No Subject

-at--at--at--at--v--at--at--at--at--at--at--at--at---> To coil
-at--at--at--at--^--at--at--at--at--at--at--at--at---> To coil

with a safety gap in the middle. The first has about 11 turns and the second
has about 25 turns.   The power then goes to the tank circuit.

This circuit is the "standard" tesla tank circuitwith all the components in
series in a loop.
The capacitor is 0.0177uF home made rolled capacitor.  The spark gap is a 
series of 7 1"x3" copper tubes laid side to side with about 0.030" between
each pipe.  Note that there is no forced air flow through or over the gaps.
The primary is 16 turns of 3/8" copper tubing spaced 3/8" apart, coiled in a
dish shaped primary, with 30 degrees of banking.
The wires of the primary circuit are 4 gauge 7 strand wire with bulldog 
type clamps at the end for clamping to the spark gap and the primary coil.

The secondary is 950 turns of 24 gauge wire wound on a 4" form, giving an
aspect ratio of 5:1, and a length of about 20".  The system ground is connected
to the bottom by holding the ground strap to a plate at the base of the 
secondary with a rubber band.  The ground strap is stranded braided 1/2"
wide pre-tinned copper connected to an 8' 1" Cu pipe sunk in the ground
(high clay content).  The toroid on the top is 7"x22" or 3"x12", depending
on the configuration.

What happened:
In a couple of words, no spark.  Not really that simple though.  I was able
to find the tune point by checking the spark from the top to a grounded
wire and it tuned out at about 12 turns.  At this point, I could hear the
typical snapping sound that I hear when the toroid is starting to emit sparks.

I had another toroid that was 3"x12", so I put that on the top.  I had to 
change the tune, but was able to get some sparks from the top.  Oddly enough,
the performance was no better than my 12"x3" coil.  

What next?
Besides a status report, I am hoping to get feed back from others as to the
areas to improve.  

My current ideas are to improve the contact between the ground strap and 
base of the secondary.  Next, I plan on making either an air blast gap or
a vacuum cleaner series gap (a vacuum cleaner sucks air through the slots
between the pipes).  I also plan on checking out the power supply to ensure
that there are no blown transformers.

I recall reading that for sparks to break out of a large toroid I need a 
fair amount of power.  However, do I need to also have a better gap system
and/or a much better system ground (connection)?

All and any input is appreciated.