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Re: Hello, delurk and question

Original poster: "Gregory Hunter by way of Terry Fritz <twftesla-at-qwest-dot-net>" <ghunter31014-at-yahoo-dot-com>

Hi Frank,

I'm also a fan of the ignition coil/capacitor/lamp
dimmer circuit. Coincidentally, my first-ever small,
crummy little Tesla coil (built when I was 13)was
powered by an IC & lamp dimmer. The little 2 & 3 inch
sparks from the Tesla coil provided many hours of
study & entertainment. To drive a Tesla or Oudin coil,
you might want to up the power a bit.  I've
experimented with ballast caps up to 30uF and gotten
good results, and much more powerful arcs from the IC.
 I use warming of the ignition coil as my guide, and
it runs fine on 30uF with no appreciable warming. 
However, judging by your name & e-mail address, I
suspect that you might be in the land of 240vac/50Hz,
so 30uF would give you a much bigger bang, perhaps
beyond the endurance of the standard 400W Euro dimmer.

Best Regards,


--- Tesla list <tesla-at-pupman-dot-com> wrote:
> 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    |  ---------/ 
>     |                                 |
>     -----------------------FUSE--------
> I'd like to use this setup to drive a (yet to be
> built) mini
> Tesla or Oudin coil.
> Greetings,
> Frank Van der Auwera.
> ------------------------------
> mailto:frank.vanderauwera-at-ua.ac.be
> http://www.ua.ac.be/u/fvdauwer
> ------------------------------

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