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Re: Keeping up with the theory (was is Corum and Corum forbidden topic?)

Original poster: "Terry Fritz" <twftesla-at-qwest-dot-net>

Hi Paul,

At 10:42 PM 5/1/2002 +0100, you wrote:
>I very much appreciated your comments on the history. It does
>help to explain the apparent regard for this stuff, despite its
>poor quality.  I'm afraid it doesn't say a lot for what went before!

I think the Corums mentioned that they thought it was terrible before their
theory solved everything :o))

I think Tesla though the art was terrible before he .....

I often wonder if someone will look at "our" work and say.........  I guess
"I" am about there now with some of my lumped theory stuff :o)))  No big
deal, the new stuff is so cool I don't give a second thought to my stuff
falling into the "obsolete trash" category.  But my models did have Ct
ground path return losses from day one ;-))

From the "Big Picture", our time will certainly be known as the era of
great renaissance of Tesla coiling.  In the last few years, the state of
Tesla coiling has been literally turned on it's side.  Since Tesla threw
the switch in Colorado Springs for the last time till now, there has not
been as much analysis, science, and progress made in the art than there has
in these last few years.  It is almost like being back with Maxwell and
contributing to those equations that shaped the future of electromagnetics.
 What we are doing now, will shape the future of Tesla coiling for
centuries to come...  We may be dead before we are "great", but somehow, we
have been "chosen"...  I note we are making as much money at our efforts as
they did for theirs  :-))

>It surprises me that the field of Tesla coiling is so poorly 
>developed.  In its journey down history the Tesla coil just doesn't
>seem to have acquired a normal body of engineering knowledge behind
>it, in the same way that other branches of electrical engineering
>have.  Instead it's collected a huge tangle of modern superstitions -
>a ragbag assortment of notions that don't make sense and don't work.

Unlike radio, space, air travel, TV, cell phones...  Tesla coiling has no
"big money" use that attracts big scientific investment.  It also does not
"just fit" other electrical engineering knowledge.  I think the only
"money" use for TC's has been in the entertainment industry.  If we had the
trillions of dollars of investment that went into cell phones or satellite
TV, we would be arguing over the feed back control firmware in the millions
of microprocessors imbedded in our magnet wire right now and if it is
susceptible to viruses and hackers...  In a way, the fact that we are
untethered to the normal engineering and scientific community is what makes
Tesla coiling so much fun!!!  In fact, our only real motivation is fun!!

>Anyway, why is it left to us amateurs to figure out for ourselves
>what the currents and voltages are doing in a secondary?  Why haven't
>the professionals sorted all this stuff out decades ago?  Is the
>pseudoscience keeping the experts away, or have the cranks simply
>moved in to fill a vacuum?  Maybe it's just not that important?

It simply does not "pay well" :-)))  There are no multimillion dollar
grants to invest in finding out how to make a better Tesla coil.  We that
are here, work for free because...  a...  Well, I guess as Richard Hull
noted, we're nuts :o))  Many engineering types have "looked" at Tesla coils
but they quickly realized that "this ain't easy!!" and ran away like scared
puppies.  The few official papers about coils tend to just work out the
simple resonant transformer equations but then the authors realize that
things get real tough after that.

I few years ago a salesman brought a Tesla coil to our company to attract
the attention of the engineers so they would come to see "it" while he
raved about his products.  We are a "big hot dog" resonant switching power
supply company with some of the best engineers out there.  They owed and
awed, but not one of them knew quite how it worked.  What is odd is that
they seemed happy to "let it go" as something really hard to figure out or
a good magic show!  Circuit theory, field theory, high voltage, RF,
Frankenstein movies...  Just too much to handle especially without being
paid to figure it out...  

It really is quite strange.  I think us folks that work all day in
circuits, high voltage, and power electronics that can't wait to get home
and work in - circuits, high voltage, and power electronics all night after
work at home....  are a bit "different".  We don't do it for the money, we
do it because we love this stuff :-))

>> Of course, 90% of Tesla coilers have never heard of the Tesla list.
>As many as that?.  Is it because they just don't get onto the Net, or
>that they don't think to do a search for Tesla?   How does everybody
>else share news and information?  If someone wanted to publish a
>technical article about TCs in a reputable place that would reach
>some majority of coilers, where would they go?

Most coilers find a 50 year old article about how to make a coil and go at
it.  It is very common to find a new coiler using plans that are older than
us.  You can't go into a book store and find a book on coiling.  All many
do is look in the library and find some old magazine article.  Perhaps from
the 20's...  

That IS changing real fast now with the net.  The Tesla coil web ring
probably reaches 100 times the number of people we do.  The Tesla list is
pretty "heavy duty" for many casual coilers.  Although we have most of the
"top guns" and "state of the art stuff" here, many can't stand the
voracious rate of Tesla coil information of this list.  In our local group
here, I think Chip, Mike, and I are the only ones on the list...  And Chip
and I are sort of captives :-))

I do note the MMCs have penetrated very fast into the "masses".  Just like
they blew other caps into oblivion here on the list, MMCs are taking over
the "non-list" world by storm too.  MMCs have sort of been the "shot heard
round the world" in Tesla coiling...

>I suspect that the infrastructure - the peer reviewed journals, 
>necessary to support the development of a normal body of engineering
>knowledge on TCs just aren't out there.

The TCBA news was sort of close but it was not really pear reviewed but
only edited.  It would be very possible to make an on-line magazine about
Tesla coils that could attract a broad number of coilers.  It would have to
be more "popular" than a stuffy scientific journal but it could reach a
large number of coilers.  I think the TCBA news had about 2400 subscribers.
 We have about 850 on this list.  Hot-streamer-dot-com gets about 1000 visitors
a day.  A google search for "tesla coil" gets 45,500 hits and the tesla
list is #2.  Bill Beaty is #1 ;-)  I see ebay has a sponsored link for
tesla coils :-))

So the "Tesla world" is far far greater than "us".  An on-line magazine
would require the usual great effort and pay nothing, but it would be a
"big deal".  One may even attract an advertising budget since some of the
pro coilers may pay for big adds.  Maybe even like ten bucks!! :o)) A big
on-line magazine could probably catch 10,000 coilers a day easily and be a
real "central hub" of the Tesla coiling world.  Although you could never
hope to loose as many tens of billions of dollars big time "dotcoms" do,
you could probably blow a few hundred on software, domain name, and hosting
and still get more visitors!!  If one were personable and sort of a "ham"
you could get to be very famous.  Every TV show about Tesla coils would
have to come and see you for an interview...  Of course, to get an article
published on such a prestigious journal, you would need for it to pass some
type of sanity test.  At least convince the "staff".

There is no "money" in it, but if you "love it", the world is just waiting
for the definitive Tesla coiling journal...  Hint - Make it PDF or nicely
printable HTML so paper copies can be made, stored, and distributed to the
rest of the world that does not do the Internet...  Don't try to copy
formats of the past, but rather pioneer formats of the future...

>Jim wrote:
>> The other thought was that you could set up some form of peer
>> reviewed journal on "tesla coil theory", but, who would would the
>> reviewers be?
>I just don't know who, or how that would work.  Peer review systems
>are normally supported by an established institution of sufficient
>quorum to achieve stability, although even that doesn't guarantee
>rationality (eg Homeopathy).  We don't have such a foundation. Those
>that existed in the past encouraged pseudoscience, eg ITS, TCBA. 
>Where is the ARRL or RSGB of coiling?  

We have Marco.  He is our "real" Tesla coiling academic.  But beyond him,
the rest of us all know each other and we tend to think alike.  We don't
seem to have an "adversary" organization fighting to steal our budget money
:-))  No big corporations trying to grab or market share...  The pro
coilers have a little fighting going on, but they know "we" will spew any
hard information they need at them till they can't take it any more :o))

>>  Maybe one could get peer reviewed publications in other journals
>> (Rev Sci Inst type, but even that probably isn't the right venue.)
>I'm sure quite a few journals would take stuff, but as you say, it's
>not going to reach coilers.

Many journals would probably love good papers from us since this stuff is
"different" and it attracts new readers.  When one finds a paper on Tesla
coils in an otherwise old stuffy journal it DOES get a big read!  But such
papers are very rare from the source.

>> on the other hand, I recall having seen some papers on TCs in peer
>> reviewed journals that had severe problems
>Yes, me too.  We must remember that peer review can never be a band-
>pass filter for correct info - it can only be a band-stop filter
>for things that are obviously wrong, meaningless, poorly presented,
>off topic, no science, or for some other reason would only add noise
>to the arena.

Remember, we have no reviewing peers.  If the "real" journal's staff can't
find glaring mistakes, there isn't much to stop the editor from pushing the
cool Tesla coil article.  Heck!  They have no idea...  They may be able to
critic the 5th order group of differential equations governing the
electromagnetic spectrum of light.  But ask them if secondary coupling can
affect streamer length...  Hahahah...  They have no fricking idea...  What
are they going to do...  Search the net!!  :-D

I often think, as we get 120 posts a day, that there needs to be some other
forum for Modern Tesla coiling "stuff".  Mailing lists are nice for us that
can't get enough after 24 hours a day of Tesla coiling, but there needs to
be some more common medium for normal folks.  The web ring is just one site
after another with no real organization.  The state of the art of Tesla
coiling is changing too fast for printed books.  Only a web based
"magazine" seems to "fit".  That takes a lot of effort and a "personality"
to drive it but the "market" is there for one that loves it and accepts
that fact you will only loose a little money ;-)  Although there are many
that like to think of the interent as a "profit tool", it started as a
money pit, it is a money pit, and it will always be the most valuable money
pit of our time...  It is really cool!!! :o)))

Those that have gone before like Harry Goldman, John Couture, D.C. Cox,
Duane Bylund... have helped to extend our art greatly by putting the art
into the hands of those that are new to it.  However, our time beckons for
yet another to step forward...