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Original poster: "Steve White by way of Terry Fritz <twftesla-at-qwest-dot-net>" <slwhite-at-zeus.ia-dot-net>

I am facing that thorny issue when using a pole transformer and that is how to
ballast. I have read that one can ballast a pole transformer with a suitably
rated variac configured as a variable inductor. I have also read that this
method is not ideal because the variac core does not have an air gap and is
thus liable to saturate. Also, since the maximum number of variac wire turns
may not be used, this does not fully utilize all of the core. I have read that
other people use this method and it works fine. I have also read that using a
constant-current arc welder is an ideal ballast. If so, how is it connected? Is
the secondary left open or shorted? I assume that the pole transformer power is
drawn through the arc welder primary in a series connection. Facts, not
conjecture, would be greatly appreciated.