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Is it possible to build a spark gap using a fluorescent light ballast? Answered

This is for a school project.

We need to build a spark plug out of an LRC circuit and a 1.5 V D size battery. I was hoping to do it with a fluorescent light ballast as an inductor. The longer the spark in distance, the better. 




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10 years ago

You might.

A starter though is made of bimetallic elements, so that, when you start up, the contacts are closed, and the tube's heaters get excited by a fair amount of current: when that current is flowing through the tube, the current flowing in the starter makes it warm up, and the "spark gap" triggers the inductor to kick and start the tube.

So as spark gaps, they are not thermally stable, which might be a problem.

I'd get a TIG welder rod, of solid tungsten, they make GREAT spark gaps.


Answer 10 years ago

Thanks for the reply. It doesn't really need to be a spark plug. just one spark between two wires.