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.

Ed Sonderman