Re: Is perfection needed, was Capacitor and coil form questions (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 1998 12:02:12 EST
From: FutureT <FutureT-at-aol-dot-com>
To: tesla-at-pupman-dot-com
Subject: Re: Is perfection needed, was Capacitor and coil form questions (fwd)

In a message dated 98-01-15 14:49:14 EST, you write:
<< When I was in high school, I built a vacuum tube coil using acrylic for
 >the form.
>Later, I rebuilt the thing into a spark-gap machine, and I built
> identical secondaries out of sealed paper/glue ("cardboard") tubes and
> one out of polyethylene- I saw no difference in performance.
> This is yet another area where the standard RF theory doesn't hold up
> well in the face of real life Tesla coil work.  snip

Gomez, All,

I agree.  There is much talk on the list warning folks to be sure
to use the BEST materials, and very THICK wiring connections, 
etc.  Although this all theoretically very true, it usually makes
very little difference esp. in small coils.  My fear is that new coil
builders will expend unnecessary time, effort, and cash to build
their coils to a unnecessary level of quality, believing that they
have no choice, if they do not want to be tortured by miserable
coil performance.  

Good coil DESIGN will overcome poor materials most anytime.
And it depends on the goal of the builder; if you want to build
"the most efficient coil ever built" then it is worthwhile to use
the best materials.  But if you just want to get a coil up and
running and start enjoying sparks...then use what you have and
build the thing.  You can always try improving it in the future to
see what effect better materials will have (if any).  And new 
builders will learn more this way, than by aiming for optimal perfection
in materials first time around.

I often use a sewing needle stuck into my primary wire as a tap
point while I'm tuning the coil (yes, it gets hot sometimes).  But
when I'm done tuning, and I replace it with a strong bolted connection,
it doesn't help my sparks to any noticeable degree.  I'm working
with less than 6 foot sparks, so I can't comment on larger coils.

John Freau