Overdriving Neons

From: 	Adam[SMTP:absmith-at-tiac-dot-net]
Sent: 	Monday, December 29, 1997 12:16 PM
To: 	tesla list
Subject: 	Overdriving Neons

I am using Transco 9kV 60mA transformers, but it would be really nice if 
I could run them at 11-12kV or so, instead of having to hunt for 12kV 
transformers.  Experiments have shown me that a little more voltage will 
go a long way.  Just going from 120V to 140V on the variac gives me 
another 8" of spark.

60mA neons of any voltage are scarce here in the Boston area.  My 
question is, how much can I expect to overdrive these before the cores 
saturate?  Right now, I am giving them 140VAC input with no apparent 
problems, but I really have no idea of how much more headroom might be 
available.  Can these transformers operate with 160VAC input, or should I 
go looking for bigger (12kV 60mA) transformers and forget this idea? 

Core saturation is my main concern, and I am not worried about HV 
insulation failure.  These 9kV units are insulated the same as my 15kV 
30mA units, so I would expect them to survive the voltage.  If they 
don't, I'll just rebuilt them better than new.


Adam Smith
Epoch, Inc. Digital Music Project

www.tiac-dot-net/users/absmith/                 MP3 Demo Tracks Now Available!