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Re: [TCML] why do variacs cost so much?

In a pinch I've used the cracker box type welders such as the Lincoln K1297 or any other AC welder. Look for them at garage sales or on Craigslist. 

Just set to AC (if it's a AC/DC welder), short the welding leads together, and place the mains 220 in series with your pig or PT. 

If your dad or friend has a welder then a simple thing to do is just wire a 220v outlet in series with your PT then just plug the welder in. No mods to the welder necessary.

Make sure to only change settings while the coil is off. The sliding choke ones can kick the choke out hard enough to break something and the ones that just use taps will arc and weld the contacts together.

It might not be the perfect solution but is a way to get on the air...


On Jul 12, 2012, at 9:05 AM, Neon Tesla <neontesla@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> I like the idea of overdriving, because I saw a local 3 stack variac rated at
> 240V 28A for sale but even on craig's list there asking $550, so does anyone
> have ideas for where to get a slide choke in washington state or  to bring the
> price down, only 15 = no money.
> -thanks
> On Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 6:52 AM, Jim Lux <jimlux@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> On 7/12/12 5:29 AM, Bob Arenella wrote:
>>> I have 3 1256D variacs. Picked up one at a ham fest for $50, two others
>>> at a garage sale, $10 each. All 3 cleaned up nice and all work!
>>> 73,
>>> bob
>>> N2OAM
>> yes, but how long ago was that.. I've got a few 40+ year old variacs out in the garage that I bought surplus 15-20 years ago..
>> I think the OP was commenting that prices are going up for this kind of thing and/or that they are getting scarcer in the surplus chain.
>> Sooner or later, someone is going to make a "solid state variac" kit for pig powered spark gap TC duty..  Should be easier than a SSTC in some ways.  15 years ago, I fooled with this using a 555 + FET in the middle of a bridge rectifier to replace a smaller 4 Amp Variac driving a fan. It worked ok, but was too complex for the application.
>> Or, perhaps repurposing inexpensive variable frequency drives use for induction motors... they typically can adjust both frequency and voltage.
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> --
> Don't lower your expectations, raise the voltage !
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