Latest magnifier results

Subject:  Latest magnifier results
  Date:   Sun, 8 Jun 1997 09:15:37 +0000
  From:  "Bert Pool" <bertpool-at-flash-dot-net>
    To:   Tesla List <tesla-at-pupman-dot-com>, jgore-at-onramp-dot-net
    CC:   bemery-at-why-dot-net

Wild Bill Emery and I built a new primary for our magnifier Saturday. 
We increased its diameter by a total of four inches which reduced 
coupling to an acceptable degree (nope, we have not yet measured the 
actual value).  This night's run we tested the new FOUR layer 
secondary and a new TWO layer resonator coil.  Did it work?

We are proud new entrants into the grand order of 10+ foot spark 
makers.  We couldn't be more excited.  Well, ok, if we'd gotten 15 
foot sparks, then we'd have been more excited.

We found that we could directly replace the 8.44 inch by 24 inch 
single layer resonator with the two layer resonator without retuning 
whatsoever.  The two layer coil does perform better than the single 
layer coil, though not to a dramatic degree.  We might see a bigger 
difference when we move up to larger capacitive top loadings.  We 
are getting constant ground strikes from our toroid, which is 
mounted over seven feet high.  Longest measured strike to ground was 
10 feet, though we have streamers probably longer than that.  The 
neighbors loved it.  We even had neighbors on other streets load 
up their pickups with their kids and drive by to watch.

Our variac stcak suffered a very violent demise, complete with 
fireball and acrid smoke.  We crawled into the power cabinet and 
bypassed the variac so we were running directly off the contactors.  
"Variac?  What variac?  We don't need no stinking variac!"  Instant 
on, instant off.  Worked great.  We tripped our 60 amp circuit 
breaker countless times, usually when the output spark hit the 
transmission line and triggered a safety gap firing.

We experimented with using a piece of 10 inch wide aluminum flashing 
as a transmission line.  I expected horrendous corona off the edges.  
Nope, works very well, we saw no transmission line corona at all.  It 
seems that the same physics which allow flashing to serve as a good 
low impedence ground conductor also allow it to serve as an admirable 
low impedence high voltage transmission line for magnifier work.  
Downside:  it tens to flap a bit in light breezes.

Next on the agenda: a new 100 amp breaker has to be installed, and 
we'll try moving up on the top load capacitance.  We designed a new 
way of stacking our 36 by 8 inch toroids, so we'll probably next 
attempt two toroids.  We'll also be moving up our tank capacitance 
from 0.015 ufd to 0.03 ufd.  We're gonna leave the variac bypassed 
for now.

Bert Pool