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Re: [TCML] Need Help Troubleshooting My First TC

Prime suspect is the NST itself.  Is it a true core & coil transformer, or a solid state neon power supply?  A solid state supply won't drive a tesla coil.

Second suspect is your capacitor.  If it is shorted, it will prevent the spark gap from firing.  Assuming your NST is the "real deal", try a 6 pack of beer bottle capacitors.  Six, 12oz bottles in parallel will get you about 5nF.  If the coil starts working, you can always replace the beer bottles with a better cap later.

Third suspect is the spark gap.  How did you gap it?  The gap setting may need to be a bit less when you add the cap to the circuit due to loading.  Try closing the gap a little.

Good luck,


--- On Sun, 3/28/10, Wm A Tickhill <wtickhill@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> From: Wm A Tickhill <wtickhill@xxxxxxxxx>
> Subject: [TCML] Need Help Troubleshooting My First TC
> To: Tesla@xxxxxxxxxx
> Date: Sunday, March 28, 2010, 2:16 PM
> I Am A Dedicated Gadgeteer With
> Several Projects Under My Belt ( Tebuchet -
> Babington Burner - Sundry Gadgets ) Yet I Am New To The
> High
> Voltage Hobby/Obsession. After Building A Jacobs Ladder,
> And A Plasma Globe,
> I Began My First Classic TC.
> The Basic Specs
> 15/20 NST  With Safety Gap
> .375 Copper Electrode Adjustable Spark G
> .005uF Wound Poly/Foil In 4" PVC Tank Cap
> Primary Coil  12.5 Turns Of .25" Tubing With .5"
> Spacing Between
> Secondary Coil  3.5" Diameter 18" Height With #26
> Top Load  5" X 12" Toroid ( dryer duct/foil tape )
> MY PROBLEM >  When I Power My NST And Spark Gap
> Alone, It Works Well - Draws
> An Arc .005" To .5"  HOWEVER When I Connect It To The
> Primary Coil/ Tank Cap
> The Spark Gap WILL NOT FIRE. Out Of Desperation I Swapped
> Out The NST For An
> OBIT I Had, I Got The Same Result. Out Of Greater
> Desperation I Swapped Out
> The Tank Cap With A Grossly Underrated HID Lighting Cap,
> Still The Same
> Result. No Matter What I Do, If I Connect The Primary Coil/
> Tank Cap, The
> Spark Gap Will Not Fire.
> Any Direction, Suggestions, Information, Or Constructive
> Criticism Would Be
> Greatly Appreciated.
> _______________________________________________
> Tesla mailing list
> Tesla@xxxxxxxxxx
> http://www.pupman.com/mailman/listinfo/tesla

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