Tape Report #55

  1. Teslathon 96!! This is the report of the goings on during our October Teslathon here in Richmond. We see a lot of sparks and arcs, and neat vacuum displays, thanks to Bill Connery. The flea market was the most successful we have ever had. We had 48 boys and girls in attendance this year and I was very busy. Thanks to Ed Wingate, who shot the bulk of the video. These bashes are growing almost to the point of becoming unmanageable!
  2. The TCBOR November, 1996 meeting. We catch some shots of Tim Raney's surperb craftsmanship in Tesla related construction. He has a new vacuum set up and is learning how to make metal/glass seals which function with simple materials. Richard gives a rather complete demonstration of his new “disectable capacitor” and we learn more about where charge is and is not stored.
  3. In a short segment we see the progress on Alex's lab which is now totally enclosed and ready to be occupied. Unfortunately, this won't happen until late '97, at the earliest. Alex has acquired a huge multikilowatt power inverter from the local scrap yard.
  4. A short potpourri of shots, as Richard shows off his new metal encased, high energy discharge capacitor which he acquired from the “Texas boys” (Bert Pool and “Wild” Bill Emory). This monster weighs 254 pounds and is only ~2 mfd, but at 60kv for a total of nearly 3600 joule capacity. Richard continues to show his efforts to secure a working coil with the hydrogen thyratron by showing his custom mounting for the 4C35 tube he has. The biggest news is his recent purchase (for a small fortune) of a precision calibrated Pearson wideband current monitor which can measure current pulses accurately up to 200,000 amps at frequencies ranging from a couple of hertz all the way up to 2mhz!
  5. The still shots section includes photos from Cliff Richardson, Ed Wingate, Richard Lee, and John Plyler. A good mix of activity from around the world.
  6. Richard explains some of the finer points of electrostatics in regard to making good measurements with simple instruments in order to find out the sign of an unknown charge. A number of graphics are used to get the point across in this rather strange and unfamiliar world of electricity. We are shown how to charge an electroscope by “induction.” Practical stuff!!
  7. The December meeting of the TCBOR shows some exploding wire experiments by our newest member, Kevin Christianson, of Charlottesville. Kim Goins has a rare old tube.
  8. This final segment is the complete “lowdown,” and statement of results by Richard Hull on his experiments with Tesla coils and electrostatics. Many hours have gone into accurate experiment. Details about his equipment and setup are given. A large number of graphics accompany the explanation. Richard has assembled a first rate system with 3 switchable and rapidly interchangeable gap systems. The most interesting is his new fully functional hydrogen thyratron “gap switch” which can turn on and off in 1200 nanoseconds!

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