From:  Bill the arcstarter [SMTP:arcstarter-at-hotmail-dot-com]
Sent:  Wednesday, June 10, 1998 10:03 AM
To:  tesla-at-pupman-dot-com; wwl-at-netcomuk.co.uk; klugmann-at-hotmail-dot-com
Subject:  Re: Teslathon-argon

Mike, Paul, fellow coilers,
 Someone wrote:
>>I've looked at the teslathon link posted on this list and there is an
>>interesting photo with a nozzle lying on a Tesla generator with a 
>>bottle of argon attached to it. Sadly the generator doesn't seem to 
>>run, so how would this look like?
>What do you mean ? If you mean there are no sparks, this is 
>because the argon tube is sucking all the power - discharges 
>happen in argon more easily than in air. My 'fun with argon' page 
>www-dot-netcomuk.co.uk/~wwl/argon.html has more info, and a link to 
>stuff elsewhere. Remember the ambient light on the teslathon photo 
>was quite high -the tube lit up a lot brighter than it looks in the 
>>Is it worth buying a bottle of argon? 
>A small one, yes!

Those of you in the USA might be curious at what sort of $$$ it takes to 
start fooling with argon.

I'm leasing (from a welding supply company) a large tank which holds 125 
cu ft at STP of argon.  Cost me $140 for a 15 year lease, pro-ratable, 
which converts to something like $9/yr!  If I get tired of doing this I 
can give the tank back and get the remainder of the lease time back in 
cash, etc.  Thats worth $9/yr in my book...

Refills cost about $15.  I haven't ever run out!  You can do lots of 
neat things with argon, as Mike Harrison has indicated on his page.

>I had a thought on another argon experiment I'd like to try: 
>Set up a jar or tube of clear mineral oil, containing two  electrodes,
>one connected to the coil, the other connected to (or other within
>striking range) of ground , spaced such that the coil discharge won't
>break down the oil's insulation (i.e. nothing happens when you zap
>it). Then bubble a stream of argon through the oil - would the 
>bubbles light up?

Don't know what would happen.  Does the argon glow due to the frequency 
(ie - capacitive coupling) or would it work with DC at all?

I'm might try building an argon-triggered spark gap (for a non-tesla 
application-crush crush!).  Two polished electrodes which are positioned 
far enough away as to hold off 20kv or so.  Triggering would be 
accomplished by blowing a puff or argon into the gap.  I'm told that 
argon has a better ionization percentage than does air - it might make a 
less lossy switched gap.

Comments?  I've blown argon over RQ gaps attached to my coil and not 
seen in change in output so maybe this won't work...

There is a surgical tool called an ABC - short for Argon Beam 
Coagulator.  Also called an APC - Argon Plasma Coagulator.  Argon passes 
over a HF/HV electrode - and emerges as a plasma.  This plasma then 
'scorches' tissue to suppress bleeding, etc.  A nontechnical webpage is 

Follow the links for electrosurgery...

-Bill Pollack (Arcstarter)

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