Variac question

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Variac question

Post by Sccy9er on Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:27 pm

Would a 3 amp variac be adequate for radio work?

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Re: Variac question

Post by jerryhawthorne on Wed Dec 21, 2016 4:42 pm

It certainly would be unless you are working on some really major electronics pulling over 360 watts. Can't imagine what that would be other than a large electric heater.
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Re: Variac question

Post by Bill Cahill on Wed Dec 21, 2016 4:43 pm

For some of it. Should be able to handle a five tube ac-dc set.
Larger ones, and, TV's, phonos will need a larger variac.

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Re: Variac question

Post by Bill Cahill on Wed Dec 21, 2016 4:45 pm

You'd be surprised how much current these tube operated things draw.

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Re: Variac question

Post by WoodchuckTN on Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:21 pm

We would need to know what you plan on working on in order to give the best answer.

For example, my biggest communications receivers (so far), one a 15 tube SX-42 and the other a 14-tube SX-101 draw about 1 amp.

With the other answers above, that gives you an idea of the range.

I haven't worked on TV's or consoles in a long time, so others will have to help you if that's what you'll be working on.
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Re: Variac question

Post by Bill Cahill on Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:24 pm

I think boatanchors need a seven amp variac.

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Re: Variac question

Post by WoodchuckTN on Wed Dec 21, 2016 11:22 pm

Receivers? I'm curious why you would say that, though there are many I'm not familiar with that may require more current than any in my small stable of a dozen or so.

My Variac happens to be a 10 amp., but so far I could have gotten by with less I believe.

However, I'm here to learn - and be corrected as needed.
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Re: Variac question

Post by Sccy9er on Thu Dec 22, 2016 4:43 am

Thanks everyone for the info

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Re: Variac question

Post by Bill Cahill on Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:53 pm

Everything draws current. Even a small light bulb. Average current for a common ac dc radio is 3-5 amps, maximum. The larger the set, that is, the more tubes, and, things it does, the more current that it will take.
Hope this helps.
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Re: Variac question

Post by jerryhawthorne on Thu Dec 22, 2016 10:41 pm

Average current for a common ac dc radio is 3-5 amps, maximum.

Bill, you might wish to reconsider this statement?
Best, Jerry

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Re: Variac question

Post by John Bartley on Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:40 am

jerryhawthorne wrote:Average current for a common ac dc radio is 3-5 amps, maximum.

Bill, you might wish to reconsider this statement?
Best,  Jerry

I guess this is one of those cases where "bigger won't hurt". It's not necessarily better to go bigger, but with a bigger variac you'll be able to accomodate higher tube count sets and still be able to use it on smaller sets. The smallest I'd get would be one of the 2-amp models. It will just handle the AA5 miniature sets with the 1150ma filament string, but it won't handle the load if you get into a transformer set or an audio amp. Then you'll need more current capability. Ten amp and twenty amp variacs are pretty common and aren't much more expensive than the lighter duty models.

cheers

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Re: Variac question

Post by Bill Cahill on Fri Dec 23, 2016 4:26 pm

Smile Very Happy Thank you, John, for helping to straighten this out. I forgot what you remember. Bigger WILL test smaller as well.

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Re: Variac question

Post by John Bartley on Fri Dec 23, 2016 9:40 pm

John Bartley wrote:It will just handle the AA5 miniature sets with the 1150ma filament string,

EDIT ::

This 1150ma should read 150ma .....

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