Caps & spark gaps

cc: tesla-at-grendel.objinc-dot-com


 ES>Why does the spark gap not want to fire with more cap-
 ES> acitance in the circuit? 

RQ>The larger capacitance does not fully charge up with too RQ>small of a
power supply feeding it. Since the cap is never RQ>allowed to fully charge,
the voltage peak in the capacitor RQ>is not large enough to jump the gap.

Are you saying that the 12kv 120ma power supply cannot supply current fast
enough?  Normally with one tank cap (approx. .018mfd) and one cylindrical
spark gap and 12kv 120ma, the gap starts to fire at about 50% power.  With
two caps in parallel (wish I had two:-) ) will I need 240ma to still get it
to fire at 50%?

This brings up another point - these cylindrical gaps seem to be somewhat
fickle.  Sometimes they will fire at 30% power and sometimes 75% power with
no circuit changes.  Last night I was running at 50 to 75% power (trying to
get some run time on my last cap) and noticed this.  I tried connecting two
cylindrical gaps in series with each one folded in half electrically -
parallel/series.  The gaps fired more reliably at about 30 to 40% power,
providing more adjustable range but at a given setting the discharges were
noticeably shorter than just using one gap by itself.  I like the larger
range but don't want to give up the performance.  I think I need to do
something here but I'm not sure what.

You said "to save your capacitors until they are truly broken in I would drop
down to 9kv neons.  You will find it very difficult to blow a homemade rolled
cap of this design with a 9 or 10 kv input".  Are you saying that I could
apply 9 or 10kv continuous (2 or 3 minutes at a time) now without blowing my
last good cap?  At what power level?  Could I apply 200ma now (2kva)?

If I run at 10kv for a month, will the cap really be ok to run at 12kv after

Thanks,  Ed Sonderman