Sparks from a brick

Seeing Jimmy Hynes' DRSSTC work (for a while) made me eager to be the second experimenter to get sparks from a brick. So I kludged up a cheap and nasty test rig.

See, it can be done!

I mashed the copper pipe inductor from my old test rig to decrease the inductance somewhat :) and guesstimated a suitable number of 1uF/1000V Geek Group caps to make it resonate around 130kHz. Four caps ought to do it. I had a rough guess at the quenching setting (didn't really matter as long as it was on a negative half-cycle)

Then I borrowed the secondary off the Mini OLTC and balanced it on a coffee mug in the middle of the primary. Result: 4.5 inch sparks at 10bps. You may laugh, but that was without even tuning it. It seemed to be so grossly overcoupled that the tuning probably didn't matter :) And I still have another IGBT brick, another 16 geek caps, 400 bps, and 400 more volts of charging power to go... But not with that secondary as the 8 Joule bangs would surely destroy it!

Peak current in these tests was something like 1600 Amps. Target for the finished coil is 3000.

Remember... A poor craftsman blames his tools
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