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RE: [TCML] Comments please: Book review

I'm not an English major, just an "other."
I would say that this review will be used as a summary of sorts for advertising purposes and such? If so, it might pay to leave out the personal experiences with different caps and just make a mention that information on DIY caps / MMCs is available elsewhere (a perfect time to plug the TCML. .  :^) 
Also, when writing a review, you should NEVER mention that you didn't finish the book! I remember doing book reviews back at school, with the teacher asking, "Did you even read the book?!?!?"
Usually ended in a fail. Just a thought. . .
Also, I have taken the liberty of correcting a few typos and making a few substitutions. Not sure if I picked them all up, but I think so. I could be cheeky and say you spelled organized wrong, but I am Australian (We spell it "organised.")   ;^)
Matt Reid.
-------------------------------------------------------------------> Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2008 20:47:37 -0700> From: chip@xxxxxxxxxx> To: tesla@xxxxxxxxxx> CC: > Subject: [TCML] Comments please: Book review> > Ok, English majors and others...> > Here is my review of "The Ultimate Tesla Coil Design and Construction> Guide". I got the book as a review copy, read as much as I could and> wrote a review of the book. Here is the review below. > > I'd appreciate any comments ranging from typographical errors to major> questions raised and left unanswered.> > Thanks in advance.> Chip> > ------------------------------> Review of Mitch Tilbury's "The Ultimate Tesla Coil Design and Construction Guide" > > In 2007, on my birthday, I recieved an email from Bettina Faltermeier of> McGraw-Hill asking me if I would be interested in reviewing this book and> posting the information about it on my website. With the prospect of a minor> amount of notoriety and a free book, I naturally said yes.> > I received the book and promptly began reading it.> > Safety should always be the first topic when talking tesla coils. Therefore I> will start the review with this subject as well. Understanding potential> sources of danger in tesla coils is the first step toward safety.> After a few pages of introductory material, the author spends six pages> on safety issues, discussing various ways that one may hurt themselves> or others and how to avoid such injuries. I felt that the topic was covered > to a suitable degree. > > Over all, I am quite happy with the book. I did not arrive at this feeling> immediately but rather after thinking about the many aspects of tesla coils that > the author had to cover in order to make his book complete.> > To fully appreciate this book, one must understand the audience to which this> book is directed. It is my opinion that this book is directed towards> intermediate to advanced coilers or those with a background in electrical> engineering or physics.> > Like a college physics book, this book is rather dense. It's not light> reading that you can pick up after a long hard day and lose yourself. Rather,> it's a very complete, well researched book that covers every aspect of making a > tesla coil. If one steps back and looks at the book as a whole, they can easily> see the huge amount of effort expended by Mr. Tilbury in making his creation as> complete and in-depth as possible.> > The novice coiler could purchase this book as well but with the understanding> that much of it will not yet be accessible. Once they have progressed beyond their> first coil and have the desire to improve their coil and their understanding of how > they work and how to design better coils in the future, they will find this book > a great reference.> > One of the things that I appreciate most about this book is that it is > cross-referenced and well organized. It is easy to find the section,> equation, or graph that will answer your question.> > I must confess too that as I started reading the book I had hoped to read it > from cover to cover. However, I only got as far as page 156. By> this time I relized that I'd better get this review done before> McGraw-Hill started thinking I wasn't going to uphold my end of the> deal. However, I feel that I can still evaluate it based on what I> did read. > > While I highly recommend this book, my one beef is that the author seems> to have conceded defeat when it comes to making one's own capacitors.> As the author states, "The cost of new commercial high-voltage capacitors> ... can present a design challenge for even the experienced coiler".> Much discussion has taken place on the tesla coil mailing list as well as> research by many amateurs into the most economical way to manufacture> home-made capacitors. The current favorite, the MMC or multi-mini> capacitor, seems to be nearly as good as any commercial capacitor.> It's robustness is scalable and my experience is that it's superior to> commercial capacitors. > > Many years ago there was a group purchase of purpose-built tesla coil> capacitors from Plastic Capacitors Inc. The voltage rating was higher> than the 14,400 volt distribution transformer that I was using at> the time. I was using a rotary gap and running around 300-500 breaks> per second. The capacitor was a sealed unit without any venting or> safety pressure relief. It was halloween and I had the coil running on> the top of my garage. As it ran, it went silent. In the time it took> for me to wonder what was going on, a tremendous explosion followed.> The capacitor case had blown up. Thinking it was just that one capacitor> that was defective, I swapped in another capacitor of the same model.> Within less than a minute it too blew up. That was over $300 worth of> capacitors gone in an evening.> > Later I built an MMC for $240 and it's been much more robust, taking> all that the earlier capacitors took without any problem. I've run> the 4 electrode rotary gap at 5000 rpm without incident and the> capacitor is still in good shape.> > The author goes into depth about derating capacitors and calculating> their expected life spans and voltage ratings. However, given the> cost and success or failure rate, I feel safe in saying that one can> build their own capacitors that are comparable to or better than> commercial capacitors on the market for slightly lower cost.> > I feel that the author could have spent a bit more of his energy on> making one's own capacitors.> > That said, I still feel that this book is well worth the price and> should be on the bookshelf of any coiler who wants such a wealth of> information in one volume> -------------------- END --------------------> > _______________________________________________> Tesla mailing list> Tesla@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> http://www.pupman.com/mailman/listinfo/tesla
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