Spark Gaps

From:  richard hull [SMTP:rhull-at-richmond.infi-dot-net]
Sent:  Wednesday, April 08, 1998 8:35 PM
To:  Tesla List
Subject:  Re: Spark Gaps

At 12:45 AM 4/8/98 -0500, you wrote:
>From:  L.Robertson [SMTP:LWRobertson-at-email.msn-dot-com]
>Sent:  Tuesday, April 07, 1998 2:06 AM
>To:  Tesla Builders
>Subject:  Spark Gaps
>Hi Folks ...
>I am slowly but surely coming to the conclusion that
>the reason rotary spark gaps don't work all that well
>for low power coils is that they are mostly not very 
>good spark gaps.
>If a few bolt ends don't work at all well for a static gap,
>why should they work any better as a rotary?
>Think for instance about a rotary gap made of 1/4 "
>tungsten - is this a good  gap? - with only two gaps,
>one on each end of the rotary piece I don't think so.
>How does this differ from two 1/4 " bolts facing each
>The only advantage I can see is that any power arc
>will be broken eventually.
>- LR
>From what I have observed over the years, rotary gaps are only needed by two
classes of folks.

The first is The Tesla Newbie who immediately buys a pole pig for his first
coil and plans on 5KW plus on the first shot.  They have never had to really
learn what quenching is and they feel the rotary will solve all their problems.

The second is the veteran coiler who is truly working at very high powers
and pushing his coupling to the max.  He realizes that the tungsten pointed
rotary will not only assist in his difficult quenching chore, but will have
low maintenence and survivability over the long haul.

Tungsten can survive much more instense arc heat without rapid erosion.
This is why it is better than a similar bolt head.

Static gaps will work great out to 5,000 watts if the builder has the
experience to apply them.

Richard Hull, TCBOR