Strange Spark Phenomena

From:  Esondrmn-at-aol-dot-com [SMTP:Esondrmn-at-aol-dot-com]
Sent:  Friday, January 30, 1998 1:08 PM
To:  tesla-at-pupman-dot-com
Subject:  Re: Strange Spark Phenomena

In a message dated 98-01-30 00:53:29 EST, you write:

 Take a length of nichrome wire, attach it to two clip leads and turn up
 the voltage. The center will be glowing red hot while the ends are dull.
 Simple heat-sinking effects.
 Your sphere is a heatsink. The place where the arc strikes is a heatsink.
 I am assuming that you are drawing the arc to a grounded wire.
 Besides the heat-sinking effect, there is also the increased heating
 effect that comes from being surrounded by other hot objects. The
 objects in the center will be much hotter than the objects around
 the periphery.
 I'm not saying these are necessarily the reasons for your strange
 arcs. I do not know all of the conditions under which these arcs are
 occuring. But I do know that at low powers you can see things that
 are greatly masked at high powers. And vice versa.
 Do the arcs exhibit the same peculiarities both when striking to a 
 ground and when just brushing out into the air? If they exhibit them
 ONLY when arcing to a ground, then the above effects are probably
 at work. If not, then something else is probably at work here.
 Hope this helps.
 Fr. Tom McGahee
I use this phenomena sometimes for tuning at low power.  Instead of tuning for
the longest spark, which involves moving the ground target numerous times, I
just tune for the longest white hot spot in the middle of the discharge spark.

Ed Sonderman