Sparks in Georgia

Howdy !

This is a progress report from Crossroads, Georgia, a thank you to all whose
comments and suggestions helped me get this far, and an appeal for peer
review and further suggestions.

Since destroying my two NSTs I have switched to a 15 kV potential xfmr and
SW caps driving my 4.5 in x 30 in secondary coil and 8 x 24 in stovepipe
toroid.  I have breakout and can drive 30 in streamers or 16 in hot sparks.

Secondary :  880 t of #20 Cu wire on PVC pipe 4.5 in dia x 30 in long.
Top Load  :  Toroid, 8 x 24 in stovepipe
Primary C :  Inverted cone, 30 deg, 10 in x 48 in, 23 t of #6 Cu, wood form,
tunes at 6 turns.
Power     :  70:1 PT, ballast = 4|| HW elements 1500 VA ea, 240 VAC in.
Capacitor :  Hawg Capacitor, 7 gal cider juggs in #3 washtub, about 17 nF
Spark Gap : Aspirated, hollow electrode static gap.

Recent Improvements:

Capacitors.  Now using Sodium Hydroxide for electrolyte in SW caps, for a 50
% improvement.  About 17 nF total in seven glass gallon cider jugs.
According to the CRC Handbook, thats the most conductive electrolyte short
of using acid.  The plastic soda bottles had too many incipient defects to
be reliable.  Also they are actually 3 ply:  virgin PET, then regrind and
post consumer, then virgin PET again.  The middle layer has who-knows-what
in it.  Thanks to Mike Foster, Kip, and Cabbotttt for SW cap suggestions.

Using the PT.  have 4 ea || of 1500W 240 V water heater elements for
ballast.  Actual power unknown.  The PT is rated for 1500 VA probably quite
conservative.  It always runs dead cold, even after several 10 minute runs.
The water gets hot, I will set up to do some calorimetry and get reliable
power data soon.

Spark Gap.  Using single static gap of 3/4 in copper pipe end to end,
aspirated with a shop vac via a PVC pipe manifold, similar to what Gary Lau
uses.  Works pretty well in my system.

Elevating my system on 2 ft PVC pipe legs.  Several folks on Thee List
convinced me the shorted turn toroid wont waste my energy much.  Kinda like
a shading coil in a shady-pole motor, runs cool when properly designed.  The
steel reinforced concrete and dirt beneath are much more lossy.

Anyway, thanks to Gary, Terry, Cabbotttttt, Malcom and many others who took
time to review and suggest improvements and experiments.  Many of them
worked well and have been retained.  Of course, I'm just getting started, so
if I'm doing anything wrong please tell me !  Details of my experiments and
system to date are at http://www.altair-dot-org/teslanotes.htm

I'm thinkin to try a bigger toroid and bring my primary tune point out a few
turns.  Also bigger conductor (Cu tubing) primary. Continue increasing NaOH
concentartion in capacitor electrolyte, and use 1 in Cu pipe center
electrodes to replace 1/2 in pipe.

Also, I will no longer sign messages "makin lil bitty sparks in Georgia",
rather I will now say :

Makin lil sparks in Georgia,