>>From Esondrmn-at-aol-dot-comWed Jul 24 21:56:19 1996
>Date: Wed, 24 Jul 1996 14:45:07 -0400
>Subject: Re: Capacitor
>In a message dated 96-07-24 00:54:07 EDT, you write:
> Do you know of the BTC3? Has anyone else got one for comparison on the
> output? Mine can give arcs of 4 inches. I also noted that as you close the
> spark gap the arcs get shorter. Another interesting point is that it will
> not fire for more than 2 seconds. It just stops and you can hear the
> transformer hum only. Nothing else happens until you switch off and then
> back on again. This is in a vehicle so the ground is connected to the
> incoming mains earth only. Maybe there is the problem here but I would still
> have expected more than 4" output. This 4" output is only obtained by
> putting a thick wire from the base of the secondary, which is grounded, up
> the wall and across the top of the coil and then dropping it down until it
> strikes an arc from the coil. The coil will not arc until the wire gets
> close enough. Only when it arcs does the spark gap fire, until then it just
> sits and hums at me.
> Paul Millott (Soon to be unfailed)
>Something sounds wrong here. The primary circuit should run more or less
>independent of the secondary. As you increase the variac voltage, the gaps
>should start firing. At this time, the secondary should be producing RF
>energy. If you have a toroid on the top, it may or may not break out at this
>point. Finally, as you keep increasing the variac up to full power, the
>toroid or top discharge terminal should break out. You need to closley
>examine the primary circuit, the capacitor, gaps and interconnections. You
>want to get the primary set up so the gaps start to fire at about 50 to 75%
>of full transformer voltage. Have you tested the transformer, like by making
>a jacobs ladder or just drawing arcs between the H.V. terminals? And - I
>agree, you need a better secondary ground.
Oh what memories!!!
When I got my BTC3 in 1989 I was excited to get it together!
But when I fired it, I got the same results as you!
This is what had happened to mine.
I assume that you got your secondary pre-wound in the kit
as I did. There was a problem with construction I did not
know about until later. Richard Quick pointed this out
to me indirectly with a needed to be all capitalized
statement: NEVER DRILL HOLES IN THE SIDE OF THE SECONDARY.
I do not know if your secondary was built in this manner
but mine was and the majority of the spark was carving
a grand canyon down the inside of my secondary!!!
After firing your coil, take the top of the secondary
off and smell for ozone.
I got better performance after somewhat correcting this
problem but the secondary was never the same afterwards.
I would figure the only way for revival would be to hone
the inside of the coil to remove the gullet the spark
created. BTW, even when I got better performance, I still
did not know about better grounds, I was running my coil
with NO ground. My house did not have the 3rd hole in the
socket for ground. I still have the transformer and cap
from the kit. Both are not to shabby of components. The
transformer I got with my kit was an open core neon and
still works okay. Today, my kit has some changes:
I wound a new secondary
I went to a bigger transformer
I made a new primary
I used a different cap
I employed a Richard Quick cylinder gap
I made a new casing
I made a new torroid
Okay, so its not even the same kit at all anymore!
It was the kit that carried me through the changes.
I have pics of it now at
hope this helped
== If you understand, things are just as they are. ==
== If you do not understand, things are just as they are. ==