Well, added the extra stages and not sure if I bought all that much with the complete rebuild - still says 50 kV at 50% variac; however, at 100% variac power, I can hold an arc (steady) that is just about 4 cm. Could try a greater arc but that is for dryer air day. Maybe a diode in the column is leaking but not really easy to know. Since air (dry) is around 30 kV/cm also indicates maybe 100 kV or a bit over.)
Trying to use my voltage divider (under oil as well) didn't work - the voltmeter really objects as I add even a little power. The stack really holds a static charge even well after the column is discharged.
Since I am using a NST (at best, maybe 6- 7 kV) I guess I could build a higher voltage exciter (and higher frequency, as well.) Not sure that is what I want to do, however. Projects for projects just to make a project work is kinda losing the whole point of the original project - if that makes sense (lol.) Still, fun building it - a bit disappointed that I reached a plateau in voltage using the cheap NST. I guess seeing what the NST is doing under full load is the logical follow up for now.
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