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Why wont my arc rise on my jacobs ladder?!?!? Answered

Ive been fiddling around with high voltage for a while now and ive been working on a jacobs ladder. The unit consists on a 600v .75a digital ballast, and a flyback transformer. I got it to climb but the arc was very weak. So i did some reading and made a saltwater capacitor for it. I hooked it up for the HV + - out then to the wires. Now i have CRAZY loud arcs but it wont rise, it just sits their and is really bright. Am i just not getting the gap right or what? Any ideas would be awesome! Getting a little frustrated....


The arc in a jacobs ladder is driven upwards by the rising plasma of the arc. The electrodes should separate distinctly, yours appear to be nearly parallel. Try bending them apart a little more, and make sure your wires are smooth at the bottom. Sharp points on the electrodes will tend to concentrate the field, and prevent the arc from moving off

I have been moving them all which way! Big v little v, as much voltage that is present, the electrodes need to be very close, if not it will start popping at me, kindof a pop of arc across every few seconds....

You may not have enough arc power then. The power in the arc is a function of the length and the supply volts.
What's the maximum arc length ?
What power does your circuit take on the low voltage side ?

I cannot get more than 1-2cm arc length, and it won't stay a solid arc, just numerous loud And very bright "pops". As far as the voltage on lower side not sure what you mean.. it starts with 120VAC Going into the electronic ballast, then that puts out ~600V at .75A and then goes to the flyback via primary. What the voltage is coming out of the flyback is unknown it fried my multimeter with a range of 1000V 10A. Could it be possibly the capacitance of the saltwater capacitor? or could it be that AC voltage is going to the electrodes, causing pops and not solid arcs?

NO ! A flyback transformer isn't used with AC !
Take a look at my Instructable

You have completely the wrong topology for your supply. A decent FB can easily give you 25-50kV/

Well then.. what did i create then? Seems like a super powered stun gun? Can you recommend a decent driver circuit? Their are quite a few out their, all having their own little tweeks.. not really sure which one to try first.