Variac

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Variac

Post by Motorola man on Sun Nov 06, 2011 10:58 pm

I was bit disappointed at my haul from the Stone Mountain Ham Fest this weekend. I expected to find a few decent radios, but everything I saw was either out of my price range or barely fit to use as a parts doner. I did get a massive variac and a couple of strained muscles from carrying it. It needs a new power cord and a good cleaning. I may also wire in a volt meter for a while until I can trust that it's accurate.
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Re: Variac

Post by Motorola man on Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:46 pm

After cleaning years of filth from the dial of my new variac, I can finally see that it was designed to have a 230 VAC input. Since re-wiring my shop is not an option and I have no need to crank anything up beyond 120 VAC anyway, I'm just going to have to deal with the fact that the dial will never be correct. I replaced a few dry rotted wires and wired a cheap digital volt meter to the output this evening and everything works great. It's smooth, with no dead spots and is variable from .5 V to 150 V. I'll give it a bath with some rust remover, shoot a light coat of paint, add a fuse to the input and maybe even add a power lamp.
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Re: Variac

Post by willy3486 on Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:46 pm

I have a old one similar. I picked it up about 20 years ago at a antique store. I don't think they had any idea what it was.

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Re: Variac

Post by Leigh on Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:09 am

Motorola man wrote:I can finally see that it was designed to have a 230 VAC input.
Variacs don't care what the input voltage is (as long as it doesn't exceed the labeled value).
If you feed it 6 volts it will put out zero to 6 volts.

Feed it 120 volts and you'll get zero to 120 volts out. Divide the dial scale markings by 2.

Option: Take the dial scale off. You might find that the other side is printed with a 120-volt scale. This was common with some manufacturers.

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Re: Variac

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