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How To Make Fire Without Matches or a Lighter
Bottom line...Don't post unless you're actually going to put effort into something. Hope I said that in a nice way :)
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Ultralight Bottle Cap Stove!
I got around to building this -- it worked great most of the time (sparks up to 5-6"). However, twice it has automatically shut off during operation (after only 10 seconds or so) and stopped working. When I replaced the capacitors, it worked again. My capacitors should be high enough voltage and capacitance (8 nF rated at 20,000 V -- My power supply is 10,000 V at 60Hz). I do not notice any physical damage on the outside of the capacitors, but maybe the dielectric broke down? Might it help to try a higher capacitance rating? Deepfriedneon.com recommended 6 nF for a 10,000 V supply, but maybe something more like 10-15 nF would be better? I also had some noticeable arcing between capacitors -- probably because the leads are too short and reasonably close together. A lot of electrical tape has helped, as well as narrowing the spark gap. But narrowing the spark gap results in less intense sparks from the secondary. Have you found a good way to balance this (big enough sparks without overloading the capacitors)?
Ultra-simple, improvised camping stove
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