Re: additional transformers

From: 	Chip Atkinson[SMTP:chip-at-XiG-dot-com]
Reply To: 	Chip Atkinson
Sent: 	Wednesday, July 23, 1997 11:34 AM
To: 	Tesla List
Subject: 	Re: additional transformers

On Wed, 23 Jul 1997, Tesla List wrote:

> From: 	Damon Burke[SMTP:damon-at-portal.stwing.upenn.edu]
> Sent: 	Tuesday, July 22, 1997 6:40 PM
> To: 	tesla-at-pupman-dot-com
> Subject: 	additional transformers
> I recently aquired a second transformer to provider more power for my
> tesla coil.  I believe that the transformers should be hooked up in
> parallel, but i'm worried about the phasing.  

The phasing is pretty easy to do.  Hook up the low voltage sides in
parallel.  Next, hook up one side of each of the HV sides of the neons. 
Next connect a wire to one of the remaining unconnected HV sides of one of
the neons.  Attach the wire to a wooden or plastic stick to protect
yourself, turn on the power, and bring the end of the wire to the other
unconnected HV end.  If you see little tiny or no sparks between the wire
and the HV end, you are in phase.  If you see a big hot flaming arc, then
you are out of phase.  Turn off the power and reverse the low voltage
connections.  Turn the power back on and you should see a tiny or
non-existent spark where there once was a big one.  Finally, replace the
wire that was on the end of the stick with a short, tidy, piece of wire
between the HV ends.

> The transformers are
> identical in design.. both are neons with the primary side connections on
> one side and the case grounding connection on the other.  Am I safe to
> assume that the identical sides are in phase with each other?

No.  The neon sign transformer companies just want HV out.  They don't
care much about phase, and if they swap the leads on one or two, they
don't let it bother them.  Always check.

> Another problem I have is my capicator.  I'm on a rather limited budget,
> and I'm trying to work on a capicator that's fairly easy to build yet
> works well.  I currently have a box that holds three pieces of glass with
> aluminum foil on each side.  The sides are connected to the outside
> terminals with 8 gauge wire.  I was told that the glass caps are the
> biggest loss in my coil, and have been thinking of a better capicator. 

If you get your glass for free, it's not too bad, but they are lossy,
particularly with respect to $'s if you don't get it for free. :-)

Check out the ftp site ftp.funet.fi in /pub/sci/electrical/tesla, in
particular the RQDOCS.  You can also check out the archive server. Hmmm...
maybe I'll put the the useful docs on my auxilliary web page:

>  If
> anyone out there has any great ideas for easy to make capicators, please
> let me know.  

I am a big fan of the Richard Hull rolled caps that are described in the

> I've seen discussions of beer bottle caps, but
> nothing specific enough to give directions as to how to build.  Another
> thing, how do you connect the wired to the plates without a: creating a
> gap in the stack and b: creating a potential location for arcing around
> the plates.  

Put a tab on the aluminum foil plates.  You want a plate that looks sort
of like the state of Utah.  The top part sticks out of the stack.

The best way to prevent arcing is to submerge the whole thing in oil.


If I can't fix it, I can fix it so it can't be fixed
Chip Atkinson; Xi Graphics 1801 Broadway, Denver CO 80202
(303)298-7478voice (303)298-1406fax (800)946-7433sales