DIY Ball Lightning

From:  Malcolm Watts [SMTP:MALCOLM-at-directorate.wnp.ac.nz]
Sent:  Thursday, April 02, 1998 4:00 PM
To:  tesla-at-pupman-dot-com
Subject:  Re: DIY Ball Lightning

Hi all,
         Below is a snip from a message sent to me by Ken Corum as 
part of a 1 - 1 conversation we had some months ago. The coil he 
refers is running at something above 5kVA (continuous transformer 
rating). I never did get the exact figure but it is more likely to be 
10kVA based on list member's results. It was claimed to be capable of 
producing 15' streamers. A carnonaceous discharge point on the 
terminal is a vital ingredient. Refer to the ITS Symposium Notes circa 
1990 for more references.


         ------- Forwarded Message Follows -------

The power nescesary to produce fireballs is not very high. We have seen 
fireballs from small table top machines operating around 200-300 watts. The 
power levels will determine the size and lifetimes of the fireballs. At 200 
watts or so, the fireballs will be points of bright light out towards the tips 
of the streamers. Running the coil mentioned in the previous emails, will 
produce fireballs 1 to 2 cm in size. The key is "lots of ozone and lots of 
carbon" and the long thin wispy sparks. The thick bright discharges do not 
produce fireballs. So, backing off on the power sometimes produces better 

Hope this answers your questions.

Ken Corum