Re: Safety FAQ-discharge classification

>Date:          Thu, 8 Aug 1996 19:31:58 -0600
>From:          Tesla List <tesla-at-poodle.pupman-dot-com>
>To:            Tesla-list-subscribers-at-poodle.pupman-dot-com
>Subject:       Re: Safety FAQ is here -- draft, asking for comments.
>Reply-to:      tesla-at-pupman-dot-com

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


>We have long ago photographed and noted the thin ribbons in a blown arc 
>and have dubbed it the Banjo effect. -One pop, one ribbon- many pops one 
>white hot arc of consectutive ribbons-  Never would I dream of implying 
>that every single pulse of the gap goes anywhere other than to arc 
>production!  The big toroid just supresses all arcs but one or two 
>channels and directs all the energy along the ionized path by supplying a 
>low impedance driver for the continued energy to the single white hot 
>The arcs ultimately break, probably due to localized air heating and 
>updrafts. (in still air.)  The toroid then imediately breaks down in 
>another area and a white hot ribbon moves out, strikes and builds to a 
>maximum often as many as three times waxing and waning in intensity.  (we 
>have this lightning like effect on numerous slow-motion studies on 
>released video tapes to the public.)  The longest recorded single arc 
>channel, from Nemesis, lasted 38 video frames. (1.26 seconds) This had 4 
>rises and falls over the time period, but all in the same arc channel.  
>During this time the rotary struck about 690 arcs and dumped about 11,000 
>joules of energy into the primary tank.  All this for one single arc 
>channel!.... Yes... Made up of many, individual, multimegawatt, 
>instantaneous pulses.
>Richard Hull, TCBOR

Richard, Malcolm Watts, All,

Hmmm, so Nemesis' peak system energy was about 16 Joules, I just 
punched the numbers recently on my MTC unit and was suprised to 
discover it is about 17.6 Joules.  My average throughput power is 
lower as my break rate is just 400 PPS.  This helps explain the 
difference in our respective primary currents. Hey, but that's not 
why I called.
Yes Richard!, as you have more carefully described here, these are findings
exactly in agreement with my own experience!  I thought somehow (apparently 
mistakenly) that you might have been implying that a number of consecutive
break pulses were somehow combining to produce only a single pulsed streamer 
breakout event, and only after the energy of X number of primary input pulses
were stacked up in the swinging secondary system, and that the ion cloud 
phenomenon around the toroid, of recent list discussion somehow contributed
to this mode of operation. Such operation would of 
course lead to an output streamer with a potentially noticeable flicker effect 
(from in between off periods in the arc discharge channel), which is 
something which I have not yet experienced, and am herby comforted 
that you have not seen as well). 

If this then is to be the basis of a classification being suggested by Malcolm 
Watts, that a discharge containing MANY apparently SIMULTANEOUS
streamers (as your example with a small 1 kW coil and doorknob 
terminal) as a Type 1 discharge, and a discharge containing a 
predominantly SINGLE SIMULTANEOUS streamer as a Type 2 discharge (as
in Nemesis, or my MTC without any discharge points), 
then I can certainly cast my vote in support of such an identification 
scheme.  It is obvious to me now that I understand to what you refer, that 
indeed, such discharges are so different from each other that they will be 
easy to identify as unique from each other.

Therefore, Malcolm, I approve of your classification idea and support 
it as do-able.  The question remains, is it needed?  If needed, then 
can it be refined and extended?

If I may suggest, unless there is a scientific model which is being copied from
another discipline at work here, I would propose calling the single streamer 
(like real lightning channel) mode Type 1, as I believe this mode to 
be the  superior  performance oriented goal.  The mode where there are many,
thin, simultaneous streamers could be Type 2 discharge.  We might extend 
this classification scheme to the brush discharge (like seen from a 
CW Tesla coil powered by filtered DC supply driven vacuum tube or 
solid state oscillator) as being Type 3 which hisses and looks like a 
gas powered torch flame (or in the case of the four footer generated 
by Mark Barton and described as 'a welding torch from Hell!'), and finally a glow 
discharge, with no streamers whatsoever as a Type 4 discharge. Note 
that the output ionization phenomenon can occur in two or more of the 
above states simultaneously.  For example, a lightning like hot 
single streamer coming near, but not touching a grounded target 
sometimes developes a very prominent glow discharge extending in a 
beautiful cone from the end of the arc channel.  These glow discharge 
cones can be of significant size. 

If you people out there don't like my suggestions then you could give me 
an  honorary discharge:).

For Watt its worth, rwstephens