Author Topic: Racing sparks  (Read 1255 times)

Offline Terry

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Racing sparks
« on: May 27, 2024, 06:37:16 PM »
Arrg, I shredded another secondary.


If I back off the coupling any more (secondary windings start 3 1/2" above the primary), the streamers become intermittent, and yet the system still isn't 100% stable. Have I stumbled upon how to properly adjust coupling?

The secondary coils I've tried are designed for solid state rigs and are shorter (3 1/3 to 1) than what I understand is recommended for a spark gap unit. I noticed a dramatic improvement in performance going from 1200 turns of .006" to 900 turns of .010", so I'm more than willing to wind a custom coil, but I hate to go through all  that just to burn another coil. How much more stability can I expect if I use a properly proportioned coil?

Offline Mads Barnkob

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Re: Racing sparks
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2024, 07:30:48 PM »
Could you please provide some pictures of your setup, else its virtually impossible to guess from a secondary size alone. There are other factors than coupling to racing sparks, f.ex. bad tuning.
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Offline Terry

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Re: Racing sparks
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2024, 09:36:14 PM »
Here you go

Offline MRMILSTAR

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Re: Racing sparks
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2024, 11:23:50 PM »
I assume that by "racing sparks" you mean that sparks are traveling from the top of the secondary coil to the bottom along the secondary coil. You really need to make a flat pancake primary coil to reduce coupling. Your primary coil is more like a solenoid coil which will usually supply too much coupling for a disruptive (SGTC, DRSSTC) Tesla coil.
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Retired electrical engineer

Offline davekni

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Re: Racing sparks
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2024, 03:47:12 AM »
Quote
If I back off the coupling any more (secondary windings start 3 1/2" above the primary), the streamers become intermittent, and yet the system still isn't 100% stable. Have I stumbled upon how to properly adjust coupling?
Quote
Your primary coil is more like a solenoid coil which will usually supply too much coupling for a disruptive (SGTC, DRSSTC) Tesla coil.
The tightly grouped primary windings make for low coupling.  3.5" below bottom of secondary further lowers coupling.  JavaTC results would be helpful to estimate actual coupling.  I expect it is below recommended for SGTC.
Perhaps short secondary is issue.  If you have any image captures (ie frame from video) showing "racing sparks", that would also help.
Yes, adjusting primary to secondary vertical distance is a common way to adjust coupling.
David Knierim

Offline Terry

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Re: Racing sparks
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2024, 12:03:50 AM »
Thanks a million for all your help, especially for turning me on to Javatc, which got results right out of the box. Also a tremendous hat tip to diodegonewild on youtube. His three part walkthrough is a must for any wannabe coiler such as myself.

Those "racing sparks" started and ended at random points along the secondary and were generally straight up and down, thin and white.  Odd that I never had arcing from primary to secondary. I suspect that the shorter the primary, the more sensitive the coupling adjustment?

Javatc predicts that my coupling was .043k, but it couldn't see the actual geometry of the primary.

I actually reached a level of performance where the streamers were constantly on the strike rail or worse, so I tried elevating the torrid above the secondary, and that made the racers much worse thus ending what was left of the secondary.

 Already ordered the stuff for another try, so in a few weeks I'll let you know



Offline davekni

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Re: Racing sparks
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2024, 08:25:37 PM »
Quote
Javatc predicts that my coupling was .043k, but it couldn't see the actual geometry of the primary.
Yes, I've found some cases where JavaTC's drawing doesn't work.  Specifically, when some vertical positions are exactly 0.  Perhaps negative has same issue.  I'd guess drawing will work if you added a constant value to all vertical positions such that lowest position is slightly above 0.
Coupling value is likely still correct.  I'd expect a low value, so 0.043 seems reasonable for your geometry.

Hope your new build goes more smoothly!
David Knierim

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Re: Racing sparks
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2024, 08:25:37 PM »

 


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