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Hello, delurk and question

Original poster: "Frank Van der Auwera by way of Terry Fritz <twftesla-at-qwest-dot-net>" <fvdauwer-at-uia.ua.ac.be>

Hello all.
Happy to have found a Tesla community that isn't sounding 
as if they havce been sniffing ozone too much.

I've been browsing the archives of this nice list and tried 
out the simple 'light dimmer, cap and ignition coil' setup.
 I guess i wanted to try the ignicion coil stuff for 
nostalgic reasons. I used to play with high voltage 
experiments together with my grandfather when i was a 
teenager, and one of the first things we made was an 
ignition coil-driven miniature Oudin coil. In those days, 
of course, electronics where beyond our reach, so it used a 
mechanical breaker to trigger the IC. Seeing this simple 
light dimmer diagram made me want to try it, and it works 
nicely, i get +- 3cm fat sparks, using a triac dimmer and 
two 0.470 uF caps in parallel to get +- 1 uF.

My only problem so far seems to be that every now and then, 
sparks jump from the coil housing to one or both of the 
primary terminals. I dont suppose those high tension peaks 
make the triac very happy... I have no idea how to avoid 
this behaviour, since in ignition coils, one terminal of 
the secondary is electrically connected to the housing, as 
well as to the primary, if i am not mistaken?
         -------       ---||---     -    ---------\
    -----|DIMMER|------|       |---------|         --
    |    -------       ---||---     + ---| I C     --   
 220 V AC              2x 0.470 uF    |  ---------/     
    |                                 |

I'd like to use this setup to drive a (yet to be built) mini
Tesla or Oudin coil.


Frank Van der Auwera.