Re: Safety FAQ is here -- draft, asking for comments.
>>From MALCOLM-at-directorate.wnp.ac.nzTue Aug 6 20:29:40 1996
>Date: Wed, 7 Aug 1996 08:14:43 +1200
>From: Malcolm Watts <MALCOLM-at-directorate.wnp.ac.nz>
>Subject: Re: Safety FAQ is here -- draft, asking for comments.
> I just wanted to add a little note also: The coil operation
>described therein describes what I'm now calling "mode 1" - sparks
>and arcs are issued a la the break rate. I call the type of operation
>Richard Hull recently described (several bolts/megabreak rate) "mode
>2" operation (pretty close to real lightning). I'd be interested to
>know whether others think this is a tenable classification. I've had
>a close look at Richard Hull's Nemesis in action in the Nat
>Geographic article. You can see the lightning-like discharges alright.
>The sticking point about a possible operational classification that I
>can't judge from that photo is the arc duration. For example, I'd say
>that Richard Quick's coil as shown on his video to be operating in
Malcolm, Richard Hull, All,
I have not seen the EW&W article, but I have seen the Richard Hull
picture of his fabulous Nemesis coil in heavy action in the Nat Geo article
(thanks actually to the photocopy Malcolm sent to me), as well as this
(same?) colour photo available on the picture -at-nic.funet.fi, as well as
seen in action on the TCBOR Nemesis coil videotape.
Nemesis coil was an impressive performer, by all accepted definitions, and
especially by its modest size for the rather large power input it could
Hull has recently posted, and you Malcolm now are adding momentum to his
concept that in systems of high power with a large holdoff output
toroid, the pulse rate of the output streamer will begin to fall way
behind the system break rate. I understand that such a concept has
been introduced as it seems to explain large toroid streamer breakout activity
which is presently of topical interest. The explanation recently given by Hull
that in cases of a very large topload and high power, that the output discharge
reduces in pulse rate to merely several per second does not seem to
match my own observations.
Let me explain that in my MTC coil I have a system which is similar
in secondary size and length, with a similarly sized topload to
Hull's Nemesis. My secondary is a 48 inches close wound length of #18 PVC
covered stranded wire on a PVC form 15 inches in diameter. The topload is
a 12 " X 48" toroid. I have only buzzed MTC up to 7400 VA (I'm very afraid
to push my impossible to replace dry transformer much above 250%),
but I achieve very hot, white, 12 foot streamers to the earth or objects in range to
the coil. Since I am presently without a shop, I must operate this coil outdoors
and am at the mercy of the wind. We usually have more of this commodity here
than we need! I have seen these white hot streamers connect and sit
on a target for nearly a second or more in calm conditions. They
look just like a single streamer with no hint that they are composed
of sequential , rapid rate, multiple components. I am only guessing
that his is perhaps what Hull refers to. I have also frequently seen the wind
come up and tear my discharge into a horizontally displaced time oscillogram of
the output waveform. I'd swear that the multiple parallel streamers
that I see form as the wind sweeps the arc channel sideways still
represents one streamer for every rotary break pulse! I am not aware
that Hull ever operated his Nemesis machine outside in a stiff wind.
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.