I have to rethink how this all works. I could not push the voltage much past 140 V because the current was topping 50A (about 7,500 Watts total power) and the safety gaps were firing. Also, the rotor of the spark gap got sooo hot that it looking like a circle of white-hot light. Tungsten vapor could be seen billowing up from area. About 1/4 inch of Tungsten actually got burned away.
Lots of sparks. No equipment was blown up, just burned a bit.
Everybody lived to tell about it. Yet another good night by any measure.
Time for the BIG power controller. We need to run off of the 240V 50A AC line. The variac will handle 30 A continuous and more for short periods. This thing is BIG and HEAVY.
This is an ebay special ($100).
Home-brew control panel. The switch is double pole (2 phase u know) at 30 A. All wiring is 10 AWG.
Here is the 1/8" Tungsten rotor electrode BEFORE & AFTER the evening fun. The 3/16" stationary elecrodes did not get much wear.
This is the transformer protection network. The transformer connects on the left and the coil goes on the right. Noise from the coil side must go through dual 1 K 225 W resistors, dual 500 pF capacitors, and then get past the safety gaps with center ground. This had been fine for all work up to this point, since the transformer was never run over 120 V in, it only put 15,000 V out. The gaps are set for about a 20,000 V trigger, so they will need to be backed off even more next time.
Here is the setup. Now on with the show.
The coils stands about 7 feet high. The firepit is about 8 feet from the toroid. The garage is being struck at a distance of about 9 feet.
This thing is really getting bright. The only light source is the spark-gap and the Tesla Coil.