Wild Bill Emery and I attempted an oil filled magnifier in late '96. We used a 24-inch length of 12-inch PVC as the container for the oil. The secondary was a special commercial coil out of an industrial transformer. It was about 4 inches in diameter, and was wound with 6-gauge flat enamel wire. What was weird about this winding, is that the flat enamel wire was wound on edge, greatly increasing the turns-per-inch. We used 3 inch wide copper strap as a primary, and covered the secondary with 22 pounds of Mylar before wrapping the primary on. The primary was 8 turns, and had 60-mil polyethylene between turns. The electrical ground and power connections through the wall of the 12-inch PVC pipe were made by attaching brass water faucets through the walls of the pipe. The brass faucets provided low impedance connections, and had the benefit of screw-on and screw-off connections.
On the left is the 6 gauge secondary. On the right is the 12-inch diameter PVC pipe container. Note the three brass faucet connectors for ground and primary power.
Detail of magnifier during assembly. Note the poly between primary turns and taps.
Oil-filed magnifier set up on garage floor for testing. Visible are driver, pole pig, rotary and capacitor.
Driver with transformer oil in place. Note the massive secondary copper electrode rising off the top of the secondary.
The next magnifier that Bill Emery and I worked on was modeled on Richard Hull's 11-E driver. We wound a 16-inch diameter PVC pipe with 10-gauge wire and made a primary out of coax. We mounted a sheet of plywood on six legs and started refining the system.
Early magnifier driver. Toroids were stored on top of driver when not in use, but obviously were not used as shown, but they sure make a real cool looking picture! We called this the Moon-Lander.
We initially insulated the driver secondary with Mylar, but a carbon edging caused a short. Here, Bill is cutting away the carbon edging on the Mylar. Note the HV carbon arc in the poly from the top of the coil to the carbon edge on the Mylar. We later found Mylar conducts very high voltage anyway, so we abandoned using Mylar as a driver insulation.
This is our "Mary Poppins" driver configuration. Named after the two 120 mil poly "umbrellas". We were having severe arcs from the top corona ring to the primary, and the two plastic shields were designed to prevent the arcs. Rope putty caulk was used to seal the disks to the poly insulation cylinder around the secondary. To our surprise, we got no arcs from the top of the secondary (approximately 250 kV), but we did get a lot of arcs from the primary to the poly cylinder which then traveled on the surface of the poly upwards to the putty seal rings. We removed both disks and cleaned the rope caulk off the poly cylinder.
Wild Bill showing tunable primary, which has pivots on each vertical upright post. Tilting primary posts, as shown, brings turns closer together.
Bert Pool, holding the "Blue Goose" extra coil. Similar to Richard Hull's "E" coil, 13 inches long, 4 in diameter, wound with 30 gauge Kynar insulated wire-wrap type wire. The corona rings/small toroids are supposed to provide field shaping. Unfortunately, we found them to be far too small to be effective.
Blue Goose in action. Note the 6-foot arc on the left to a grounded rod. There are violent arcs from the top ring to bottom ring. There were also arcs from the windings themselves. We may eventually return to this small coil, but with improved larger toroids.
Current magnifier coil (8-97), 10.8 inches diameter, 24 inches long, two layers of 18 gauge magnet wire. Note the three PVC pipes used to hold toroids in place. Bill Emery and Bert Pool have pioneered multi-layer coils, both extra coils and driver secondary coils. Our current driver secondary uses four layers of wire!
Jerry Gore with two magnifier extra coils. One coil is a single layer coil, the other is a two layer coil. The coils were wound in opposite directions to test an idea on a twin magnifier concept.
Jerry Gore showing how the three PVC rods can be used to safely stack toroids for more capacitance. Toroids are spaced with a 10 inch PVC pipe spacer.
Bert working on power controller for magnifier. Main variac can handle up to 80-amps at 240 volts.
This is Bill Emery bypassing the 80-amp variac after it smoked one night! We currently are running our magnifiers with only inductive and resistive ballasts and NO variacs, with excellent results.
Typical power setup on back patio. Power cabinet on right, heater ballasts in middle and welder on left. The potential transformer is in the foreground, and is tilted toward camera.
Top view of power controller electronics. Contactors, power supply for contactors, and variac for spark gap motor are mounted on panel. Meters and switches are on top of cabinet.
This is a close-up of a current meter, which we re-wound to work with the current transformer that we had on hand. Amp meters use large gauge wire, and can be reworked if found to be not quite what you need.
Maxwell impulse caps with impromptu safety gaps made from 1/4 inch copper tubing. Always put safety gaps across your caps!
Triangular ground system is buried here. Note the copper strap sticking out of the ground. Six ground rods were driven into the ground and connected with 2 inch wide copper strap soldered to the copper clad rods.
First copper cylinder series spark gap that we built, using five 2-inch diameter cylinders. Note the much larger 2.5 inch cylinder to the left.
Scale pic showing just how large a 2.5-inch cylinder really is.
Large cylinder gap under construction. Cylinders sit on white fiberglass rods.
Blue Goose with 62 inch toroid.
Damaged 62-inch by 8-inch toroid, which was blown off an extra coil. Aluminum duct toroids cannot withstand much abuse.
Magnifier driver on right, extra coils on left. Note the flat aluminum flashing transmission line, a "first' pioneered by Wild Bill and Bert Pool. The flashing does not produce measurable corona. The far coil was connected with coax, but the attempt at a twin magnifier coil did not work well.
Magnifier in operation. The extra coil on the left was not powered, but was seen as a grounded object.
Early magnifier runs.
Our favorite magnifier picture, June '97.
On June 28th, 1997, we had a large run of the magnifier in the back yard. Below are a series of photos from that evening.
Wild Bill and Jerry Gore bless Jerry's "Immaculate Construction" coil.
Early dusk shot; we were tuning the coil.
Violent shorts on driver coil and extra coil indicate out-of-tune condition.
Late dusk, good sparks using two 36 inch toroids.
Another breakdown due to incorrect tuning. Note reduced output.
Excellent photo of twin toroids in full tuned operation.
Striking citronella candle exactly 15 feet from toroid.
Striking concrete patio somewhere beyond 15 foot candle.
Nice ladder strikes and roof hit.
Strike to fluorescent tube stuck in grass.
Solid hits to ladder.
Heavy hits to roof. Note Jerry Gore standing of roof with camera near strikes.
Run with 62-inch toroid.
Ladder hits from 62-inch toroid, good example of wind blowing out sparks.
Many roof hits from 62-inch toroid.
Heavy ladder strikes with Jerry Gore on roof taking 3-D photos.
More roof and ladder hits.
Very violent ladder ravaging when wind let up.
Bill climbing into cut-off piece of 28.5 inch diameter PVC pipe.
Wild Bill standing next to 7 foot tall, 28.5 inch diameter PVC pipe to be used for upcoming monster coil. This is to be wound with 10 gauge enamel wire. Stay tuned!
Mountains of Big Bend National Park, south Texas, USA, spring '97. No big sparks, except when God gets out his big coil.