The Strangest Occurance...

Last night I was fiddling around with my coil. The strangest thing
happened when used my safety gap as the main spark gap. With the center
post grounded to the RF ground, I was producing the largest arcs I have
seen to date with this 9KV 60 mA coil. I tried it several times without
the ground (so it was a plain ol' 2 gap multiple spark gap) and with a
standard static gap. Nothing produced the arc lengths that the grounded
electrode did. Normal arcs are 8"-10" but the grounded electrode made
12"-14" arcs.

Here are the specs of the coil if they matter:

NST power supply (total of 9KV -at- 60 mA)
30 degree primary wound with .25" tubing spaced at about .25"
3" thin wall pvc, wound up about 12.75" for a secondary form
Saltwater caps
Two medium size stainless mixing bowls stacked on top of each other for a
discharge terminal

I thought the grounded electrode was supposed to carry away the excess
current when the safety gap fires. The only thing I can think of is that
maybe some of the power is bypassing the primary and is base feeding the
secondary through the ground. Is this a recipe for a neon BBQ?

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