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Re: [TCML] Odd VTTC Streamer Behavior

Have you tried using fewer grid coil turns, then lowering the grid coil
for example 12 or 16 turns instead of 22.  THis would show
if it's more a matter of the degree of coupling, or if it's more
a coupling from the secondary thing which may amount to a phase
issue.   Depending on how your homemade filament transformer
was made, it may have had a distorted waveform.  Depending
on the nature of your volt meter, it may have  read the voltage
wrongly if the waveform was distorted.   usually a higher
filament voltage such as 10.3 or 10.5 works well, and doesn't cause
problems except for shortened tube life.

Regarding those 90 degree small streamers.  My 20" sword spark coil
had them too after I pushed the spark to 20" from the initial 18" or so.


Nasty things; the coil starts getting very power hungry, and the sparks
start making bad sounds. The thud sounds somewhat screechy, or it makes a
cracking sound.

 Or does the spark vary
up and down depending on height?  For example
if you lower the grid coil about 2" does it have much

There seems to be a point on the form where performance drops, and the coil starts acting up if I go below that point. There is also a point where the grid is too far away and the performance drops. I'll do some more extensive
testing this evening.

 I'm thinking maybe you're taking advantage
of various phase conditions by using the high grid coil.
the high grid coil might be improving the sparks, making
them generally more sword-like.


I received my filament transformer yesterday, and installed it today. This
is interesting because when I plugged it in and tested the coil for the
first time the performance was terrible. I could not get the coil above 50V
without the sparks making a popping sound [which sounds really bad].  I
thought the filament looked a little bright, and sure enough the transformer was running at 10.3V. To remedy the situation I hooked the transformer up to a variac and set it so that it was exactly 10V with the load of the lamp
applied.  When I started the coil back up it ran much better.  Better in
fact, than the coil was running with my home-made filament transformer. It was too bright for me to see what the sparks were doing, I could just hear that the sparks were hitting the target more often than before. That said, I highly doubt the home-made filament transformer was the only cause of my problems. I haven't changed this filament transformer since I wound it, so
it was the same when I was pushing out 34" sparks.

It's also interesting to note that when I was running the coil with the new
filament transformer installed I noticed that the sparks had had little
streamers coming off the leader at 90 degree angles. This is something I remember seeing when the coil was performing well and throwing out 34" arcs.
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