Condenser / Sparkgap test
February 14, 2012
Posted by on
Condenser / Spark gap test
Condenser & spark gap with 15,000vac transformer
Top picture is of main condenser, spark gap and neon transformer. This test of the main condenser was its’ first “smoke test” to see if my design would function as planed. Condenser is made up of aluminum foil lined PET plastic jars set up similar to Leyden Jars fixed end to end and paralleled to create a bank, .0196mfd – 40,000vac condenser to power the primary coils through the spark gap. The power at this time is supplied by a 15,000 vac 30ma center tapped neon illumination transformer. ( built in 1940s)
This second picture is of the spark gap and transformer. To the left is an electrode from a Leyden jar as well as a 4 inch pocket wrench. The spark gap is constructed from two engine XL spark plugs that have had the grounding electrode and some of the threaded shank removed. These are threaded into an extruded aluminum form, so that the central electrodes face one other, to provide a base as well as a heat sink. The spark gap can be adjusted from as small as 3/8 inch to as large as 1 inch.
Spark gap without condenser
Spark gap powered
This is being directly powered by the neon transformer with no load. The arc is small thready and produces a lot of heat and not much light. It is also quiet, just a light crackle.
You may have to look closely, click on the image or do an enlarge to see the arc.
This is the first time in 16 years that I have powered up this transformer, good to see that it still works.
Spark gap with condenser
Spark with condenser
I hooked up the condenser in parallel and turned the thing on, real smoke test. WOW! very hard arc, very bright and white, lots of UV and very loud hiss, not much heat! I am pleased with this spark gap design and the output of my home made condenser.
The Tesla Coil Builders need to see this as the spark gap is the most difficult part of a tesla coil device. I’m pleased with the outcome of this test, I will continue & assemble the primary driver 😎 pg