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Re: [TCML] Variable Ballast

There are two types of current control on the older style arc welder, with
the cheap 'stick' welders having a slide that alters the coupling and hence
the current and better quality ones where the current ranges are switched by
a combination of two switches.
For my ballast use I had a slide type and just relied on coil performance to
get an idea, as it had all been re-housed under oil, so the labels and
casing were gone. I don't imagine there is a specific formula, but obviously
the ballast value will have a direct relationship to whatever amperage
setting the welder is set at.

Using a variac to feed the pig, I would be inclined to short the welder's
output leads as usual, then put the welder primary in series with the 'hot'
lead from the variac to your pig and then short the pig's output. With a
clamp-around meter attached to the hot wire it will give an idea of power
levels. (Use a variac though for Goodness sake)
Trying it with the coil running instead of shorting the pig though, results
in the meter throwing a fit usually (both of mine do anyway), so Dave's idea
may not work, but try that first!


-----Original Message-----
From: Tesla [mailto:tesla-bounces@xxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Miles Mauldin
Sent: 08 August 2015 00:50
To: Tesla Coil Mailing List
Subject: Re: [TCML] Variable Ballast

Thanks for the info Phil! Good read on design considerations and tuning for
a specific output power. This is the unit I picked up
TAzUU1jQWtheW5najVUT1RURUFBYkU" not sure how this link will work....

Although the Richie article was definitely worth the read and saving, my
question is how do I determine the values of each setting on the welder? Is
it related to the current level when used as a welder, is there a formula?


Sent from a tiny device with a tiny keyboard via some cloud...

> On Aug 6, 2015, at 8:46 AM, Phil <pip@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Miles,
> By using the input variac as the control you are only "indirectly"
> controlling the power - by altering the input voltage to the pig. A better
> way, assuming you run 100% at the moment when it suits you, is to vary the
> power directly by running with full variac but varying the ballast value
> instead.
> With any external ballast there is always going to be a favoured mH value
> (sweet spot) that combines with the MMC value to give resonant charging,
> by altering the ballast setting instead, you can hopefully vary it to find
> the best performance point. (Assuming your ballast covers the correct
> See Richie's webpage at http://www.richieburnett.co.uk/async.html
> He posted on TCML about it as well in June 2001, but that post has dead
> graph links that the post references to, but a complete verbatim copy with
> his original graphs also included can be found here:
> http://www.hvtesla.com/richie.html
> I've used the system for years
> Regards
> Phil Tuck
> www.hvtesla.com
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tesla [mailto:tesla-bounces@xxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Miles Mauldin
> Sent: 06 August 2015 02:33
> To: Tesla Coil Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [TCML] Variable Ballast
> I picked up a Lincoln AC 225-S Variable Voltage ARC Welder. Big heavy
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