Re: Amateur Night

In a message dated 96-07-12 00:37:39 EDT, you write:

> You wrote: 
>  snip
>  >It doesn't seem right to me, but after a little fiddlin' around with 
>  >the tune, it seems to put out longer sparks at around 85-90 volts? Go 
>  >figger :)  Anyway from what i've read here, neons don't like 
>  >"overvoltage", so I didn't bother to try 140v on them.
>  snip
>  I've had similar experience.  I've found it to be a function of the 
>  spark gap firing a little soon or not quenching well enough.  I opened 
>  the gap a little bit and had significant improvement.  Applying air 
>  suction to the gap for quenching really improved it.  How do you quench 
>  your gap?  Also, I've driven my 12/60 neons at 140 v without ill 
>  effects.  Yet.  
>  Suggestions from others?
>  RWW
Hi all---

   Try this gap design ---- If it works as well for you as it did
for me----- Have hearing protectors handy & don't stand as 
close to the coil as you did before ---- 
When it lights --- (all going as planned)--- it will seem
more like a launch ----------------- really !
            O.K.---- so much for the commercial --- :-)

This guy uses axial high pressure air --- Abt 50 - 150 P.S.I.G.
If you don't have a compressor ---- the local gas station is a good
source ---- if they have a lift and/or use air tools -- their comp. usually
runs -at- about 165 psi --- borrow an air-carry tank ---- 

 I made the gap electrodes from 3/4 inch aluminum round stock 
 about 2 inches in length --- The faces of the electrodes 
 should be fairly square cut & smoothed a bit --- but it
 really isn't that critical to start with --- you can 
 "machine" 'em with a hack-saw --- it'll work anyhow  :-) 
       Drill a small hole -  1/8 inch dia. down the center 
of one electrode ---- (this can be completely through or stopped
at some point within it ) --- the purpose of the hole is to channel
the air ---- so you can put it how you want it --- depends on how
you want to attach the air hose ----I drilled & tapped the electrode
in the side to allow for an air conditioning type fitting (schrader valve )
to which i attached an air-conditioning service hose --(these bits
of hardware are available at automotive parts houses)
        I also drilled & tapped the ends of the electrodes to accept 
the mounting hardware --- for power and adjustment --- in my case
i chose to thread 5/16 aluminum rod into the electrodes--
 all-thread rod works fine ,soldering the fitting works fine too --- 
the air keeps the electrod(s) quite cool ----- (so the solder doesn't melt )
         A small valve inserted in the air supply line serves nicely 
to control the flow ----     USE CAUTION !!!   --- compressed air
contains moisture ------ it can be conductive ---- use a good ground 
wire to the valve ----  ( might save the compressor too ) I've had no
problems ----- but --- S*** HAPPENS-----

 It isn't even necessary to go to all the above trouble to see how it works-
an air line can be taped to the electrode --- 
the electrodes can be taped /tied/clamped to a brick ---- :-) 
          A variac on the neon is recomended ----- 
          Set the gap at minimum -- almost closed ---
          Turn on the air ----- a little
          Bring it on line-----
          Tune ---------------
          I'm purrty sure u'll like it !
Have at it ,