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Re: [TCML] Dismal streamers
Hard to say, but here's what I'd look for.
Is the spark gap set too wide or narrow? Is it quenching at all? The widest possible setting capable of reliable self-starting isn't always best. One of my MOT coils actually performed better when I set the gap well below maximum firing distance. Also, try blowing some forced air through it using a leaf blower or something. Sometimes that gives dramatic results. Using a rotary? Try using a static gap instead. Using a multi-gap? Substitute a single static sucker gap and see if that helps. Already using a simple gap? Try a multi-gap. Some coils are hypersensitive to spark gap performance, so this is what I'd tinker with first.
Inspect inside the secondary coil form for a carbon track. This can steal lots of spark length. If your secondary form has broken down, it will eventually steal ALL your spark length!
How good is your secondary connection to RF ground? What are you using for RF ground?
Why such a large tank cap? Try a smaller tank cap--somewhere between Cres and Cres x 1.5. My original "junk box coil" (15/30 NST) was rather sensitive about tank cap size. 6nF worked great. 7.5nF cut spark length in half!
Is all the NST current actually reaching the tank cap? Could it be bleeding off somewhere? Check your "Terry Filter", safety gaps, and related HV wiring to the tank cap. Maybe one of the RF (shunt) filter caps is failing. Visually inspect all HV plumbing for burned or discolored insulation. Maybe a HV lead has gotten too close to something that's grounded. Run your NST open-circuit to check for possible internal arcing (you may be able to hear it and smell it). Check it closed-circuit with an ammeter to see if it's putting out the expected current.
--- On Tue, 6/10/08, CajunCoiler <owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> From: CajunCoiler <owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Subject: [TCML] Dismal streamers
> To: "Pupman Tesla List" <tesla@xxxxxxxxxx>
> Date: Tuesday, June 10, 2008, 9:03 AM
> Ok, I'm at a loss for ideas as to what else could be
> causing the dismal
> that I'm getting. from my 3.5" coil. The gap is
> set, transformers are
> the numbers all add up. Yet, I'm getting only 8 inches
> of streamer, out of the
> projected 39.5. Anyone else got any ideas? Keep in mind,
> my funding, and
> work area are limited.
> Some video will be posted shortly...URL to be provided,
> Rev. C.L. Mayeux
> Owner, MSB Data Systems
> Panama City, FL
> Tesla mailing list
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