basic design for this?
No, but if you like I can lash something up once I go home, I've got
OBITs, a 5-inch glass tube, and some wire, what more could I need?
> 3. Do I need to "de-gas" the glass before filling with argon?
No, as was explained by Bert.
> 4. Where do I get argon?
Welding supply, in your case it might be worthwhile to try argon mixes
as well, for different colors or just to maintain climbing arc like
behavior, and not climb to the top and hover behavior...
> -----Original Message-----
> From: jimlux [mailto:jimlux at earthlink.net]
> Sent: February-01-11 2:37 PM
> To: Tesla Coil Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [TCML] Jacob's Ladder
> On 2/1/11 9:35 AM, Scott Bogard wrote:
>> Hi David,
>> It is the current that nearly solely determines the range an arc
>> can be stretched, so I imagine there will be no improvement at all
>> upgrading to a 15kV NST. You can add another 9kV in parallel, and it
>> will make your arc stretch much longer, but also puts you deeper into
>> "lethal" territory (most likely not, but there is always a chance.)
>> DO NOT USE DC!!!!! If you touch a wire it will latch onto you and you
>> will die an agonizing death. Ac will let go in one 60th of a second
>> and muscle contractions will pull you off of the wire, substantially
> Not entirely accurate, but, in general, you shouldn't be touching either.
> If you want to do something cool and new, I would suggest
>> building a glass enclosure and filling it with with an argon gas/air
>> mixture, with the right concentrations you can make cool colors, get a
>> much longer spark, but still have it keep it's Jacob's ladder
>> characteristics. Not to mention a glass tube will support a helix
>> shaped ladder quite nicely. Food for thought.
> You can do spirals quite nicely in air as long as you have something to
> hold the top of the ladder still.
> For fun, put things in between the electrodes (but not touching) that
> have been dipped in suitable salts (strontium and barium compounds are
> nice). A tennis ball works nicely, although the smell of burning wool
> (the fuzz) is kind of disgusting. A cork works too.
> The sparks will go around the surface, and be strongly colored by the salts.
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