Re: Tesla Ground (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 19:16:52 -0800
From: Jim Lux <jimlux-at-earthlink-dot-net>
To: Tesla List <tesla-at-pupman-dot-com>
Subject: Re: Tesla Ground (fwd)

> From: Tesla List <tesla-at-pupman-dot-com>
> To: tesla-at-pupman-dot-com
> Subject: Tesla Ground (fwd)
> Date: Sunday, January 18, 1998 5:21 PM
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 17:58:41 -0700 (MST)
> From: "Matt P." <ch038map-at-mode.lanl.k12.nm.us>
> To: Tesla List <tesla-at-pupman-dot-com>
> Subject: Tesla Ground
> All-
> 	Today I (attempted) to construct an RF ground for my tesla coil I
> am building. Being the cheapskate that I am, I decided to use some scrap
> aluminum conduit that was laying around. I found a piece about 6' long
> drove it  into the ground leaving about 6" sticking out of the ground to
> connect to. My question is this: will this poorly built ground be good
> enough for my coil?

I can't comment on effectiveness for a tesla coil, as an empirical test
would be best, however, from an RF grounding standpoint, aluminum is pretty
appalling. You see, it has this passivating oxide layer on the outside (why
they use aluminum in the first place, usually), which is an insulator
(hence it doesn't corrode). However, the layer is thin, and your aluminum
rod might act as a capacitor to ground, in which case it would work just
fine. Hence, the previous comment about empiricism.

A roll of chicken wire (aka aviary netting) to make a ground plane would be
my choice, off hand...