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Re: Variac for my TC

Original poster: "Mr Gregory Peters by way of Terry Fritz <twftesla-at-qwest-dot-net>" <s371034-at-student.uq.edu.au>

For me in Australia, finding a big variac was the hardest part for my
coil. You guys over in the US seem to have them "lying in the gutter".
But here's how I got mine (after MONTHS of searching). I went to the
local transformer rewinding place, which I often visit just to see
what's going on. I said:

"Do you have any large (10kW) secondhand variacs?"

"No, but we can get them new for about $1500" the guy replied.

"Oh, well, forget that. Do you mind if I have a look through your
workshop? I'd like to see how transformer rewinding is done" I said.

At this point I was walking past an old workbench covered in dust and
other peices of junk. I saw a funny looking knob poking out from behind
some old transformers:

"What's that?" I asked

"What, that thing? Let's have a look." He said

It turned out to be a 30A three phase variac (30 amps per phase). 

"How much for that" I said



That's three 30A variacs for $75!

I now have two of the 3 variacs wired in parallel for 60A single phase
operation, and a spare, should I make a 3 phase coil. I guess what I am
trying to say is that finding parts for TCs is just luck. You need to
know the right people and just be constantly on the lookout. For a
variac of your size you could probably afford to buy one brand new.
Don't be afraid of humbling yourself. I got two pole pigs for free by
yelling to a guy in a cherry picker working on a power pole in the
middle of the city. I was wearing my formal work clothes and got heaps
of stares. But who can argue with two near new pole pigs for free? 

Good luck!

Greg Peters
Department of Earth Sciences,
University of Queensland, Australia
Phone: 0402 841 677