Measuring Coupling Coefficients...Let it go! --> What are the ingredients for a long and "satisfying" spark output?????

From: 	terryf-at-verinet-dot-com[SMTP:terryf-at-verinet-dot-com]
Sent: 	Thursday, December 11, 1997 10:13 PM
To: 	Tesla List
Subject: 	Measuring Coupling Coefficients...Let it go!  --> What are the  ingredients for a long and "satisfying" spark output?????

John Couture wrote, in part,


>  Now that K can be found without building any coils, does anyone want to
>set up a program to find the critical coupling of a series of different TCs
>to research the above? The parameters would include K, Lm, Lp, Ls, Q, F, Rp,
>Rs, etc. We may find that TC output (sparks) can be increased even more than
>what we are doing now.    
>  John Couture

This is the "Holy Quest"!  Models are wonderful things.  You take what you
know, model it, test it, and then find out why the models screwed up.  In
that process you discover things that you never knew existed.  Eventually,
you get to a point where the models really do start working (it's scary how
accurate they can be). 
        Modeling is not perfect but there are things that are showing up.
The input circuits (neons, chokes, resistors, etc.) are very critical and
need to be very carefully considered in a truly optimal Tesla coil.  There
are many things that can be done to protect the neons from the now typical
death they all too often encounter.  The output loading and spark effects
are very critical to the total operation of the Tesla coils and that will be
understood soon.  Once we can model and predict the input and output better
we can look at the big picture and scan through all kinds of parameters and
see what we need to do to optimize the output.  The primary to secondary
coupling, Lp, Ls, etc. is actually much better understood than most of the
other parameters.  The electrostatic fields around these monsters is also
fairly easy to predict and manage.
        Your work (John's JHCTES program and other data) is a very
significant step but it does not really address what is really going on in
the system because it works by predictions based on empirical results
without considering the true underlying processes at work.  Some of the
other work that is available is based on tradition or simplistic theories
that just do not go far enough.  A Tesla coil can be powerful, reliable,
easy to build, and inexpensive.  We just don't know how to make it yet.  We
will in time.  
        Once we can predict the total system, the outputs will increase and
the pitfalls will decrease dramatically.  There will be some old traditional
beliefs that will get stepped on, but that's life.  The Tesla coil is an
electronic device is not very complicated compared to many electronic
systems that are well known.  What is different, is that they have not been
studied to a high level because there is no big financial reason to do so.
You won't get as rich by building the perfect Tesla coil as you would by
building the perfect cellular telephone system.  It is hard to justify the
equipment and time needed to do a really comprehensive study of these
devices.  However, we live in wonderful times!  Cheap computers, excellent
software, the Internet, commodity test equipment, playful engineers, etc.
allow a level of study at the amateur level that is remarkable. I disagree
that Tesla coils can only be understood at an empirical level.  We just need
to try harder and we are.

        I feel we need to let the "Measuring Coupling Coefficients" thread
go..... and move on.  There are bigger fish to be fried!  My next question
is much more fun anyway :-)

        What are the ingredients for a long and "satisfying" spark

Is it power, energy, current, voltage, frequency, duration, sound, length,
tuning????  I have asked for information on this before and have come up
with little information.  We can tune the output to any load but what "IS"
the load.  Is it a resistor, network of elements, a time (voltage or
current) varying "thing"?  Any thoughts or observations are welcome.  My
fiber optic VI probe is actually coming together now and should provide some
clues helpful for modeling but if anyone has any information regarding what
the output load of a Tesla coil really looks like I would be very interested. 

We can do anything, once we know what to do!

        Terry Fritz

(ranting, raving, and theorizing in the cold Colorado night)