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Re: [TCML] Building Protection

Hi all,

From my nearly 20 years of pig level coiling experience,
I'd have to say that Joe (and Brian B) have hit the solution
right on the head. I have had my share of blown household
electronics as well and yes "I" have ran a piggy powered
coil inside before (evil grin followed by a "Bwa-haha"). At
my previous residence, I was running my first pig driven
coil inside of a 12x24 ft, single car garage. It was detached
from the main house and seperated by about 20 ft. I had to
run a new 240 volt, 60 amp circuit to the garage to acco-
midate the power hungry beast. I didn't have that much trouble
with in-house electronics but it sure played havoc with anything
inside the garage with it (imagine that). I had a shelf along the
wall that had a bottle of windshield washer fluid (methanol
based) and got quite a scare when the one the sparks struck
it and ignited the combustible mix! Didn't even realize it was
there until the muffled "pop" sound I distinctively heard be-
hind all of the spark noise! Fortunately I was able to quickly
extinguish the nearly invisible bluish flames that were more
easily visible in a darkened room.

At my current residence, I absolutely MUST roll the Green
Monster coil outside to run it. After completing construction
of it, I tried to first light tune it in inside of my garage at mini-
mal input power (bad idea!) It promptly fried my garage
door opener circuit ($300 repair, since I went ahead and up-
graded the opener motor from 1/3 HP to 1/2 HP while we
were working on it). And my home alram system would
go absolutely haywire and I would have to answer the alarm
company's phone call and give them my password to keep the
police from showing up if a ran an even modest sized coil sys-
tem inside of my garage! I have 3 interconnected 8 ft. ground
rods driven into the ground right next to my driveway and the
RF tap from the coil is attached to the middle one. This places
the Green Monster about 35 ft. from the nearest part of the
house (the garage itself). The only issue that I still have by
running my big coil outside is that the electronically
ballasted florescent lights in my garage will pretty near go
completely off while the coil is firing. Once the coil stops
firing, they work fine. I just simply turn them off while firing
the coil to deal with that issue.

David Rieben

----- Original Message ----- From: "Joe Mastroianni" <joe@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "Tesla Coil Mailing List" <tesla@xxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, July 12, 2012 10:04 AM
Subject: Re: [TCML] Building Protection

Well, you just removed the #1 safety measure from consideration.
I've run a 10kva pig-powered coil for a couple years now and I have effectively destroyed the following items

garage door openers - 3
dishwasher (controller) - 2
in-wall oven (controller) - 1
surge protectors (which did their job protecting my home entertainment system) - 2

I'm sure you've read the backlogs on TCML about running power mains RF filters backward and the like. None of the options presented here worked for me except this - do not let the arcs go near your house. Do not let the arcs hit your house. And above all - do not run the coil somewhere WITHIN your house. Though I can't imagine anyone with a pig coil doing the latter, though someone must have tried.

I've not had difficulty with noise/spikes traveling backward into my home mains through the house wiring as long as the coil was being run 20' or so from the house itself. I have tried running those RF filters, and I have tried not running those RF filters. I have no empirical data to suggest they are effective or ineffective.

One thing I am certain of, though. If the coil arcs to the dwelling structure anywhere, you're asking for trouble. I've had my garage door opener blown out when the coil arced to a second story window frame. I've had my kitchen appliances destroyed when the coil arced to a wall stud in the garage.

After I adopted a policy of never letting the arcs touch the home itself, I never had another problem.

My RF ground, by the way, is to an 8' rod pounded into my wife's flower garden in the front of the home.


On 7/11/2012 7:03 PM, Matt Siri wrote:
What does anyone else do to protect building circuits and appliances when running a pig powered TC? (and don't say unplug the appliances)

Matt Siri
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