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RE: [TCML] Coil pics & many thanks
Here are some of the factors that can cause a coil to run "differently" outdoors, relative to running in a garage or other enclosed area:
1. Voltage drop through an extension cord. If you had a 6' line cord in the garage, and now add 50' of #16 AWG extension cord to get the coil outside, you will see a drop in the input voltage at the NST, especially if you are drawing 15A or more.
2. Additional length of ground wire. If you had your secondary ground tied into a cold water pipe in the garage, and now have 20' or more of additional ground wire, your secondary resonant frequency will change.
3. Air currents. Even a very slight breeze will affect streamer formation and appearance, especially if your coil normally generates multiple simultaneous streamers. Generally, any detectable air movement will adversly affect coil output.
4. Capacitance to adjacent objects. All nearby physical objects in the garage will affect the capacitance-to-ground of the secondary and topload. If you were optimally tuned for best performance in the garage, the coil will almost certainly be somewhat out-of-tune when run in the open.
5. Optical illusion effects. When running in a garage, there are all sorts of surrounding objects that give some sense of scale to the streamer length. Run outside, you lose many of these physical references, and the streamers will usually look a bit less impressive then they did indoors. A full moon looks huge when just rising above the horizon, but seems to "shrink" at a higher zenith angle and there are no nearby objects as optical references.
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