Saturable Reactors

Ken, Scott, Lee, Bill, Dr.Res et al.:
I decieded to post a response I've written to some of you off list:
I got my saturable reactor out of an old centrifuge. A Sorvall RC-2B to be
exact. The RC-3, RC-5 and RC-5Bs also have SRs and maybe others.  The problem
is, those
centrifuges are so well built they last FOREVER.  The RC-2B I got mine out
of,  was 27 years old.  The refrigeration went out and was cost prohibitive
to repair, so the unit was discarded, even though the motor and control
circuitry were just getting broken in.  The cheapest method of procurement
is finding a discarded centrifuge, not easy by any means, but not
impossible.  I like to check <http://www.labx-dot-com>www.labx-dot-com  look under
Lab Equipment,
Centrifuges.....In fact, currently they have an RC-3 for sale...last bid was
I dont know what you have (or want) to spend on your TC, but an RC-xx is a
great find, especially if its broken, they are much cheaper...and they are
chock full of other goodies, transformers, reactors, relays, stuff like
that.  I have looked into having an SR built and it IS possible, but
expensive.  As far as building one myself, I would have to purchase the
laminations, and do alot of calculations but I think it would be do-able.
They are wound on a 3 legged core, with the control winding on the slightly
wider center leg.  The controllED windings are wound anti phase on the outer
legs.  It looks like about #8-10 wire, its nice and heavy.  The SRs in the
models I mentioned APPEAR to be identical.  The final alternative is to just
buy the reactor from Sorvall (I think DuPont or someone has bought old Ivan
Sorvall out) but the parts are still available.  I doubt they're cheap, but
they are available. I can get you schematics of the RC-2B and part #'s if
you are are interested.  As I said,  there are lots of other parts in those
things.  The motor is good because it has a tach generator built in, which
could be used in a servo controlled rotary spark gap.  I am totally sold on
SRs for controlling inductive loads, they are very nice to use.  Anyway,
hope this is of some help.

P.S.  (Update) Sorvall was purchased DuPont Instruments, who in turn sold
Sorvall to Kendro.  For those extremely wealthy
coilers out there, the saturable reactor part number is 61421 for the RC-5, its
current price is $964.10 !!! and they ARE in stock.
My advice is to use the above link to labx,  used Sorvalls can be found and
they are well worth the effort.