Re: Bigger and better
To: tesla-at-grendel.objinc-dot-com, KLINEDA-at-univscvm.csd.scarolina.edu, QUANTUM-at-univscvm.csd.scarolina.edu, WMEYER-at-scientia.up.ac.za, bhaley-at-shore-dot-net, frerichs-at-zfe.siemens.de, froula-at-cig.mot-dot-com, jetter-at-ix-dot-netcom-dot-com, scott-at-csustan.csustan.edu
Subject: Re: Bigger and better
Date: Thu, 24 Aug 1995 11:51:47 -0400
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In a message dated 95-08-23 12:56:06 EDT, tesla-at-grendel.objinc-dot-com writes:
>I have been following the group for about a year now.
>Recently completed a 70kv auto ignition driven coil.
>It works well and i have learned quite a bit trying different
>configurations with it and by following this group.
>Well, now its time to move on....
>I have been given a 15kv -at- 1ma neon. Is this any good
>for making a move up? I see most neon drivers talked about
>are in the 7.5kv -at- 30 to 60ma range.
>If it is not good, I'm thinking about getting it over with and
>going to a small pole type. I guess my question is, am I biting
>off more than can be reasonable chewed by a beginner? I do have
>a strong electrical background and have followed how to throttle
>down a larger driving transformer but still feel kind of leery.
>Can't see wasting money on a larger neon if I can do the same
>with a small pole type now and still have the power available to
>grow in the future.
>Open for thoughts,
It really depends on what your goals are. If you plan to build a medium size
Tesla coil and will be happy with three to four foot discharges, the neon
sign transformers will be easier to work with and cheaper in the long run. I
think I had my 6.25" dia coil up to 48" to 50" discharges with 4 12kv 30ma
neon transformers in parallel. You can pick these up for $10 to $20 each at
a neon sign shop. You can still run them on 120v AC and the variac will be
"relatively" inexpensive. BTW, I don't think the 1 ma neon transformer will
provide enough current to drive a Tesla primary.
If you go to a pole pig as I finally did, all the control equipment gets more
complicated and more expensive. You will need a 220v 20 or 30 amp variac,
resistive loads (oven elements), an inductive load (I am using my arc welder
from work) and you will have to go to a rotary spark gap to get the gaps to
I think my best advice would be to build a good cylindrical static gap and
start with neon sign transformers - then if that's not enough power (as in my
case) you can eventually get a pole pig and expand everything.