Re: Spark Gap Losses And Thoughts...and more Thoughts...
What a great topic!
It has always interested me in the dozens of gap designs from the old
The early English style Tesla Coils used an annoying method of mica
washers/copper discs as series stationary gaps.
The english style machines that did use regular adjustable gaps often had
them enclosed in a container, with coal gas or spirits replacing the air in
the gap. I've never tried this, but literally dozens of [European] styles
of machines used this method. Wasn't the greatest method, but perhaps could
be improved upon...
1920s machines often used series gaps, finned heatsinks. This works well,
but I've noticed that the machines with the larger surface area gaps (large
tungsten surface) work better than similar machines with smaller gap surface
area (even if more gaps were in series).
One thing that nobody does anymore (WHY?) is to make Tesla Coils with
electromagnetic interrupters. I know they aren't good for high power
levels, but what is your opinion on them? I know 6" sparks are possible
with a good electromagnetic interrupter, the Betz machine on my site only
draws an amp and throws one heck of a 6" spark.
Barely any arcing at the contacts, I don't see too much room for losses, I
mean I'm impressed by that sort of spark-length to current drawn ratio!
Even drawing a couple of amps, (max. maybe 4-5 amps for a mechanical
interrupter) most small neon transformers only draw 4-5 amps.
Tesla used mercury breaks - which I am not suggesting by any means everyone
builds, but their related cousin from induction coils might work well -
electrolytic interrupters. Why not?? I mean, they can handle TONS of
current. Wehnelt interrupters and Simon/Caldwell interrupters, you can
easily drain 10 or 15 amps through them at 100 volts.
Why couldn't you use an electrolytic interrupter with a self-induction coil
or induction coil to get high frequency pulses of high current, high voltage
to operate a Tesla Coil??
With that said, Tesla Coils don't have to be the norm either.
That Betz coil has a flat spiral of wire embedded in wax, 9" diameter, 2"
high. And it throws a 6" spark...
The Violet Rays make little 1" sparks, painless, and their disruptive
discharge coils are nothing like the Tesla Coils we see today.
I'm not suggesting we totally reinvent the wheel here, but in the first 30
years of this century there were so many machines of fascinating design, and
everyone ignores them. Spark Gaps and Coil winding techniques were the main
90 % of every Tesla Coil from the past 20 years looks the same.
In the first 20 years of this century there were names like Thomson, Dean,
Fischer, Betz, Guilleminot, Oudin, d'Arsonval, Strong, Kinraide, Ovington,
Rochefort, Schall, and countless others for their creative design in [if not
anything else] commercial high frequency spark coils, yielding Tesla
Frank Betz didn't decide to make Tesla Coils just like Kinraide. He worked
on Kinraide's idea and improved on it.
Too many of us coilers see some impressive masterpiece like a TTR coil and
decide to build our own versions, though instead of improving upon it, we
make the same idea but take short cuts along the way, and wonder why our's
doesn't work as well!
I am currently attempting to scan pictures of the above mentioned spark
gaps...I think everyone will find them interesting!
Get Free Email and Do More On The Web. Visit http://www.msn-dot-com