Re: 400 Hz HURTS

> I saw a gang of 3 phase variacs for a reasonable price ($15) at the 
> local electronics surplus/supply place.  However, the variacs are 
> 400Hz instead of 60Hz.
> Does anyone know if they will work ok for 60Hz?

Once, I bought a small variac at a hamfest for a dollar or two without 
really reading the specs.  I took it home, plugged it in to test it, and 
promptly let all the smoke out.  The post-mortem examination showed 
that it was a 400 Hz unit.  It looked like new when I bought it, so I just 
assumed it was the 60 Hz that did it in and have read labels more 
carefully ever since.

Granted, since I had not really checked it over thoroughly when I got it, 
the fact that it toasted doesn't really implicate the 60 Hz I was feeding 
it, but still....  If you have the money to spare or can bargain the guy 
down to the point where you won't be upset if you end up with an 
inductive heater, go for it!  Either that or just buy the thing and keep 
your eyes open for a spare military 400 Hz generator (if you find one, 
let me know and I'll give you some 400 Hz elapsed time indicators that 
I have!).

Steven Roys (sroys-at-radiology.ab.umd.edu)