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Re: First Light & Carbon?

Hi Trent!

Congratulations with your first light, nothing like those first
streamers to get your adrenaline flowing, is there?

About those carbon sticks: no, they won`t work.

The carbon is used when a stable arc is desired, like in a lamp. They
get warm, well they glow, really, at the ends, and this works towards
keeping the arc intact as long as possible.

This is the opposite of what you want in a Tesla coil, the arc should
extinguish as soon as possible.

When the secondary has rung down, and the energy has left the building
:-), the voltage will be very low. With carbon rods in the gap, even
this low voltage will be enough to sustain the arc, so the gap keeps
shorting the cap, so that it cannot charge. A sort of stalemate

What is needed is something that can be kept cool enough at the ends, so
that the arc extinguishes (quenches) as soon as the voltage gets low.
This means some sort of metal.

Cheers, Finn Hammer

Tesla List wrote:
> Original Poster: "Trent Mullins" <neontrent-at-earthlink-dot-net>
> Greetings all,
> After 3 months and ~450 research and construction hours,
> I'm finished.
> I achieved 44" streamers from my 15kV 120mA NST, 6"x24", .02 mica cap,
> system.
> I'd like to extend a very appreciate "Thanks!!" to the Tesla List and it's
> many talented members.
> This is much more than I expected, and luckily, my neighbors love it as well.
> Now, on to the question:
> Would carbon rods, the ones used in old theater projection systems, work
> well for a spark gap? They are 3/8" inch OD and ~5-6" long.
> I ran across a bunch of these and would like to know before I buy them.
> Many thanks,
> Trent Mullins
> "Bendin' Glass 'n Passin' Gas"