FW: 2nd Annual TCBOM Tesla/Sweat-thon

From: 	Steve Roys[SMTP:sroys-at-umabnet.ab.umd.edu]
Sent: 	Monday, July 28, 1997 12:16 PM
To: 	Tesla List
Subject: 	2nd Annual TCBOM Tesla/Sweat-thon

Well all,

The second annual Tesla Coil Builders of Maryland Teslathon went off
swimmingly.  It was held in some truly user-unfriendly 90+ degree heat and
100+% humidity, after a long tiring morning of trudging around the
Timonium, MD hamfest looking for unbelievable bargains.  In attendance
from the Maryland group were myself and Barry Benson, and one of my
friends and his young son (who stuck around for just a little of the
festivities and who helped me finish wiring up my system), Larry Adams
from Virginia right around DC (who had called me the day before and asked
if I had enough cinder blocks to build a wall to hide behind for some
large capacitive discharge experiments he might bring along...I didn't, so
his caps stayed home), Richard Hull and Kim Goins from the TCBOR group, a
professional astronomer who works on the Hubble Space Telescope project
and two other of Kim's friends who who showed up at the hamfest and
trailed along for the arcs-n-sparks.

A great time was had by all despite the heat, with the swimming pool,
burgers, dogs, and condiments provided by yours truly and a dirod
electrostatic generator demonstration by Richard Hull (which worked just
great even considering the heat and high humidity!). Later, after tweaking
my coil which was using my new 60A, 240V controller that I had just
finished wiring up the night before, a new gang of neon sign transformers
(2 x 15kV-at-60mA, 277V input! - figure THAT one out), my existing conical
primary of 3/8 Cu refrigerator tubing, a CP condenser (.025 uF, 20kVac), a
Cu tube gap cooled/quenched by a vacuum plenum, Barry's secondary and a
slew of aluminum dryer duct toroids piled on top (which brought the
resonant frequeny in right around 230kHz), we were hitting 48" every now
and then, and 40" easily.  I was only grabbing the inner half of my
primary at resonance, and there were multiple breakouts occurring from the
pile of toroids on the secondary, so it was obvious that I needed more top
loading to really get the system cranking.  Richard Hull then whipped out
his portable Keithley electrometer and gave us all a demonstration of the
DC wave that a coil pumps out, pegging his meter even 30 feet from the
coil (coil in the garage, electrometer OUTSIDE of the garage...).  Kim
also had some really nice lichtenberg figures in plexiglass that she made
at the accellerator, and the kids were kept busy making vortices and
anti-vortices in the pool while we were coiling and no one was swimming.

The last pilgrim drove off at about 9:00PM.  All in all a great day, even 
if Richard had glommed onto  6(!) assorted keithely meters and current
sources at the 'fest - and I had only seen 1!