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[TCML] Early VTTC memories...


# 2 VTTC   Chris, Dick built his first coil back in '76. Original magazine
plans called for old 5514 triode, but he couldn't find one. So he
substituted the 811A, with a little higher filament transformer. At first,
only got 2" intermittent single brush from top electrode (does not have any
toroid on top).  Substituted different cap until he found some old Mica Caps
(Cornell Dublier I think). This pushed the fingerling out to 6"

He demonstrated this at the Jaycees meeting, but they weren't impressed by
the tiny little discharge.  The WOW came when he had two volunteers from the
audience come up and stand on "dry" wooden chairs. Each was given two
burned-out 4-ft fluorescent tubes (they were shown to the crowd as not
working in a standard light fixture, but other tubes worked-ok.

The volunteers, standing on the chairs, about 8 feet apart and the nearest 6
ft from the VTTC, were instructed to touch the ends of their tubes together
(touching the contacts together) and then touch the free near-ends between
them together - making a 16-ft long light chair and insulated from the
floor. As the tube nearest to the VTTC was turned toward the VTTC, the whole
room lit up when all four tubes burst into brightness - no wires attached
anywhere. Since this went down the center aisle of the meeting hall, several
of the earlier hecklers jumped back in fear of this tiny VTTC.

Used a 1500 volt triad-utrad plate transformer into a 6" primary and a 22"
coil of close wound magnet wire on 2" pvc pipe.

Still have it in the garage, but not been lit up in over 20 years.


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Today's Topics:

   1. VTTC tubes (jhowson4)
   2. Re: VTTC tubes (Chris Reeland)
   3. Re: VTTC MOT question (Chris Reeland)

Hi Laurie,

You made me smile today :-)

The very first vacuum tube coil that my dad, brother, and me built was a
complete failure. Never really could get running hardly at all. From what I
remember. This was late 70's I think, hard to remember, I was still very
young then.
I was born in 1971. Gave up on it and it collected dust, some parts went
missing. Fairly recently my dad and me we resurrected it, redid several
things, with some better parts that we have today. Parts were hard to find
Stayed pretty true to the original plans. Uses 2, #10 tubes.
Little fellas. About 600V input. After some trouble got it running some,
yes very weak, maybe 1-1.5 weak arcs.Was not real strong from pictures in
plans either. We knew not to expect much, but it was disappointing.
Ours was still weaker. I then decided to "modernize" it to what we know
today. "Threw" everything out and just reused the primary and secondary.
The primary and feedback was wound on a Quaker oatmeal container. Both #18
I think right now. The original secondary on a cardboard tube got lost over
time. When we just recently resurrected it my dad ordered a piece of
acrylic the same size and he wound it with the closest wire he could find
according to the plans. It is supposed to be double cotton covered enamel
#30 wire. Closest we could find was single cotton. Just a note could not
find the spec wire back then either. I think 2 different tries of something
close was tried. Don't know what was last on it since lost. Tried to
compensate for the difference, but I think we were way off of course. Even
today trying to compensate we were off a bit, but no where as bad. It is a
very tall and skinny "candlestick" like most VTTC'S were back then. So I
rewired everything, knowing what I know now, switched to a small MOT, just
the approx. 2000vac and switched to 2, 811 ( not A) tubes. Speaking of
rewiring and changing some components, the original plans had a few "funky"
things. Shortening this story up, first light of coil went very well. Did
not take too long to tune up. Getting 10.5" out of it. Much better and good
enough. This is what I call our "plasma playing fun coil". Not too much
original left, but a good running low power coil :-) It is a little weird
to look at with the old cotton covered wire. It was white, until coated
with clear polyurethane. Now gray.

Thanks for your memories and making me remember some of mine.

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