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Re: ISSTC Components

Original poster: "Jim Lux" <jimlux-at-earthlink-dot-net> 

 > IF people had done such things in the past, why is it that people are
 > amazed when these new SSTCs are more efficient at making long sparks that
 > spark gap coils???  I mean... SOMETHING is different here ;).  Did the
 > technology exist 10 years ago but somehow was forgotten?  I dont think
 > thats possible with such a tight group as the TCML and coilers in general.

Three things I can think of off hand:

1) The semiconductor technology didn't really exist 10 years ago.  At least
not in a sufficiently inexpensive form that you could get a lot of tinkering
in. I seem to recall someone in the early 90's having a big resonant Hbridge
driver, but that's about it.  The peak powers today are probably much higher
than they were 10 years ago, even if the average power is roughly the same,
leading me to:

2) I think that spark length is more a function of drive envelope (pulses
with higher peak powers viz CW).  Think of the work done with VT TCs and
staccato mode.

3) I'll bet the "power efficiency" of modern SSTCs is higher than that of 10
years ago, in the sense that less of the DC (or AC) input power is going
into heating up the transistors.  So, in a "spark length per wall plug watt"
sense, today's coils are doing much better.