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Re: help me put my coil on a diet; its capacitor appetite is expensive!

Original poster: Vardan <vardan01@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>


Beware that a gap "directly across" the main cap can draw huge currents from it!! Best to set it in parallel with the main gap so the primary inductor will limit the short circuit current. Directly shorting Tesla coil caps can create giant currents through them causing damage!!!




I snipped a lot here.

Do you have a safety gap across the caps or better yet across the rotary or main primary spark gap system? I also have blown up a capacitor or two. After much head scratching and help from another coiler, I added a spark gap across the primary caps set to about 5/8" using about 1.5" diameter brass spheres. I was very surprised to discover this new safety gap was firing (loud, like a rifle shot) at about 60 or 70% of the main variac setting. I was experiencing a primary resonance problem between the current limiting inductance (welder) and the primary caps. The primary tank circuit voltage was going WAY too high and overvolting the caps. I eventually solved this problem by changing the current limiting inductor. A safety gap as I described should not be firing with the 15,000 volt pig transformer that I was using.

Ed Sonderman