Re: Spark Gap Gasses Experiment
Since I am using glass as an enclosure, I don't want to use hydrogen
because of the explosion hazard if I screw up :-)) It also leaks very easily.
Once you use up the oxygen, then nitrogen is left. However, nitrogen is
far from inert. It forms all kinds of chemical compounds especially when
exposed to the extreme temperatures of arcs! Argon and helium seem to be
the only reasonable and affordable gasses that are truly inert. I do not
have a good source of helium, but if it were better, I could always get a
bottle of it. It is amazing what a difference argon made in gap burning.
The metal stays completely pure. It only gets sprayed around a bit.
Argon's firing voltage is so different that the gap needs to be designed
specifically for it. I was going to test the voltage vs. gap distance
tonight but my epoxy went bad. I have to wait over night for the silicone
to dry now. That is what the real gap will use so no big problem. I have
redesigned the thing today so that is very easy to build. The glass shop
does all the glass cutting and the copper pipe sections, a fan, argon, and
a tube of silicone should be all that is needed to make the thing.
>From: Bert Hickman <bert.hickman-at-aquila-dot-com>
At 07:59 PM 8/31/98 -0500, you wrote:
>Good luck on the argon gap! For significantly better quenching, and
>perhaps greater cooling efficiency, hydrogen gas may be the best choice
>of fill gas.
>Also, if you plan to seal the gap, you may be able to get by with just
>air, since the most of the initial oxygen in the entrapped air will
>fairly quickly combine with the copper, and further oxidation should
>then stop. In the early days of spark radio, this approach was used in
>sealed quenching sparkgaps with excellent success.
>-- Bert --