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RE: [TCML] primary tubing


I have refuted this oft-repeated but mistaken belief of yours that aluminum exhibits some frequency-dependant resistance, several times in the past and I will continue to do so.  It does not, to any significant degree.  I have made frequency-sweep measurements of the AC resistance for many different conductor geometries, including Al vs. Cu.  Of course the aluminum has a higher resistance than copper, but this is due to the intrinsic resistively difference between them and is NOT frequency dependant for the frequencies that we are interested in.  If the aluminum conductor diameter is scaled up to compensate for the higher resistively, it's a wash.

There are many good reasons to choose copper conductors over aluminum and I wouldn't use anything but copper myself, but frequency-dependant resistance is not one of them.  Please either supply quantitative evidence of your claim, or stop propagating this myth.

To Neal's question - Primary resistance is a very bad thing for Tesla coils.  Every (reasonable) effort should be made to minimize tank circuit resistance, if you're going for maximum performance (and not everyone is).

Regards, Gary Lau

> -----Original Message-----
> From: tesla-bounces@xxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tesla-bounces@xxxxxxxxxx] On
> Behalf Of DC Cox
> Sent: Friday, November 06, 2009 5:54 PM
> To: Tesla Coil Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [TCML] primary tubing
> At RF frequencies aluminum is a poor conductor as compared to copper.  Use
> copper for HF applications.  Alum will limit your peak RF current, something
> you don't want to do.  Peak RF current determines peak magnetic field which
> of course links all your power into the sec inductor.
> Dr. Resonance
> On Fri, Nov 6, 2009 at 5:25 AM, Neal Namowicz <neal@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> wrote:
> > Hi guys,
> >
> > A quick question re: materials for primaries. I realize that copper tubing
> > is kind of the standard for winding primaries. However, while checking out
> > the boilers at work it occured to me that a lot of aluminum tubing is used
> > for gas valve vent lines, etc., and I was wondering if anyone has ever tried
> > it on a primary. From a cost standpoint it's much cheaper, so is there any
> > reason to not use it for a primary?
> >
> > On another note, I liked that sign, too! I should've had that up on my
> > front porch on Halloween. I sat out there with my coil, trying to scare the
> > little buggers as they came up for candy. Gotta say, for most of them, their
> > desire for sugar overcame any qualms about getting closer (still well out of
> > reach, though) to the coil. Come spring, I hope my wife doesn't mind the
> > grounding rod sticking up from the middle of her flower bed. Ah, she'll get
> > over it!
> >
> > Thanks for your thoughts on the tubing,
> >
> > Neal.
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> >
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