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Re: [TCML] racing arcs

Thanks to everyone for their replies. I'll try to cover everything that was mentioned.

My cap bank is at 25nf
power 9kv 180ma  (also available is a 15kv/60ma nst)
secondary 4" X 18", with 16 1/2" wound (ga. unknown)

My topload of choice is a 10" ss sphere with about 2 1/2" of steel rod protruding from the top. I tried the foil-tape covered dryer vent route, but there was no way of controling the breakout points. The rod is about 3/16" of an inch diameter, and I ground a point on the outside end. With this set up I get every arc starting off at the same point every time. I can't, however, easily change the elevation of the sphere.

My next project will be to put together a decent fan cooled multi-spark gap with 3/4" fittings instead of 1/2". Re: video or pics--As things would have it, when I got home I grabbed a video camera and headed downstairs to tape a few seconds worth (I didn't want to push it with the camera as close as it was). I couldn't get a racing arc no matter what I did. I pushed it hard it to 100% on the variac without a stray arc out of any of it, besides the safety gap. I'm not sure what changed. Anyway, thank you to everyone for your help, and I will get some video or pics of my results posted.


----- Original Message ----- From: "Henry Hallam" <hallam@xxxxxxx>

Yes, overcoupling commonly causes racing sparks, as does too large a bang size. What is your capacitor value, tank voltage and secondary size?


Neal Namowicz wrote:
Hi everyone, Just a quick question this time. Is coupling (i.e. "over-coupling") one of the most likely causes of racing arcs on the secondary? Given that this is one of the few variables that I've never changed, this is what I'm thinking. But I'd like a second (or third, or fourth :) opinion before I go through the trouble of raising the secondary. Thanks,


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