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REsolved: ...And then there was silence.

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

I found the problem early this morning... several things had gone wrong with
the coil.  I'm not sure if it was all at once or separate incidents.

Problem #1) Something in the protection circuit faulted... not sure what.
(based on Terry's NST filter)
Problem #2) Either when the protection faulted or shortly thereafter, my
NST's both went kaput.
Problem #3) The reason for the fault was that our stockroom clerk ordered
the wrong MOV's.  One (or more) of them faulted causing the problems.
Problem #4) (probably unrelated to the previous), one of my two capacitors
shorted.  This was a problem that I thought we had previously resolved, but
in fact didn't.  The capacitors are potted in PVC piping, caulked on both
ends.  Capacitors are rolled in the pipe, and two leads extend to one end of
the pipe for the contacts (made from two bolts).  This has been a problem
before, and I thought we'd finally resolved it, but the two leads ended up
coming in contact causing the fault again.  After shortening them and tying
them down inside the pipe, they've finally stayed put.

All told, and after switching to my backup NST's (a little less power,
12000kV / 60ma) I was able to get nice 33" streamers for my demonstration
tonight.  A student in the class ("the unbeliever") had bet me that for
every 3" I was able to get, he would buy me a pint of beer.  This adds up to
1 3/8 gallons that he now owes me, which, down at the local bar (The
Contented Cow), at roughly $4 / pint, comes to a $56 loss on his end (we are
a dry campus, and I am an R.A., so he can't get off light by buying me a
case :) ).  My classmates will be helping to put the beer away, seeing that
I "have the tolerance of a high school cheerleader" and can't have more than
2 pints).

I wanted to take this chance to thank everybody on the list who, in one way
or another, helped out with this project... I couldn't have done it had it
not been for all your help and advice.  Special thanks to Terry & Vince, who
were key to me completing this project.  I will upload some pictures of the
coil in operation for everybody.

So, again, thank you all for your help and support!

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

St. Olaf College Physics Major
SPS (Soc. Physics Students) Olaf Chapter President
St. Olaf Admissions Tour Co-Coordinator
2001-2002 Ellingson Hall Residence Life Junior Counselor
2002-2003 Larson Hall Residence Assistant

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-----Original Message-----
From: Tesla list [mailto:tesla-at-pupman-dot-com]
Sent: Wednesday, May 15, 2002 7:25 PM
To: tesla-at-pupman-dot-com
Subject: Re: ...And then there was silence.

Original poster: "Malcolm Watts by way of Terry Fritz <twftesla-at-qwest-dot-net>"

Hi Matt,
        Measuring capacitors with a volt or two and running them at
kV's are two different things. I don't think your tests are


On 15 May 2002, at 7:03, Tesla list wrote:

> Original poster: "Matt Woody Meyer by way of Terry Fritz
<twftesla-at-qwest-dot-net>" <meyerml-at-stolaf.edu>
> I got it running again... had some problems before which turned out to be
> shorted capacitor (ah, the troubles with homebuilt caps!) and the spark
> wasn't working correctly.  I also changed my large toroid to the small
> toroid.  All told, tonight during my final night of testing before my big
> symposium, I was able to get 36" arcs (a guy in my class bet me a pint of
> beer for every 3" I was able to get... that's 12 beers!)
> So, while taking pictures after tuning, something happened, and as of now
> am not sure what it was.  Everything was working very well, and then, the
> gap stopped firing suddenly (just happened right away, didn't "ramp
> and I heard the transformers "sizzling".  I am using a RQ style gap (like
> the one on Vince's website: http://www.teslafx-dot-com) with a small piece of
> wood between the two end electrodes (to prevent arcing between them.  I am
> at this point very desperate for any answers.  I have so far ruled out the
> following:
> -NST's are working correctly
> -Wiring is correct
> -Capacitors failed continuity test (good thing- they're not shorted
>   (will measure capacitance tomorrow morning to verify these aren't the
> problem)
> -NST Protection should be working
> -Spark Gap has no faults in it.
> My setup is:
> 15kV 60ma & 15kV 30ma transformers, in parallel
> Terry's NST protection filter
> RQ style gap (see http://www.teslafx-dot-com)
> 2 capacitors, in parallel for total capacitance of .034uF
> 11 turn primary, .375" copper tubing
> 8x32 secondary, 22AWG magnet wire
> smaller toroid (don't have dimensions)
> All grounding done directly to earth with two grounding rods.
> Any suggestions would help me VERY much, as my presentation is at 2:00 on
> Wed (CDT) and the firing is at 9:00pm CDT Wed. as well.
> Many thanks,
> ><>Matt
> ps: please e-mail me directly, so as not to clog up the list with answers.
> :)
> meyerml-at-stolaf.edu
> >