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Re: [TCML] Are safety gaps necessary?

Yes indeed!  I'm thinking only about the static gap scenarios.  For pigs, however, this probably means air-blast or "sucker" types.  Thinking more about those gap types makes me wonder if the tendency there will be to effectively set the gap too wide by accident--maybe even most of the time!--since cranking up the air flow and hence the pressure in the gap is equivalent to widening a non-pressurized gap.  That may be a source of some unexpected performance with those gaps.  In such situations, it is also probably helpful to have a protection device with a more constant breakover voltage, both to guard against things like primary strikes and also human error.

So I suppose I've convinced myself that safety gaps are worthwhile in all but the wimpiest, most unusual endpoint-gounded NST scenarios sans actively quenched gap.

--- On Thu, 6/19/08, bartb <bartb@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> From: bartb <bartb@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Subject: Re: [TCML] Are safety gaps necessary?
> To: "Tesla Coil Mailing List" <tesla@xxxxxxxxxx>
> Date: Thursday, June 19, 2008, 6:34 PM
> Hi Aaron,
> Yes, Gary does bring up a point I had not considered (and
> I'm still 
> rummaging through my head on it). On my pig, I run similar
> to David 
> Reiben with one of my ears at RF ground. However, with PIG
> coils were 
> usually talking rotary gaps and **ALL** rotary gaps should
> use a safety 
> gap! This is very different than a static gap that has a
> natural 
> clamping voltage action. Rotary gaps can and will miss a
> firing here and 
> there and since timing is in control, there is no clamping
> action 
> occurring. Thus, a safety gap serves this specific purpose.
> jaholmes@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> > Gary's point about three-terminal safety gaps
> makes perfect sense to me when I think about
> midpoint-grounded NSTs.  I'm willing to believe that a
> three-terminal gap is important in that case.  In
> endpoint-grounded scenarios, such as with lower-voltage
> NSTs or one-eared pole pigs, it seems like the necessity of
> a safety gap would depend somewhat on the likelihood of a
> strike on the *transformer* side of the main gap.  In a
> table-top coil with endpoint-grounded NST integrated into
> the base, the chances of a strike to the transformer-side
> primary wiring seems unlikely.  And if such a strike *did*
> happen, the main gap is very close to the transformer.  On
> a larger PT- or pig-powered coil with ten feet of wiring
> between transformer and coil base (where the main gap might
> be), strikes to that wiring seem much more likely and
> potentially damaging.  What effect will all that wire and
> its inductance have on the main gap's ability to act as
> a safety gap and
> >  prevent the strike from damaging the transformer? 
> That seems like something worth worrying about.
> >
> > In the end, of course, this is all of little practical
> importance if even a single scenario can be found where a
> safety gap is useful.  After all, safety gaps are cheap and
> easy to build, and "best practices" are easier to
> write down and remember.
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Aaron, N7OE

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