RE: first tesla coil

Hi Chester:

I would need more information to say if your tuning is correct or not,
specifically regarding the construction of your cap.  Do I correctly
understand that you have 30 plates connected to one terminal and 31 plates
connected to the other terminal, with 60 40-mil thick dielectric layers
separating them?  What are the dimensions of the area of the plates that
overlap with the adjacent plate?  I didn't understand 2x 5" by 5".

You made no mention of a top load (toroid).  You'll get very poor
performance unless you have one, and we'd need to know it's dimensions also
in the tuning calculations.  With your transformer you should be able to get
at least 18"-24" sparks.

Regards, Gary Lau
Waltham, MA USA

>Original Poster: Katie Lowrey <lowrey-at-interpac-dot-net> 
>Hi this is Chester Lowrey I just built my first tesla coil and here are the
>powersupply:    12kv 30ma NST
>cap:    2x 5" by 5" plate cap with 60 insulating layers each ten sheets of
>MIL         polyethylene  immersed in mineral oil. uf ??
>sparkgap:       8 coper pipe gaps 
>primary:        7 turns 1/4 copper pipe 18" diameter flat pancake
>secondary:      6" by 24" PVC pipe wound with 24gau copper wire 
>all conections made with 10gau insulated wire.
>from this description what do you think about it's performance? all i can
>currently get is 5 inch sparks at the most. my thoughts are that the
>transformer isn't big enough.
>but would it work better if i use a smaller primary and secondary?
>transformers are preatty hard to obtain when you live in hawaii and are
>15yrs.  i just built the cap this weekend and was expecting better results
>than with my 7 bottles but spark gained 1' at the most 
>        well i would greatly apreaciate any help/comments PS. sowrey about
>the spelling hope you dont mind