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Re: Spark gap

Original poster: Jim Lux <jimlux@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>

At 07:45 AM 4/4/2005, Tesla list wrote:
Original poster: "Paul B. Brodie" <pbbrodie@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>

I was planning on using my leaf blower to push air through my TCBOR/Richard Quick spark gap. Is this too much airflow? I have 8, 1/2 (0.5) inch copper pipes inside a 6" diameter piece of PVC. Also, it looks like I can get in one more piece of copper pipe for an even 8 spark gaps. I have been advised to set the total, overall gap to 0.2 inches/8 = 0.025 per gap. Of course with the brass bolts sticking out the side of the PVC, I can run any number of gaps I want from 1 to 8. I was also advised that once the spark gap is completed, it is a real BEAR to try to reset the gaps and in fact that once it is set and running well, that I should permanently fix the copper pipe electrodes with epoxy to keep them from migrating and ruining my setup.

I also have a shop vac that I can use to suck air through the spark gap. The shop vac doesn't move nearly as much air as the leaf blower. I am using a 15kV 30mA NST. Is this spark gap overkill in the first place or does this sound like a good plan? BTW, 21 inch x 4 inch secondary with 1100 turns, 14 turn 0.25 inch copper tubing primary flat, and 3.5 inch x 15 inch toroid. Oh yeah, .01 mF primary cap.

Finally, if I use the spark gap with 8 gaps, do I start off using all 8 gaps? Or, do I start with one and work my way up as I tune and adjust the coil?

A leaf blower is a bit excessive. Try a simple muffin fan first. This isn't a blast gap, but the air flow does two things: cool the electrodes (doesn't take much flow to do this.. not all that many watts are being dissipated); move the sparking points around (again, almost any motion does this).