Re: Tesla's Energy Trans/dynamo failure
<snip from Terry's post>
> If Tesla could get an arc from the center
>of the building to a corner, That would be 44 feet. But he probably didn't
>have room for that. The 31 foot distance from the center of the building
>to the walls matches Tesla own 31 foot "length claim". So Tesla could
>obviously hit the walls and ceiling of his lab. But that "little box"
>limited is actual achieved arc lengths...
Don't forget to subtract the radius of that large extra coil as well. He
was using a big 8' 3" diameter extra coil at that point (p320), and in
plate IX he describes the arcs coming of the end of a pointed wire, which
was probably (based on the other photos) mounted on the edge of the extra
>It is interesting to imagine what it must have been like in that lab 100
>years ago. Deafening arc noise. Sparks filling the place, not "up to
>code" electrical stuff all over. Freezing cold. .........
It must indeed have been something indeed! Think about throwing the switch
on a system like that at full power. Must have been deafening in there and
it's a wonder the whole place did not go up in flames!
On a related note: There is this dramatic story of Tesla's assistant
throwing the switch and 100+ foot bolts of lightning that could be heard
for miles jumping from the mast. This supposedly overloaded the power
plant, and Colorado Springs immediately went dark. The account appears
most recently in Cheney's new book "Tesla Master of Lightning", leaving one
to wonder if the author has ever read or even skimmed Tesla's notes. The
book is still well worth the price for all the great photographs etc.
....there are some good ones of Wardenclyffe.
So what do Tesla's Colorado Springs Notes say about this event? In his
January 1st entry (p345) Tesla describes at length arcing his _secondary_
driver coil to ground. He had disconnected the big "extra" coil and
instead of trying to get long sparks, he was creating a short but intense
high-current high-frequency arc to ground. According to the notes, arcs
during this experiment were about 3 to 3.5 feet long. Tesla notes that
arcing the secondary this way creates very high frequency harmonics that
are quite destructive, and that it is safer to have the secondary connected
to the extra coil so that it operates at a lower frequency. So what
happened next? Tesla: "When the discharge was effected as in the
experiments photographed, a continuous and brilliant arcing took place over
the lightning arresters and the dynamo at the power station was
short-circuited in rapid succession." The arcing across the gaps in his
lightning arresters indicates that severe HV high-frequency kickbacks were
entering the supply lines. The insulation in the Colorado Springs
generator was not designed to withstand that kind of voltage, and as Tesla
states, it simply short circuited. Here we have an unambiguous account in
Tesla's own words of what happened. Somehow this has gotten mixed up with
Tesla's quote of 32 foot sparks stretched out to 120 feet, and before you
know it you have a man-made lightning storm blowing out a power plant, and
a myth that has been passed from author to author over the decades.
Happy Y2K everyone!
P.S. Anyone planning to blast their coils at midnight??