Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mjöllnir I: first run and the aftermath

I was hoping that upon completion, I'd simply plug in the coil and everything would work perfectly. That didn't happen. I'm writing this entry from the CAE lab on campus because the coil damaged a few things, my internet being one of them. Below is a picture of the assembled coil.
After tuning the safety gaps and main spark gap I placed the assembled secondary and toroid above the primary coil and connected them to a good earth ground. The first time I turned on the coil, arcs were generated from the secondary to the inside tapping point on the primary coil. I pushed the tapping point flat and ran the coil again. This time arcing occurred to the secondary ground wire. Again, I pushed that closer to the secondary to avoid the arcing problem. During the first two runs I also noticed "racing arcs" along the secondary coil. This is caused by over coupling between the primary and secondary coils. I will need to raise the secondary a bit higher to prevent this from occurring. The third time I turned on the coil, there was no arcing to the primary, but moments later I heard a loud popping sound over the spark gap and a shower of sparks and smoke shot out of the line filter. I immediately turned off the coil, but as I would later find out, the damage had been done. Below is the line filter with a hole burned into the casing just above the green ground wire.
Having run the coil twice before (and just the primary a number of times) I'm baffled as to why this occurred. With the line filter gone, I didn't want to run the coil again for fear that the house electronics would be at risk(the line filter prevents voltage spikes from traveling back into the house wiring). I then went inside to do more internet research only to find that... I didn't have internet. The router no longer shows any signs of life. I'm hoping that only the 12vdc transformer that powers the router is broken but I have yet to find out. I tried plugging an Ethernet cable directly into the cable modem, but unfortunately that hasn't worked for me either. For now it seems I'll have limited internet access and a good amount of troubleshooting to do.


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