Re: Humid atmosphere

In a message dated 96-06-01 14:38:58 EDT, you write:

>>Paul and The Group,
>>On my small 15KV -at- 60 MA neon powered coil, inside the dry house in 
>>winter the streamers are only about 3 feet long.  Indoors or out on a 
>>same temperature very humid summer evening the streamers are about 4 
>>feet long.  That's a full 25% improvement!  I've seen this coil behave this
>>over and over again. I'm certainly convincved!
>>Happy coiling!, rwstephens
>>Reply- Even more confused; PAUL. If the streamers should be longer in the
>moist air, then what effect is killing my Tesla coil and leaving me with
>sparks that would look small on a cigarrette lighter?
>I did some checking with the signal generator and the oscilliscope to check
>the resonance of the secondary in the jungle atmosphere. When I am alone the
>resonance was within a reasonable limits as it was when I first set it up
>alone. As someone aproached and got within 15 feet of the coil the resonance
>changed dramatically and went so far off the scale I could not find any
>resonant frequency within the range of my signal generator, until the
>visitor went away.
>If one person, (outside the protective cage) can effect the resonance in
>this way, could the crowd be making the secondary resonance unusable? How
>does one body, 15 feet away,  make any difference to the resonance of the
>secondary coil anyway?
>Or is it the conductivity of the air? Could the air be so conductive that
>any voltage is conducted away to earth before there is enough voltage to
>create an arc?
>PAUL MILLOTT (Failed again)

I admit, I am confused also.  I would have bet money, that the coil would
perform much better in dry air.  Does anyone else see performance increase as
rwstephens reported when the humidity goes up?

As far as tuning goes, I would expect some minor changes in frequency as
people approach the secondary.  My large toroid only adds about 35 pf of
capacitance to the self capacitance of the secondary.  I would think the
presence of people 10 or 15 feet away may change this by only a few
picofarads.  In actual operation of the coil (firing under power), I am not
sure you would notice the difference.

Ed Sonderman