help with a different type of coil

From: 	Kevin[SMTP:wawa-at-spectra-dot-net]
Sent: 	Tuesday, July 01, 1997 8:34 PM
To: 	tesla-at-pupman-dot-com
Subject: 	help with a different type of coil

Right now, I'm trying to build a tesla coil, the thing is, it isn't like
any of the ones (as far as I can tell) that are discussed about in this
group or are frequently seen on the web.  We used one in my Physics
class and my teacher said it was a tesla coil, but I didn't recognize it
as one.  Well, it is rather old, but I will describe it.  It has an
electromagnetic switch, that once it opens, it breaks its own circuit
(the power to the magnet) and thus closes again and this cycle repeats
very fast.  The switch also breaks the current of a separate circuit
consisting of a power supply, a coil, and a spark gap.  My teacher said
that breaking the circuit in the coil generates high voldages and the
sparks to jump the gap.  The coil he used was powered by a low
voltage/current dc power supply.  The coil is iron core, my teacher said
it is better for inductance.  I'm not to clear on the inductance stuff.
	I have a relay that I wired so it "chatters" to produce the rapid
switching. On the therminals I hooked up the coil, the power, and the
spark gap.  Well, i don't get any sparks.  My coil is iron core, about
4-5 inches long, about 1 inch diameter, and has about 400 ft of wire on
it.  I've tried hooking things up many different ways with no luck.  I'd
appreciate any tips or pointers anyone has to offer.  I'm reluctant to
redo the coil right now, because it was a pain to make.  If ther is
something else that is wrong I'd like to find it before I ruin my coil. 
If it is the coil, then what do I have to do to make it better.  If
anyone can help out and reply to this, I'd prefer an e-mail at


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