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Re: Mississippi Mud Caps: Was, Barium Titanate Caps.

Original poster: "albert hassick by way of Terry Fritz <twftesla-at-uswest-dot-net>" <uncadoc-at-juno-dot-com>

Hi Dr. Cadd, all.   Thanks for your kind words.  One thing I do want to
make clear, and that was the error in my posted letter content. We do not
have a microwave oven that can process ceramics.  Rather, we use a
ceramic container to fuse glass in the microwave, and we 'set' clay
objects in the microwave before firing in the kiln. Thereby my 'fused
glass and ceramic statement'. Sorry for the error.   Now, our next
objective is to weld/sil-fos the leads somehow to the thin copper plates
before firing in the kiln with our "z" clip wire formation in the clay so
that we can encapsulate the entire assembly in a clay matrix and fire it
at a much higher temperature that we use for 'glazing', thereby getting a
finished product that will have a 'glazed' surface and may not need all
the epoxy surround that we used on the first ceramic cap. But a lot of
these glazes contain some lead, not sure of the content or how
detrimentally conductive it would be, we will have to fire these
compounds and see what the conductibility is of the coating.  Also, we
will try a mostly 'white clay' base for the next capacitor, hoping that
it will produce a higher plate 'Q' than the first mostly red mud
capacitor did.  The white clay is nowhere near as plentiful as the red
clay is.  The white clay runs only in small veins here, sandwiched
between the red, brown and gray clay atop the shale layer.  We are also
wondering about introducing a teflon 'micro sphere' compound into the
clay as a binder/insulator, does anyone think that may help?  Wonder what
the melting point of teflon is?   The auto body compound we used on the
first cap was really not a good binder/additive, since it seemed to coke
up a lot on the finished fired clay capacitor(I should have known
better!). The puzzle now is proper support from the wire leads only so
that we can get a good glazed cover all around the capacitor body. Copper
wire leads will probably tend to sag upon high temperature heating in the
kiln and may pull apart from the copper plates. We are thinking of
brazing, or silver brazing a brass bolt to the copper plates, problem is,
the copper plates are not really plates, they are very thin shim stock
and we have not had any luck brazing a terminal stud to the thin sheet.
Perhaps a thicker copper plate would be in order?  But it may change the
whole balance of the capacitor internals as we now have them and may not
be at all beneficial.  Anyhoo, these caps take a lot of effort to make,
and I would not wish the process upon anyone! The best thing that I can
say at this point is:  It was a expensive, tedious, time consuming
project, but we did it just to see if it could be done, even on a small
scale. If we did not already have the clay tools and kiln, arc welder,
stainless steel sieves, hydraulic jacks, etc. there is no way we would
have done this.  The clay is 'dirt' cheap!  The apparatus is not. 
However, the final product made it all worthwhile when it actually worked
for a short time in the OBIT fired small Tesla coil.   Al.

 On Mon, 30 Apr 2001 11:44:10 -0600 "Tesla list" <tesla-at-pupman-dot-com>
> Original poster: "Dr. Duncan Cadd by way of Terry Fritz 
> <twftesla-at-uswest-dot-net>" <dunckx-at-freeuk-dot-com>
> Hi Al, All!
> >Hi Terry, Gary, Ed, Dr. Cadd, Jim, Dunckx, Georg, All.  Thanks for
> >bearing with me!
> I'll bear with anything as inventive as this.
> <snip>
> Thanks for all the detail, much appreciated.  Some photos to 
> document
> this process would make a really neat and unique webpage, if you 
> ever
> have the time from the more important stuff ;-)
> >It is still air curing tonight, but we wanted to test
> >it under fire, so we hooked it up to our old OBIT coil with salt
> water
> >caps, and viola, it worked!  We only needed two bottle caps in
> >conjunction with our clay contraption to fire the coil with good
> results!
> >  We ran it at ten second clips with no sign of overheating.  We 
> now
> need
> >to make more to try with the 15kv modified neons to see if they 
> will
> >withstand that voltage and higher current,  and for how long a 
> period
> of
> >time.  Our greatest fear is that the clay will crack internally
> within
> >the epoxy shell at higher volts and amps, but we think that if we 
> can
> >stack them as a long multicelled epoxy encapsulated capacitor, 
> then
> they
> >may even survive a pole pig ordeal.    Al.
> I take my hat off to you, this is excellent stuff you've done.  I
> would wonder how much the losses e.g. from iron in the clay will
> contribute to heating and cracking, but even if it does fail under
> pole pig use, you have done something new, innovative and I bet the
> satisfaction factor when you fired the thing up and it worked was
> tremendous.  Well done!  You may find in the course of your
> experiments that some colours of clay from your hillside give 
> better
> results than others because of different impurity levels.  Looks 
> like
> you're in for some serious fun for a while to come.  I anticipate
> hearing more interesting things from you.
> Dunckx
> Geek#1113 (G-1)
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