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Variac needeThermometer suggestions
Ace Sawbuck
Where does one find a decent variac without spending a small fortune? Any reccommendations for thermometers? Still roasting with basic no name air popper and want to step it up a bit. TIA ACE
A variac at a decent price, hmm. :(

That's the best kept secret around, I think.

I got my two on eBay through some late night sniping.
Watch out, the shipping is a killer! My best tip there is
to look for ones that expire at odd times
-- when no one but homeroasters would be up looking. Shock

Newbies put their stuff up when it is convenient for themselves, without considering whether the timing is right for a last minute bidding war, etc.

BTW, I am trying to find a way to use a triac instead.
If I can do it, then I'll put up the diagrams on how it's done.
I think it will cost less than a variac and will certainly be a lot lighter!
A triac?

What is a triac?


Dunno if this may be of interest, but there are currently half a dozen staco 10A panel mount variacs currently listed on ebay by omega00; shipping just north of $20.

I lucked into a box o' variacs (a powerstat 10B, and a 116BU) on ebay about a year back - cost was under $20 ( including S&H ). Works perfectly for my hacked PopperyI.

Best of luck -
Edited by EddieDove on 09/24/2007 7:50 AM
Food for thought; coffee for concentration

I don't know if anyone answered your question about triacs.

A triac is an electronic (solid-state) three-terminal (tri..) switch that can control current in either direction (i.e. can control AC or DC). Its advantages are cheapness, small size, high capacity, and ease of control. Its main diadvantage for homeroasters is that being a switch it can only deliver voltage below or at the supply voltage - no power boost.

A variac is a variable auto-transformer (AC only [vari AC - get it?]). It is designed such that it can deliver output voltages below, at, or above the input supply voltage (which is why it is so useful for boosting the performance of poppers).

Donut Dog

thank you for the information. I saw ginny's post and was curious myself.

hmmmm, are you the Brainiac winner of the contest?

Hi digi bean

Yes I am he (and world-famous in my own mind).

Have you a particular question re voltage / power control for roasting?



Brainiac wrote:Have you a particular question re voltage / power control for roasting?Brian

I certainly have!

I'm still looking for a good triac circuit (parts-specific) that I can use to control 15 amps of 115 VAC for roasting..

Any ideas, sir?



Ace Sawbuck wrote:
Where does one find a decent variac without spending a small fortune? Any reccommendations for thermometers? Still roasting with basic no name air popper and want to step it up a bit. TIA ACE

Resurrecting the dead...speaking of dead.

I smoked a Chinese variac last week (9 mos old, off eBay, ~$110). Junk. 20 amps.

Ed (FarmRoast) found a listing on eBay for me used 22amp. I am awaiting FedEx even as we chat. I will post back. 22 amps (talk about a horse) for $130. This is domestic (Superior Electric makes it) and they are supposed to last until the great here-after. The seller on eBay had it in FedEx's hands within 24 hours.

Edited by BoldJava on 01/10/2009 11:42 AM
Dave Borton
Milwaukee, WI
One idea for finding a good variac at a fair price, is to wait for a local 'hamfest'. Show up late, just before closing, and sometimes folks will sell at a good price, rather than having to pack it up and haul it back home.

Variacs from the '50s and '60s are built like tanks.

While you're there, pick up a hefty 'isolation transformer' too. The variac is an 'autotransformer', which can be a real shock hazard if used without an isolation transformer.

Regardless, always keep one hand in your pocket while using a variac!

Edited by seedlings on 01/10/2009 2:17 PM
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