Tesla Coils

 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.

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