Re: Better Gap Worth Effort

In a message dated 4/30/00 3:30:16 PM Pacific Daylight Time, tesla-at-pupman-dot-com 

> End 1996, begin 1997 there was a (VERY long) thread called "Optimal
>  Quenching Test". I didn't read it completely yet, but one statement of Bert
>  Hickman striked me: 'If you get an arc to ground during the first transfer
>  none of the secondary energy ever makes it back to the primary, and you 
>  quench at the first notch'.
>  I can imagine there are more demands that must be met before this will
>  happen, but is seems logical to me. Could this explain why you and others
>  haven proven that quenching on the first notch is not 'of the utmost
>  importance'?
>  Ruud de Graaf


Yes, back then, there was an opinion that 1st notch quench was
very important, and a number of attempts were made to achieve it.
1st notch quenching was achieved, but no real improvement was
seen in the spark output.  Bert is right that a ground strike sucks
the energy out the system so fast, that there's no energy left to 
transfer back to the primary, so the qap quenches on the first
notch.  The time of quench depends largely on how fast the energy
is drained out of the system by the spark streamers (assuming a
fixed value for Fo and k of course).

I think Terry explained it very well the other day, when he described
how the streamers (even with free air streamers if they're nice and
strong), drain away so much energy (quickly enough), that the 
feeble amount of energy that might make it back to the primary
(and thereby delay the quench), hardly hurts the spark output.  
Meanwhile, if one attempts to actually achieve the first notch
quench by using multiple gaps, etc, this can reduce the spark
output due to the greater losses.  

John Freau