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First Light

Original poster: "Matt Woody Meyer by way of Terry Fritz <twftesla-at-qwest-dot-net>" <meyerml-at-stolaf.edu>

After a few weeks of hard labor and getting way behind in all of my other
classes, I finally completed my coil project and "sparked it up" for the
first time.  After some initial problems with arcing from secondary to
primary, we got some nice 1' to 2' long streamers.  This is great, but I'd
like to improve if possible.  Here're some questions for you again:

1) Is there any way to get more consistent arcs instead of shorter streamers
flying around everywhere?
2) I figured that by grounding my secondary, I could eliminate the arcing
problem to the primary... I still get some arcing that I'd like to fix.  Any
3) I'm getting a lot of inter-secondary arcing... how can I correct this?

My setup is as follows:
15kV/60ma NST
Terry's Protection Circuit
RQ style spark gap (almost identical to Vince's (http://www.teslafx-dot-com)
.034uF capacitors (one .18, one .16, wired in parallel- mineral oil based
rolled caps)
11 turn primary coil, mounted on PVC pipe (beautiful wind)
8x32 secondary coil (22AWG magnet wire)
Aluminum heating duct toroid- about 25" major diam, 9" minor diam, 8" tall).

I took some photos that I can send to people personally... will try to setup
a website and post them.
Any suggestions or help would be appreciated. :)


PS: We were paid a visit by campus security while firing the coil.  There
was a complaint by a resident in the reshall next to the science building of
"suspicious behavior".  Campus security hadn't a clue what we were doing
(but they came squealing in with their emergency lights on), and at one
point during our conversation, asked, "is it allowed to build a tesla
coil..... on campus?".  Had to take down my name and the professor's to make
sure the project was OK'd.  Funny, I'm on reslife staff here, and they never
respond so fast when we need their help. :)

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Matt "Woody" Meyer         Ellingson 120       507-646-2883 (CUTE)