Re. to quench or not too quench!

> Original Poster: mark <moyson-at-tig-dot-com.au>
> Hello again.
> I have made some big changes to my small coil now by adding more turns to
> the secondary and re tunning etc and im getting much better results from
> this small power supply! But, i was just wondering what the diffrence is
> betweeen a quenched and non-quenched spark gap. What is the advantage of a
> quenched spaek gap?

I think there's a problem with terminology.

The terms: "quenched and non-quenched spark gap" are misnomers who's use
only serves to further confuse people on difficult-to-grasp concept of
quenching.  There's just no such thing as a "quenched gap".  ANY
reasonable spark gap will eventually quench, it's just a matter of
whether it quenches at first notch, or some time later, and it's not a
does or doesn't issue.

Among static gaps, there is the option of using forced airflow to blow
through the gaps to assist quenching.  In my experience, a static gap
will perform poorly (not quench well) unless there is some level of
forced air.  From what I have seen, single and small numbers of series
gaps fare the worst with no airflow, Terry Fritz seems to have had good
results (first notch quenching) with large numbers of series gaps with no

I'm not aware of a term to denote airflow-assisted gaps vs. no-airflow
gaps.  "Quenched vs. unquenched" is not it.  "Vacuum gap" is sometimes
used when using a vacuum cleaner motor to provide airflow, but doesn't
help it you're using a fan or compressor.  Plus, it lends the false
impression that the gap is in an evacuated chamber.  Any suggestions?

Gary Lau
Waltham, MA USA