Subject: Tesla Coils
From: richard.quick-at-slug-dot-org (Richard Quick)
Date: Sat, 11 Feb 1995 23:59:00 GMT
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KS> While on the subject of Jacobs Ladders and Tesla Coils, you
KS> have probably seen a lot of the old "Mad Scientist" movies
KS> of the 30's and 40's and maybe some of the Flash Gordon
KS> serials where the scientist is in his lab and has a number
KS> of discharge devices. How many can you identify? Did any
KS> of them have an actual purpose?
Quite a few actually. These were all designed for Hollywood
special effects by the late Ken Strickfadden, a true master
of high voltage stage effects.
KS> I also remember seeing an old radio "wireless" transmitter
KS> where there was an open spark that varied with the
KS> modulation of the voice being transmitted. Was this a Tesla
KS> device of some sort?
Yes, this is a Tesla transmitter. The plans for this type of
spark gap modulation were recorded in Tesla's COLORADO SPRINGS
KS> My last request is that you break down your coil into the
KS> separate components, ie. air gap device, rotary gap device,
KS> coil, and toroid and describe what they do and what their
KS> contribution is to the actual operation of the coil.
The air gaps quench (stretch and cool) the tank circuit arc, the
rotary gap commutates this arc (like a distributor). The coil is
a simple helical resonator. The toriod is an isotropic capacitive
The spark gap system is the tank circuit switch. The switching
action allows the capacitor to charge from a 60 cycle power
supply (switch open), and discharge with a heavy current into a
LC oscillator tank (switch closed).
KS> I hate to inundate you with these questions as I should do m
KS> the research myself, but you tend to have good answers that
KS> are easily understandable. Regards as always, Ken
Thank you! I always try to help out.
... If all else fails... Throw another megavolt across it!
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