TCBOR Telsathon

This past weekend was a very intersting weekend;  I went to the TCBOR 
Teslathon on Saturday at Richard Hull's house and got to see all sorts 
of fun things!  There was a little bit of everything to see and play with, 
including ultra-high flux Nd-Fe-B magnets, a demonstratation of 
gasseous lighting using electrodeless neon and argon tubes driven 
by a solid state Tesla coil (from Duane Bylund), a small (about 6" high), 
completely silent, disruptive discharge Tesla coil using a quenched 
gap, a 25 Watt argon laser, a coil/amplifier setup that could detect 
magnetic field disturbances generated by waving a magnet over 20 
FEET away from the coil, and most impressive, Richard's 9000 watt 
magnifier coil throwing off 10' sparks!

I was quite impressed, and more than a little excited...I really want a 
magnifier (and all the other neat stuff too)!  The day after I got home, I 
went down and fired up my conventional 600 Watt Tesla coil and 
almost cried when I saw the puny 8" streamers coming off the toroid 
with the secondary arcing merrily away.  It seems like it's time to really 
get down and make the time for experimenting; the heck with my family, 
I'm gonna be a high voltage scientist (just don't tell my wife and kids!).  
Seriously though, I have been inspired to try to put more time into 
experimentation.  I just hope it works out as well in practice as it does 
in theory.

Their salvage yard also sounds like a dream come true.  I learned that 
the two 8kV, 10 kW transformers that Richard is using to power his 
magnifier cost him just $5 each!!!!!  I've been looking all over Baltimore 
for an industrial salvage yard, but I haven't been able to find a single 
one after 3 days of searching and calling around.  I am going to have to 
make a pilgrimage to the RIchmond yard just to see what it's like (it's a 
shame it's four hours away, 8 hours of driving makes a long day but I'd 
do it in a heartbeat).

At the Teslathon, I bought Richard's "Guide to the Colorado Spring 
Notes" for $20 and a 35kV, 3kW potential transformer for $35.  That's 
the most exciting $55 I've spent in a long time!  The transformer weighs 
230 lb (grunt!), and I was assured that I could run it at 10 kW without it 
even breaking into a sweat.  I had to ask my neighbor to help me get it 
off my truck when I got home, and he seemed interested (fearful?) in 
finding out what I was doing with something you don't normally see 
without an attached telephone pole.  Since I'm still working on limiting 
my current so I don't melt my breakers, I can't do anything with it yet.  
Hopefully I will be able to fire it up as a Jacob's ladder sometime soon 
just to see what it can do, and eventually I'll build a coil that can use it.

I'll keep you posted, but Ciao for niao.

Steven Roys (sroys-at-radiology.ab.umd.edu)