Re: Safety FAQ is here -- draft, asking for comments.

Tesla List wrote:
> >From rwstephens-at-ptbo.igs-dot-netThu Aug 15 21:17:47 1996
> Date: Thu, 15 Aug 1996 20:49:50 -0500
> From: "Robert W. Stephens" <rwstephens-at-ptbo.igs-dot-net>
> To: tesla-at-pupman-dot-com
> Subject: Re: Safety FAQ is here -- draft, asking for comments.
> >>From sgreiner-at-mail.wwnet-dot-comTue Aug 13 15:19:09 1996
> >Date: Mon, 12 Aug 1996 14:50:57 -0700
> >From: Skip Greiner <sgreiner-at-mail.wwnet-dot-com>
> >To: tesla-at-pupman-dot-com
> >Subject: Re: Safety FAQ is here -- draft, asking for comments.
> >Tesla List wrote:
> >
> >> >From rwstephens-at-ptbo.igs-dot-netThu Aug  8 10:57:03 1996
> ><SNIP>
> >> Admittedly, when the wind is a blowin', the ion cloud around the
> >> toroid is not a collectin'.
> >
> >> I merely wish to say that I think more research is needed here
> >> before we can really understand what is happening around the top end.
> >>
> >> As for your laudable attempt to create a performance category by merely
> >> observing the discharge, this may not be so easy as first imagined.
> >> Standardization system or not however, I'm sure no one would object
> >> to having their system performance classed as #1! ;-)
> >>
> >> Even if we don't come to understand the science (although I'm sure we
> >> will), just getting to the point of throwing long, white hot
> >> lightning bolts is a definitely neat level to achieve.
> >>
> >> Regards ,rwstephens.
> >Robert:
> > I have photographs of my 720va coil exhibiting just this phenomenon
> >when operating in a very light breeze. I have never been able to tie the
> >jagged sparks directly to the break rate bacause I don't know how to
> >make  a measurement. I estimate the length of the "steps" in the spark
> >to be 2" to 3". One thought is that the spark is actually growing in
> >length from the bottom which is eminating from the toroid rather than
> >growing from the tip of the spark thru conduction of current in the
> >spark itself. I would be interested in other comments on this subject.
> >
> >Skip
> Skip, All,

Good post, but big snip RH
> I don't see this phenomenon one of streamers building on previous
> pulses, but rather a rapid succession of individual streamers,
> occuring in sequentially increasing and decreasing lengths,  each
> with a differing length due solely and traceable to no other reason
> than to the power level that created each individual one of them.
> I had meant to post this earlier but have nor had time, I've noticed
> in the meantime that the idea of employing a high speed streak camera
> by Steve Roys has been suggested.  If  my hypothesis is indeed
> correct, a fast enough camera will certainly be able to verify it.
> Comments welcome as always.
> Regards, rwstephens

Robert, Steve, Skip, All,

No streak camera is neaded!  A common time exposure with a fan blowing 
vertically causing a continously drawn arc to rise will show 30 to 40 
seperate smaller arcs in a filmy web as the arc rose during the exposure! 
 I mentioned on a previous post we have a number of photos with this on 
it which we dumbed the banjo effect.

All arcs make it, though, to the full length of the channel!!  Even the 
weak ones! The weak one images are of reduced brightness, though.  The 
arc channel is definitely pumped with ions which rise with the arc.  The 
recombination time, even in air, is much longer than 2.5 msec. (seconds) 
Thus, the arcs feed off of the previous arc channel's ions and zip 
readily out to distances which, individually, they couldn't reach due to 
Robert's comments about reduced cap energy along different parts of the 
input sine.  As the arcs FIRST breakout, however, they are short, but do 
feed on the last arc's energy and cause the following arcs to reach ever 
greater and greater distances, until they either strike something or 
until the channel has reached the limit of what constant pumping with the 
limited energy of the system will support, in air.  A question that we 
have never asnwered, is what causes the arc channel to hang on when 
striking and then break when the energy is still pourin' in.  We have 
lots of theories on this, but no definitve answers.  I think this is 
where the terminal capacity comes in and relates to having "shot its 
bolt" so to speak.  The "storage well" is empty.  Maybe the Ion load 
(impedance) of a constant long time arc reaches the impeadance value of 
the terminal load, and through voltage division, lowers the gap potential 
over which the arc is jumping.  This would explain the FAILURE of new 
arcs following the break from a long hot, sustained arc to restrike along 
the same path, but look for another direction entirely!  Still, there is 
no real proof of even this!

We have studied the hell outta' this subject here in Richmond over the 

Richard Hull, TCBOR