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Original poster: "sundog by way of Terry Fritz <twftesla-at-uswest-dot-net>" <sundog-at-timeship-dot-net>

Hi Drew,

 Potential transformers and distribution transformers are much, much more
dangerous animals than NST's and OBITS.

  A PT is designed to measure HV, and provide some useful power (running
lights, fans. etc).  A distribution tranny (polepig or pig).  a NST or OBIT
can only (normally) push out the rated current (usually 20-60mA).  A PT or
pig will put out as much power as it can till the transformer blows up or
simply cannot move any more power.  In either case, it's several hundred mA,
or on a pig, easily over an amp.  On the HV side.  Either a polepig or PT is
*very* capable of making you very dead, very fast.
  PT's and pigs need external current limiting to control how much power you
are feeding into them.

I'm not going to lie to you.  A PT or pig is not a good choice for a
beginner coiler.  Besides being lethal, they must be ballasted properly and
generally reqiure higher quallity components than an NST based coil.  (caps,
gap, etc).

 I know it won't make me popular, but I say don't get a PT or polepig.  An
NST system can drive 4-5' sparks, and isa *whole* lot safer, simpler (no
ballast, no need for heavy duty contactors), runs on 120v (a PT or pig will,
but that's besides the point), and easier on components.  Gain experience,
get a few good-sized coils build and running well.  Once you've got
experience running coils get a PT or pig and give it a try.  It isn't that I
don't want you to make big sparks, it's not wanting you to get zapped from
inexperience.  A pig or PT won't hesitate to make you very dead, and will do
so indescriminately to newbies, amatuers, average or professional coilers.
The only saving grace working with them is knowledge and experience.

 In regards to a science fair coil, a PT or pig system, while it'll look
impressive, is just far too dangerous and overkill.  If you did secure a PT,
you'd need a lot more time and probably money than you have available to
make the coil.  high-power usually means high-price (capacitors, rotary
spark gap, ballasts and control, etc.)  a NST system is a muchbetter idea,
and a 4x30 coil run on a 12/60 or 15/60 should easily push 2' sparks, and be
relatively cheap and easy to construct.


-----Original Message-----
From: Tesla list [mailto:tesla-at-pupman-dot-com]
Sent: Thursday, February 01, 2001 9:08 PM
To: tesla-at-pupman-dot-com

Original poster: "Drew Murray by way of Terry Fritz <twftesla-at-uswest-dot-net>"

What is the difference between a Distribution transformer and a potential
transformer? I have to call surplus managment at N.B power tomorow with my
decision on which transformer i want. These transformers are new and they
will give me any one of them for free. There is only one problem, the only
XFMRs they have that i can get for free or very little are potential
transformers. I have really only heard of distribution transformers here on
the mailing list. What is the difference between the two and how are
potential transformers different than NSTs or OBITs?
                                                   Up here in Canada,
                                                    Drew Murray
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