Re: More Tuning/Debugging Next

In a message dated 96-08-28 02:56:10 EDT, you write:

<< >Hello All:
 >	Last night I fired up the coil again and it simply didn't work as well
 >as the previous week.  I had made several changes, so it looks like I'll
 >have to hunt through all of these things this week to find what is now
 >the new gremlin.  Spark length was shorter and not very intense and the
 >system power draw was down to about 40% of the original level.  The
 >items changed were:
 >	I hope to look for obvious problems Monday evening here, it would be
 >nice if something jumped right out screamed "I'm the problem!"  Probably
 >won't happen that way!  As always, any ideas or suggestions will be
 >considered.  Please note how I changed multiple items at the same time,
 >in order to make the faulty change, more fun to locate.
 >Chuck Curran
 	Given no bad connections in your TC primary circuitry? I would
 point to a change in your pig's current limiting ballast. If memory
 serves me correctly, you are using an arc welder and resistance to
 ballast it, did you change the arc welders current setting? Forget to
 short it's secondary? Damage the resistive ballast or it's
 The ballast is NOT an isolated part of a Tesla Coil, the inductive
 portion of the ballast boosts the voltage into your main power
 transformer after each gap commutation. Without the inductive
 ballast's flyback effect you will see low current in the pig's
 primary, poor gap quenching and a very poor output. (using just
 resistive ballast, I can power arc my rotary gap completely around
 it's 8"dia/~24"circumfrence and yet not be able to cause the combined
 rotary and static gap to conduct.) You could also see poor gap firing
 rate if it is set to wide for the non-inhanced output voltage.
 	jim >>

I want to second some of Jim's comments here.  I had my coil working quite
well at one point and then decided to shorten all the primary interconnects
and change the wire to all copper tubing except the tap lead.  When I tried
to run it again, the gaps would not even fire.  By accident, I found the
system would run good if I removed the resistance that I had been using in
parallel with the welder - which worked great before, and now would not work
at all.  I am still having problems with this.  The configuration of the AC
power system feeding the primary definately must be "tuned" (probably not the
right word here) to the primary.  Richard Quick calls this a synergistic
tuning of the primary.

Ed Sonderman