They are also used in older telecoms equipment to protect against lightning strikes, there can be caps in circuit as well, also were used in TVs to protect against tube flashover although later TVs just use an air gap for this.
There are now semiconductor 2 pin crowbars that are used in the telecoms instead.
OK i found a circuit of as fluorescent starter and if he did indeed remove the cap then this does look more likely
If that is what he used, i seem to remember these are not spark gap's they use bi metal strips to form a thermal switch but don't quote me as i am using information i remember from years ago.
I just seen this under the image i posted
Switch (bi-metallic thermostat)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluorescent_lamp
so it's nothing like a spark gap, these switch at a very low frequency 5-6Hz
There's no way this would work surely.
BS alert, if he really says he used a fluorescent starter as the gap, then he really has not built a worker, a lot of people seem to believe that it's a spark gap, but when you try to use them as a spark gap you find they wont work, i think he is telling porky's that he has this working.
« Last Edit: 2012-07-25, 19:44:46 by Peterae »