* Original msg to: Esondrmn-at-aol-dot-com

 > From: Esondrmn-at-aol-dot-com
 > Subject: Secondary current

 ES> Richard,

 ES> I was surprised by the jolt I got off my secondary the other 
 ES> night. I had turned the voltage down some so the discharges  
 ES> were only about 24" long. Holding a metal object or a        
 ES> fluorescent light bulb in my hand and gradualy approaching   
 ES> the toroid, you get to a point where there is a good corona  
 ES> from the end of the object then small violet streamers,
 ES> which you can feel, then if I go closer, I finally get a     
 ES> white hot discharge that makes the nerves in my wrist jump. 
 ES> It's hard to hold it there. It also jumped through my shoes  
 ES> and the thick phone book I was standing on to the cement     
 ES> floor.  There is more current there than I expected.  My     
 ES> wife tried it once and that's it for her.

What was that you said awhile back that your coil output did not
equal the output you saw in the video :-)

In highly efficient Tesla systems, such as yours, the power
densities are pretty high. This is obviously true even when the
input power is deliberately kept low. I am sorry to hear that
your wife had a distasteful experience. 

Your problem lies with the "power arc", which is a condition
where a direct short circuit is made to ground; in this case the
concrete floor. The connection is usually made when the streamers
leave the shoes and strike the floor, thus completing the
circuit. When messing with high-voltage Tesla discharge (sparks
over a foot or so long) a shoe and a phone book do not provide
enough high quality insulation to prevent power arcing and heavy
current flow to ground.

What you have to do if you intend to experience the thrill of
passing discharge "through" the body is to maintain a very high
level of insulation between all parts of your body and the
ground. Direct discharging (power arcing) with the body in series
to the ground should be avoided to maintain a certain "comfort
level". It is important to avoid discomfort, especially for those
with less verve or experience, in an effort to prevent a more
serious accident. It is all too easy to become surprised and then
accidently drop or lower a conductor onto a live primary. 

It is reasons like this that I put the disclaimer on my video
tape review: I am shown pulling off about 2 - 3 feet of discharge
to a copper pipe held in my hands; the sparks leave the sides of
my shoes. But I am standing on a very well insulated platform,
and no discharge is allowed to leave my body and continue to
ground. By being properly insulated the experience was not at all

A proper insulated platform should be assembled before pulling
more than 6 - 8 inches of spark from a coil. Sitting squarely on
the center of a raised and throughly insulated platform allows
fairly high power densities: it is quite possible to light 25
watt, even 40 watt, bulbs in series with the body without much
discomfort. Do not attempt this without more experience, a well
insulated platform, and explicit directions. I simply want to
point out that experiments can be conducted (literally) that
prove there is sufficient amperage at the discharge terminal 
to light a standard incandescent bulb.  

 ES> When I get to the 4 and 5 foot discharges I don't know if I  
 ES> want to try it again or not.

I will tell you that direct contact with those types of power
densities may not be real fun, depending on the quality of the
insulation your on. I guess the fun is in surviving without
getting knocked down, and then describing it after the
demonstration is over. If you wish to set up a demonstrative
experiment in the future please ask and I will try to provide
explicit advice. It might prevent an unpleasant experience.

I guess you have noted that this particular coil design really
packs a wallop in a fairly compact unit. It is not uncommon for
people to build a smaller 4 inch coil for direct contact spark
experiments. You can easily plop a 4 inch diameter secondary into
your primary for experimentation. 

Richard Quick
... If all else fails... Throw another megavolt across it!
___ Blue Wave/QWK v2.12