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Re: [TCML] triggered spark gaps


Do you have any suggested circuits for triggering a field distortion gap?  I scored some really big escapees from a certain Lxxx Govt lab via an eBay seller who didn't know what they were. They have ~2" diameter electrodes separated by about 4 " inside a foot long polycarbonate cylinder.

The trigger electrode is a thin brass sheet with a coaxial circular hole midway between the two electrodes.  There are brass fittings in each end piece where some sort of gas was circulated through the units.

Any idea of what gas they would have circulated through them, and at what pressure?  I would guess dry N2 at one atmosphere.


On 9/18/2018 6:43 PM, cn8@xxxxxxx wrote:

  I  AM  THE  TRIGGERED  SPARK  GAP  WHISPERER.  Well, at least I have
significant experience.  A field distortion gap is the best---easiest to
trigger and easier to build.  Visualize two brass cap (acorn) nuts, maybe
3/8, spaced just beyond breakdown.  A tungsten needle comes in from the side
with the point centered.  The trigger pulse is fed onto the needle through
an isolation cap (a little doorknob of 100 pF or so) and the needle is
biased midway between the electrodes with two big equal resistors (>10M).  A
tiny thoriated tungsten welding rod works well for this.  You can grind a
point on the end.  It would probably work well extending through the gap
with no needle point, if you see what I mean.  Keep everything symmetrical.

A trigatron gap has the needle coming just flush through a hole in one of
the electrodes, but is much more finicky.  Few if any big pulsers or Marxes
use them.

You probably know all this stuff, but here it is.  Let me know if I can
dispense any further wisdom.

--- Carl

PS--Sounds like a fun project.  Let us know how it works.

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