Re: Tesla's "mercury break"

From: 	Alfred A. Skrocki[SMTP:alfred.skrocki-at-cybernetworking-dot-com]
Sent: 	Thursday, December 04, 1997 11:21 AM
To: 	Tesla List
Subject: 	Re: Tesla's "mercury break"

On Wednesday, December 03, 1997 5:29 PM Bill Lemieux
[SMTP:gomez-at-netherworld-dot-com] wrote;

> > Not quite! Dr. tesla NEVER used mercury in ANY spark gaps! What he did was
> > build a mercury turbine contactor to make and break current entering the
> > primary of his early H.V. coils and the voltage at the mercury contactors
> > never exceeded 1Kv.
> Alfred:
>  Preface: I'm not debating safety in this post- just taking exception
> with your assertion that Dr. Tesla did not use mercury in his spark
> gaps.
>  I am not certain this is true, unless you are differentiating "spark
> gap" from "primary break device".  If that is the case, I think you'd be
> splitting hairs, since the purpose of each device is the same.

I AM differentiating "spark gap" from "primary break device" because they 
ARE fundamentaly different regardless if they serve the same purpose or 
not! A SCR or TRIAC or for that  mater a tube "serve the same purpose" 
namely to interupt the current flow to the Tesla coil primary BUT they are 
radicaly different in their principles of operation as well in the results 
they yield!

> Further, if arcing occurs in the break device, then as far as I'm concerned, it's
> a spark gap.

It seems your streatching definitions to suit you purpose! You mean a 
vibrating interuptor on an 3 inch induction coil is a spark gap to you?
Despite the fact that what litle sparking occurs is due to the minute kick 
back that occurs in the induction coils primary from breaking the 6 to 12 
volt primary energyzing voltage! I think your streatching definitions here 
a wee bit!

> Dr. Tesla makes frequent mention in his Colorado Springs Notes of a
> "mercury break" that is run from an electric motor, not a turbine.

It is refered to as a turbine in Tesla's patents because of the driver for 
creating the mercury stream inside the break device (see the patent, I can 
provide the patent number if you need it)

> These were operated at 12kV and more on his big oscillator.

That I don't remember reading, please quote the page(s) and paragraph(s) at 
your earliest convience.

> I recall one passage that mentioned he had operated one of these "mercury breaks"
> at a sufficiently low voltage as to "eliminate any arc whatsoever"
> implying that this was a mercury-commutated gap.  (this was in a
> discussion of the rotary break used in his large oscillator)

That is what I remember reading!
> I will search through the book when I get the time and will quote
> chapter and verse when (if) I find it.  Be patient, I'm in the middle of
> moving, plus working various side jobs, plus my full-time contracts, and
> it's a thick book!

I too will search through my copy at my earliest convience!
> So, are we arguing semantics, or did I misunderstand your post?
Misunderstanding is always a posibility, but in so far as arguing 
semantics, I don't have the time nor the inclination for such triviality, 
if indeed it were to turn out to be such I would be the first to 
appologize! Though I seriously doubt that is the case. BTW as a total side 
issue, if anyone ever bothered to read up on Tesla's early "High Frequency 
Oscillators", the ones with two coils at right angles to each other, they 
would have found that all of those coils used the "kicker coil" principle I 
mentioned a few months back, that almost no-one seemed interested in! 
Except for Steve Z. and two others that asked not to be mentoned. I thought 
it was quite a viable alternative especally for areas where it is difficult 
or impossible to get neon sign transformers, oil burner ignition 
transformers and especially pole pigs. Even in areas wher transformers are 
relatively easy to get the "kicker coil" being comprised of a closed iron 
core and only one winding is a savings in weight and resources - one copper
winding eliminated!


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                           Alfred A. Skrocki
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