Capacitor test results
Well, I finally got the test results back this morning from Condenser
Products. I feel somewhat foolish for sending them a perfectly good
capacitor. They hipot tested the unit at 35 kv with rapid charge and
discharge. They pulse tested it at 22kv with 3 pulses per second and then
went up to 8 pulses per second. They tested the internal resistance and the
capacitance value - everything looks great. Now I'm really confused. There
are not that many components to this system and it isn't really all that
Once again, I was running for the first time after rewiring the gaps,
capacitor and primary interconnections with 3/8" copper tubing. I also move
the gaps and capacitor up a bit to shorten the interconnect length. I had
ran the system for maybe 5 minutes trying different tap positions, running at
low power - about 18 amps primary current and 175 volts into the pig.
Everything was fine, the gaps were snappy and hot and I had a few feet of
secondary discharge. I made another tap adjustment, turned it back on and
the gaps would just barely fire, the primary current dropped to almost zero
and the primary voltage went up to 240 volts. Sounds just like the load on
the pig went away.
I checked the gaps and the wiring and everything looked fine. I reconnected
the system and still had the same problem. I mounted some copper tubing on
the pig and bent it to form a Jacobs ladder. Then using the same primary
controls, powerstat, line filters, welder, oven elements, etc. I tested the
pig. Nice hot sparks which after a few minutes gets the copper tubes so hot
they would like to fall over. The pig looks good.
What else is there? With the primary current going to almost zero and the
primary voltage going to maximum, the symptoms seem to indicate a high
resistance path somehwere in the primary. I say high resistance instead of
open circuit since the gaps were still trying to fire, although weakly.
Anyone got any ideas?
Thanks, Ed Sonderman