Re: Better Gap Worth Effort

In a message dated 5/3/00 12:40:39 PM Pacific Daylight Time, tesla-at-pupman-dot-com 

>  Yes John, i red that post just after i send my reply (thanks Terry). I can
>  imagine however that when you like the streamers to air and you prevent the
>  arcing, it would justify improving the spark gap. Streamers are shorter and
>  a lot thinner, so they must reflect energy back to the gap.
>  Ruud de Graaf


Yes, I do like air streamers with occasion strikes to the ground from
a spark enjoyment perspective.  I think that when the sparks reach
and grow all around the toroid here and there, and occasionaly strike
out and hit an object this gives an exciting display.  And yes, some
energy does return to the primary, but I find that it is not that much.
I don't know if improving the spark gap will make much difference
since the transfer efficiency is pretty good even with air streamers,
especially if the coil is well designed with a high tank voltage, high
primary surge impedance, etc.  But it is always good to have a low
loss gap, perhaps with copper or tungsten electrodes and a minimal
number of series gaps.  I suspect that when all requirements are met;
good gap, high Z primary, low bps, high primary voltage, large primary
to secondary turns ratio (L ratio really), proper toroid size, etc., it 
makes an important difference, and the sparks are better able to
grow and reach out suddenly to longer than expected distances.

John Freau