Wire Insulation Thickness

From:  Edward J. Wingate [SMTP:ewing7-at-frontiernet-dot-net]
Sent:  Wednesday, May 27, 1998 4:06 PM
To:  Tesla List
Subject:  Re: Wire Insulation Thickness

Tesla List wrote:
> ----------
> From:  Bert Pool [SMTP:bertpool-at-ticnet-dot-com]
> Sent:  Tuesday, May 26, 1998 5:36 AM
> To:  Tesla List
> Subject:  Re: Wire Insulation Thickness
> > ----------
> > From:  gweaver [SMTP:gweaver-at-earthlink-dot-net]
> > Sent:  Monday, May 25, 1998 4:37 AM
> > To:  Tesla-at-pupman-dot-com
> > Subject:  Wire Insulation Thickness
> >
> > I don't think the insulation on enamel coated copper wire is good enough
> > for very high powered Tesla Coils.
> Gary,
> Bill and I are using crappy *thin* enamel (not even formvar) wire on our Wart
> Hog coil - 13 kilowatts and 12+ foot sparks with no failures on the coil (this
> time around).  Enamel wire works for very high power coils; I consider anything
> over 10 kw very high power.  Having proudly said that, our last run one year ago
> resulted in the damaging of our secondary - tuning, tuning, tuning!  You have to
> use a large enough top for field shaping and shading and use a breakout bar on
> the toroid and tune at ruduced power level before running the coil's power up.
> Do *not* over-couple a really big coil or you will have racing sparks - and at 13
> kw that means instant death for your windings.  These are my tips for setting
> up a big coil.
> Good luck.
> Bert


AMEN!! There are untold numbers of us out here running high power coils
( 10+ KW and 10 foot plus sparks ), both magnifier extra coils and
classic coils with plain old tight wound enameled magnet wire without
mishap! Tuning IS everything! If a system is designed and tuned
properly, there is no need to space wind magnet wire, with the possible
exception of really large diameter coils ( 2 feet and up) and most folks
usually wind  those with some type of stranded or solid PVC or vinyl
insulated wire anyway. As far as coatings go, the ONLY reason I shellac
the secondary windings on any of my coils is to keep the wire from
slipping on the form. Period. I have taken out magnifier extra coils
myself by errant sparks from a toroid that was too small slapping the
windings, but never from turn to turn arcing or racing sparks. Interturn
arcing and racing sparks are a sure sign of overcoupling (most likely)
or some other tuning related problem, too low a break rate on a rotary
gap, etc. etc. Tuning at low power until the coil shows no signs of
misbehaving and gradually working up to maximum power input is always
the hot ticket to avoid the heartbreak of watching your freshly wound
secondary self destruct with a flash of light and a cloud of smoke!

Safe and smoke free coiling to all,

Ed Wingate