Re: Saturable reactors?

Hi Bill, Marco, Scott, & coilers all!                             This
"little-known-today" device known as a saturable reactor is still being
used today in controlling neon tube bombarding transformers in the 7.5
kva to 15 kva range. It is simply placed in series with one side of the
primary, It is the most desirable (and expensive) method of doing so.
The output from a small Variac is full-wave rectified and feed into
coils of the reactor affecting the magnetic saturation of the core, and
thus the reactance. Reactance is decreased as Variac voltage is
increased. Price for a 15 kva reactor is about $1400. Normally,
bombarders have a (almost) purely resistive load of the neon tubes being
processed, and the control of my 15 kva / 24 kv bombarder is smoothley
controlled from about 75 ma to over 1 amp in the secondary. HOWEVER,
Bill's post got me to wondering how the reactor would react to a
capacitive load, so I placed a .08 -at-100kv commercial capacitor in series
with the neon tube I was bombarding. ALL CONTROL WAS LOST with the cap.
in circuit ! I know this is far from what a Tesla tank circuit
represents, but the reactor was clearly not happy with capacitance in
the circuit. As soon as the Variac was raised from 0 volts, current in
the secondary rose uncontrollably to near maximum within a second or
two, and could not be lowered (untill power was removed). Saturable
reactors WOULD be a GREAT way to control a pig if it wern't for the
price (unless you could build one) and any adverse reactions from the
T.C. tank circuit. Sorry, but this is about all I know so far, just
thought I'd let you know of my experience with mine.
Merry Coiling to all !!!    Tony Greer