voodooKobra wrote:Anyone else feel compelled to try this?
The moment I read this comic, I realised I had to do this.
CatProximity wrote:I'm just wondering what material the tube must be made out of that the glass doesn't melt to/fuse with it.
The issue is more the width of the container and the focus of the arc. The arc can be focused at the ends by putting electrodes that extend inwards from the caps. In the middle it's more difficult. The path the arc takes will be largely determined by the composition of the sand and where it's wet.
Cyberax wrote:Additionally, I wouldn't use glass bottle - it'll most probably break from violently expanding air inside the sand.
I'd use wet sand inside a tube made from metallic mesh (you can wrap sand in paper to prevent its spilling out.
I'd also use a metallic core rod running through the center of the tube. It'll serve as a 'guide' for the discharge, so it won't jump around the tube.
I'm not sure there would be a violent expansion in dry sand. With dry sand, you can be pretty sure that all there is to be vaporized in there is sand. Which probably won't vaporize. All that being said, I think I'd drill some holes in the top side to prevent vaporization.
I'd avoid using metalic mesh, as it will conduct the bulk of the arc away from where you want it to be. The metal core will also cause you trouble for similar reasons.
To prevent the breakage issue, the best option is to keep the capsule low on the string.
As a method of encouraging the lightning strike, wrapping the balloon tether in fine copper wire seems like a good idea.
Small weather balloons are available from various online stores starting at ~$10 for a 30gm balloon. I'm unclear on whether 30 gm is the lift weight or the balloon weight. I've got a friend in climatology who I'm hoping to convince to help me actually do this.
I'm thinking a pvc pipe with a couple of screw caps and two holes drilled in it with eye-bolts mounted through them. Put cap nuts on the inside of the eye bolts to make sure the ends are smooth.
Pretty simple. Now all I need is enough lift capacity or a mountainous region during a thunderstorm.