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[TCML] Question about unexpected effect

Hello All,I have a question about an unexpected effect I got from a Tesla coil. 

The other day, I set up a couple of "identical" coils in a twin configuration, where the spark gap and cap bank were between the two coils and their secondaries were grounded to each other. I didn't use any other ground except the house ground on the neon transformer. The secondaries were only grounded to each other. I did that to see if I could set up two coils and not have to use an rf ground. That configuration worked well, no problems.
Then, I wondered if I could set up one of the coils normally in a single-coil configuration, but still use the other coil's secondary as ground for the coil I wanted to run. If that worked, that would allow me to run a single coil without a dedicated rf ground.
When I tried to run the single coil that way, I got nothing from that coil, but I got normal arcing out of the coil I was using as ground! I don't understand this. The primary of that coil was completely disconnected and wasn't in the circuit all. How could I get arcs out of the coil I was using as ground? Because it wasn't really ground and that's where all the energy was going? Why didn't I get anything out of the single-coil?
Any insights will be appreciated.Thanks,Dan K.

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