Neons and Sync Gaps

From: 	Esondrmn-at-aol-dot-com[SMTP:Esondrmn-at-aol-dot-com]
Sent: 	Thursday, September 25, 1997 11:29 AM
To: 	tesla-at-pupman-dot-com
Subject: 	Re: Neons and Sync Gaps

In a message dated 97-09-25 01:11:46 EDT, you write:

 Hi Malcolm and all,
 I am starting to think that the voltage at which a static gap fires at has
 almost nothing to do with the gap distance. Last night I installed another
 15 Kv 30Ma neon in my setup giving me 15Kv at 90Ma. With a smaller gap I
 was able to get 3' sparks like before, but now they are really powerful
 white hot arcs as well. When I removed one neon the sparks were only 2 foot
 and thin again. All the neons have been tested together and individually
 and are fine.
 I would assume that the capacitor voltage before breakdown is the same and
 hence the stored energey would be the same. So why am I getting a 33%
 increase in spark length and sparks that are at least twice the diameter. I
 would estimate that there is between 50 and 100% more power in the arcs.
 Even with 2 neons and the gaps set much wider I don't get sparks any where
 near this quality.
 At no time under any setting has my gap failed to fire.Primary cap is 14.3
 nF. I have not measured the input current , but that is next on my list. 
snip - 


In my opinion, you are getting bigger sparks and hotter sparks because you
have more current (more total power) available to the primary.  More current
means the cap charges up to its breakdown voltage more frequently, thus
putting more power into the primary over a given time frame.  It is just like
using an externally ballasted transformer like a pole pig and leaving the
variac turned to max, then gradually increasing the primary current to the
transformer.  This produces the same result that you are seeing.

Ed Sonderman