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Saturable Reactors (was Ganging 1256D's)
Original poster: "Bert Hickman by way of Terry Fritz <twftesla-at-uswest-dot-net>" <bert.hickman-at-aquila-dot-net>
Unfortunately, Eric Lowdon's transformer book does not cover saturable
reactors. However, there are a number of other (older) books that do cover
saturable reactor and magnetic amplifier designs. Most books that cover the
topic are out of print, but most are still available on the Used Book
market. By far, the best one (practical, and not too mathematical) is
Leonard Crow's "Saturating Core Devices", Scientific Book Publishing Co.,
1949, 373pp. Crow's book is a very readable text with clear diagrams
minimal math. Almost as good is "Magnetic Amplifier Circuits", William A.
Geyger, McGraw-Hill, 1954 (1st ed., 277pp) or 1957 (2nd ed., 394pp), or
"Nonlinear-Magnetic Control Devices" by William Geyger, McGraw-Hill, 1964,
406pp. The latter book is a bit more thorough, and contains more math. All
of these titles are available via various book dealers. Check out the
prices by using the Addall Used Book Service at:
I haven't done any playing with saturable reactors. However, there are
others on the Tesla List who have used them with good success - perhaps
they could share their experience and knowledge with you. Per Geyger,
typical power gains (controlled output power/DC input power) ranges from 10
to 100, and this range can be further extended by applying either positive
or negative external feedback.
-- Bert --
Web Site: http://www.teslamania-dot-com
Tesla list wrote:
> Original poster: "John Crighton by way of Terry Fritz
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Tesla list <tesla-at-pupman-dot-com>
> To: <tesla-at-pupman-dot-com>
> Sent: Monday, 19 March, 2001 5:36 AM
> Subject: Re: Ganging 1256D's
> > Original poster: "Bert Hickman by way of Terry Fritz
> <twftesla-at-uswest-dot-net>" <bert.hickman-at-aquila-dot-net>
> > Let's plug in some nunbers... we can use the standard transformer equation
> > to determine the volts/turn for a given core area and operating frequency
> > (from Eric Lowdon - "Practical Transformer Design Handbook", 2nd ed.,
> Hello Bert and the group,
> Bert, the above book, does it have any practical information on
> saturable reactors. I am looking for a book that has practical
> information and not excessively mathematical.
> Variacs are great, but cost lots of money here in Sydney.
> MOTs are free.
> I was just wondering if anyone had experimented with ordinary
> transformers by trying to make a saturable reactor out of them.
> A variable choke or poor mans variac/current controlling device.
> I would like to do some reading on the subject of saturable
> reactors but they only get a mention in the text books I have
> seen so far with no practical information.
> I would like to know how much DC power can control
> how much AC power.
> If you Bert or anyone has played with saturable reactors,
> I would like to know how you got on.
> John Crighton