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Safety Gap Is Firing Too Much And Too Wide!

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

Hello all,

    I have been running my 2.375" coil each run was about 30 seconds .  I
noticed that every few runs it would just stop, spark gap didn't fire, no
streamers, just the hum of the neon transformer.  So I added a safety gap to
the capacitor.  The cap is a Maxwell rated 35kv -at- 0.03uf , and the safety
gap is 2 12awg copper wires wrapped around the cap connected on each
terminal the gap was set at .25" and fired contently.  My spark gap total is
set at 0.1875",  3 gaps of 1.125" diameter copper pipe that 3" long.  So I
set the safety gap to .5 and then it still fired constantly after that I set
it to 0.75".  I ran it for about 10 sec and then the safety gap fired a
couple times about 5 seconds later it would fire contently. I ran it twice
with that setup and the same thing happened.  Why is the safety gap firing
so much with as spacing of 0.75"? Also what is the voltage to breakdown the
space of .75"? Any tips like to fix this problem cause I think 0.75" for a
spark gap is over 35kv? Thanks for your Help!!

Nolan Moore