Jumping in with both feet?

From:  FutureT-at-aol-dot-com [SMTP:FutureT-at-aol-dot-com]
Sent:  Friday, January 30, 1998 10:31 AM
To:  tesla-at-pupman-dot-com
Subject:  Re: Jumping in with both feet?

In a message dated 98-01-30 01:03:59 EST, you write:

<< snip
> I tried the 6"x8" metal dome top-load but it seemed to suppress the
> discharge.  Perhaps that's normal - maybe if it had a nearby object to flash
> to...?


Did you try re-tuning (tapping) outward by a couple of turns when 
the metal dome is installed?  This may allow break-out to occur. 

> Next I brought the tip of a grounded 8' aluminum antenna element into the
> near field - and was rewarded with 24" solid strikes instead of the corona
> discharge.  It was interesting to see how the voltage builds, then POW,
>  builds then POW,  builds then POW,  builds then POW.  

The gap may be firing at a sub-multiple of 120 times per second,
perhaps 60 times per second or less because of the wide gap setting.
If this is happening, the voltage on the cap resonantly charges to a
higher than normal voltage and may destroy the tranny and caps.  I
forget what size tranny you're using, but it may be too small for the 
capacitor.  Sometimes if you use a 140V output variac, it provides the
tranny with just enough power to achieve 120 BPS even with a 
slightly-too-large cap.  I built a coil one time that used a 12kV, 30ma
neon tranny and a .0084uF cap, normally this cap would be too large
for the tranny, but it would fire at 120 BPS only at max variac setting.
This tranny was more powerful than most others having identical ratings,
since most cannot deal with the .0084uF cap at all.  This coil gave
a max 40" spark output using a static gap.
> Now the neighbors are out of their houses and coming toward me.   I don't
> any pitchforks or torches, but still...  Should I pretend I know nothing:
 >  "What sparks?  I was just cleaning out the garage.  Oh, that old thing?
>  No, no, it couldn't have been doing that".

"It's a new type of plasma globe...haven't you seen them in the stores?",
he said to the neighbors, who sheepishly retreated to their humble 
abodes, shamed by their believed ignorance.  <G>
> That's enough excitment for tonight.  I guess my next step is to construct a
> toroidal discharge terminal.  Am I right in thinking that it will increase
> the buildup of voltage prior to discharge?  Will it suppress streamers in
> favor of arcs/strikes?    I need to read more... off to the archives.

Yes, the toroid will do all those things, but not if it's too large for the

John Freau
> Steve Johnston
> sbjohnston-at-aol-dot-com