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A prototype LHC magnet has been built and tested at voltages of up to 35 kV. This paper describes the design of the high voltage excitation coil of the magnet, the different options for the coil insulation material and the adopted manufacturing process. It discusses the loss-factor measurements that have been carried out as part of the acceptance tests. Finally, it reports on endurance tests of the coil when it is mounted in the yoke and operated in a pulsed mode. The two dumping systems are furthermore used to remove the counter-rotating beams safely during the setting up of the accelerator and in case of emergencies. Reliable and accurate dumping is of prime importance. Uncontrolled beam losses will cause damage or destruction of adjacent superconducting magnets and will induce unacceptable heat losses in the cryogenic cooling system.