Bigger and better

Quoting gcerny-at-ix-dot-netcom-dot-com (Glenn Cerny):
Subject: Bigger and better

 GC> I have been following the group for about a year now.
 GC> Recently completed a 70kv auto ignition driven coil.
 GC> It works well and i have learned quite a bit trying          
 GC> different configurations with it and by following this       
 GC> group.

Well congratulations and thank you!

 GC> Well, now its time to move on....
 GC> I have been given a 15kv -at- 1ma neon.  Is this any good
 GC> for making a move up?  I see most neon drivers talked about
 GC> are in the 7.5kv -at- 30 to 60ma range.

I would want to check this transformer out a bit more. I have
seen lots of neons, but have never seen any transformer rated for
only 1 milliamp. It does not sound right. 

In the event I am wrong, and you really do have a 1 milliamp
transformer, don't bother building a coil around it. The power
supply will be much to weak for Tesla work.

 GC> If it is not good, I'm thinking about getting it over with   
 GC> and going to a small pole type.  I guess my question is, am  
 GC> I biting off more than can be reasonable chewed by a         
 GC> beginner?  I do have a strong electrical background and have 
 GC> followed how to throttle down a larger driving transformer   
 GC> but still feel kind of leery.

I would be kind of leery as well. That is a huge jump in power
levels, expense, and equipment complexity. Nothing that you have
now is going to be compatable when applied to multi-killowatt
coiling, even the experience.

If I were you I would make the next jump to neon powered medium
coils. If you are looking ahead to pole pigs when you design,
build, and buy your new circuits and components for the neons,
such as: line filters, variacs, HV RF filters, RF ground, coils,
safety gaps, pulse capacitance, etc.; you get to the point where
making the jump to power distribution transformers is only a step
consiting of building a rotary gap and current limiting ballast,
then purchasing the pig. This would not be a such a difficult
leap, and all the rest of your control, filter, and grounding
systems, would have been tested and debugged with the easier to
handle neons.

A bank of paralleled neon sign transformers is not the most
powerful and reliable Tesla power supply, but it will get you
more familiar with the power ranges and "incidents" involved in
medium and large Tesla coils before you get an externally limited
pole pig and rotary gap. 

 > 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.

You can build a nice neon power supply for next to nothing. I
will send along the instructions.

Richard Quick

... If all else fails... Throw another megavolt across it!