<Other more available alternatives are plate transformers (typically on 
<the order of 5kV with mucho mA), or even microwave oven transformers 
<(you can get 4kV or 5kV units).  To use them, you can hook them in 
<series to get a higher voltage, but from what I've heard, I probably 
<wouldn't run more than 2 or 3 in series to prevent arc-over to the low 
<voltage wiring.  Also, these transformers are not current limited like the 
<neons, so external current limiting is a must.  I had three 4kV 
<microwave oven transformers hooked up in series, and they were 
<sucking about 70 (yep, 70!) AMPS from the wall when I was playing 
<around and pulling an arc with them.  The arc caught at about 1/4" but 
<didn't let go until it was an inverted 'V' shape with about 7 inches of 
<total arc length.

<Steven Roys (sroys-at-radiology.ab.umd.edu)


I'm setting up a system that is based on microwave oven transformers.
I read that they are supposed to be current limited but when I shorted one
of mine out a 20A fuse blew.The units I came across were 2300v jobs.I'm
using four transformers in an array similar to one published in TCBA news
last year.I also plan on immersing them in oil to help fight arcing to the
core.What do you think? Any upgrades? Do you think the same ballest for
pole pigs is required for these as well? 

Thanks Tom