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Re: [TCML] first coil help

Scott Bogard wrote:
No, a complex spark gap is not mandatory. I used the two bolt configuration on my first coil and was able to get 22 inch sparks, though you really should have a fan on the gap (maybe you do, I did not have time to look at the pics, sorry!)

Scott Bogard.

Thomas Ryckmans wrote:
Everyone: Spark gap and counterpoise

The spark gap is just .erm.a gap. I used two bolts pointing each other. I
can vary the distance easily.  I was waiting to see how the coil was doing
before building a rotary spark gap.

Is a "complex" spark gap mandatory? From your answers. I fear yes.

I'd go one easy step beyond the "two bolt" style gap. get a couple pieces of 3/4" diameter copper pipe (sweat on couplings work nicely) and use those for the gap. just drill a hole in the side of the pipe and attach your bolt there. Pipe central axes parallel.. so the sparks go from one pipe's rounded surface to the other. A little muffin fan blowing on it makes a big difference.

If you know a plumber, just a couple 2" long pieces cut off the end of a long piece are perfect. This kind of thing is available as scrap all the time (you buy the tubing in big long lengths, and you have to cut it to fit where it's going to go, and there's always little chunks too short to cut something else out of).

If you use the "wheel" type cutter (as opposed to a hacksaw), you'll even get a nicely turned in edge on the pipe, making it a better electrode.

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