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Will a transformer that outputs 6000 volts work for a Jacob's Ladder? Answered

I've been looking on ebay to find a transformer to use for a Jacob's ladder, and there seem to be a lot that output 6000 volts, and they are at a price that I am willing to pay. So, will 6000 volts be enough to use in a Jacob's ladder? If anyone could answer this, that would be swell. Thanks.

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duct tapeBest Answer (author)2009-11-18

Yes, it will work. The gap at the bottom will just have to be a little closer than normal.


@steveastrouk:  I believe it is 10kV per cm, which is around 30kV per inch

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steveastrouk (author)2009-07-07

6kV is a bit low. You need 30kV to flash over a 1cm gap. You can use some tricks to double voltage, but I am not sure how much current you need for a successful device, and you need some very high voltage components to make the doubler with !

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Riojelon (author)steveastrouk2009-12-22

how do you double the voltage? I have a small tesla coil that I connected to a 220 volt tranformer and it sucked every drop of the 220 V. No streamers came out, tthough

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steveastrouk (author)Riojelon2009-12-22

What was your circuit ? 

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^ A. H. Howatson, "An Introduction to Gas Discharges", Pergamom Press, Oxford, 1965, no ISBN - page 67

The dielectric breakdown strength of dry air, at Standard Temperature and Pressure (STP), between spherical electrodes is approximately 33 kV/cm.

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To flash over. I'm using a Microwave oven transformer (~2000v ~500mA) and it can arc over a 7cm gap if there isn't wind, you just need to touch the terminals together to start the arc...

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