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Author Topic: Variac For Your Jensen or Any 115 Volt Plug In Electric (USA)  (Read 1585 times)

RedRyder

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Variac For Your Jensen or Any 115 Volt Plug In Electric (USA)
« on: November 17, 2023, 06:56:16 am »
I know a lot of you have these, however, if you don't, here is a good opportunity.

These are a great way to regulate voltage to your electric heaters.

I have 3 of them and don't need another. All of mine cost more.

I believe 2 of them came from this seller.

This is as good a price as I have seen anywhere, better than most.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/166245576647

Gil

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Ouch!

Yep, that would seem a very good price as I paid about $20 more for mine several years ago when money was worth quite a bit more. Of course, not regretting as I've gotten plenty of value out of mine in the ensuing years.

On the other hand, for most of our electric fired engines that only have a single heating element, these lesser options my prove even more economical, and are far easier to find space to store.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/155864120970?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/386101233861?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/166229771320?


These are likely not the best prices you can find on these units as I didn't actually look around, but simply grabbed the link to the first ones I saw, and there are other styles of these smaller ones out there as well.

With that being said, the larger variac as is being shown by Gil in the first post, really is the Cat's Meow for this sort of thing, and they can handle about any power requirements that you can throw at them, like Jensen 50's even with their three heating elements, or multiple engines for that matter!
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Steamloco

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I have a router controller very similar to the third one down. I got it from Harbor Freight for $20. It can handle the Jensen 50 no problem.
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RedRyder

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Daniel, don't feel bad about $20 more. My first one set me back about 120. Still no regrets as it has been serving me well.
The next 2 were considerably better priced like yours. I would go for one of these at this price except for having the good sense to not think I need a 4th.

St Paul Steam

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I think I paid nearly as much for shipping as this one costs.
I do like that middle choice with the voltage usage gauge.
Bruce, St. Paul Indiana, USA
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Woe is me

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I just use the one that Roger showed us how to make from "The Temple of Steam".

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St Paul Steam

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I just use the one that Roger showed us how to make from "The Temple of Steam".

(Attachment Link)
I made (2) of those over 10 yrs ago, but honestly I think I have more money in those 2 (each) than 2 of the ones Daniel listed
Bruce, St. Paul Indiana, USA
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RedRyder

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I bought one of the middle selection in Daniel's post above.

It just arrived today and so far I am not impressed other than that it is smart looking.

On the front it says 15 amps max and on the back it says current capacity 10 amps.

When connected to a load, starting at zero, it doesn't register any power at all until you get over 40.

And.....

It doesn't put out more than 106 volts with 115-118 volts feeding it.

In a second test with a 500 watt hair dryer nothing registered until the dial reached 56 volts and then it was only 13-14 volts on the LED read out. At this point the hair dryer started buzzing. Then turning up to 65 on the dial it was only putting out 30 volts. At 80 on the dial, it put out 65 volts. At full power, 118 volts in it reads 108 volts out with the hair dryer.

I think I will check it with an external volt meter.

This one:  https://www.ebay.com/itm/386101233861?


Edit: I just shared this info through ebay with the seller.

Stoker

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Sorry Gil, didn't mean to misdirect anyone!

It does seem that this is a "second hand" unit, and not actually factory new. Perhaps the seller determined that it didn't work quite right and passed it on?!?!
"Information is not knowledge, Knowledge is not wisdom, Wisdom is not truth, Truth is not beauty, Beauty is not love, Love is not music: Music is THE BEST...   
Wisdom is the domain of the Wis (which is extinct). Beauty is a French phonetic corruption of a short cloth neck ornament currently in resurgence..."
F. Zappa ... by way of Mary, the girl from the bus.

RedRyder

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Sorry Gil, didn't mean to misdirect anyone!

It does seem that this is a "second hand" unit, and not actually factory new. Perhaps the seller determined that it didn't work quite right and passed it on?!?!
Hi Daniel,

No worries at all. He handled the situation perfectly and quickly. He apologized and asked me to let him know if I don't want to keep. I wrote back that I could return it and how did he want me to proceed. He very quickly replied with a full refund and said I could toss it or keep it whichever I prefer. For his professional customer centric responses, I gave him very good feedback.

I doubt he ever even tested it as it looks like he buys things at close outs and clean outs and resells it all on ebay.

Gil

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Well, that's about as good as it gets .... congrats!!!

Certainly, beats my last evilbay experience.
"Information is not knowledge, Knowledge is not wisdom, Wisdom is not truth, Truth is not beauty, Beauty is not love, Love is not music: Music is THE BEST...   
Wisdom is the domain of the Wis (which is extinct). Beauty is a French phonetic corruption of a short cloth neck ornament currently in resurgence..."
F. Zappa ... by way of Mary, the girl from the bus.

St Paul Steam

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Well dern Gil, I thought this might be a good alternative to my built in voltage regulator, also with a built in gauge. Well since I can no longer buy from eBay I found some on Amazon...but sounds like the quality is as cheap as the price.
Bruce, St. Paul Indiana, USA
"Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind."
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Just a thought on this is, that much like a plumbing system, you never get full pressure and volume out the far end, as what is available at the source. We are buying these as "juice reducers", and they do function as such, but I'm not sure we can expect them to pass the same juice out as they are being supplied and still have the current run through the maze of electronics that make them work.

I do not have the style with the digital readout but do have the style that looks just like it but without the readout. It has a three-way toggle switch that allows for direct power, regulated power and power off. It seems to show full power when the switch is in the full power position but does show a little bit less when the switch runs the current through the rheostat windings, even at full crank on the dial. None of this was with any load other than my vom.
"Information is not knowledge, Knowledge is not wisdom, Wisdom is not truth, Truth is not beauty, Beauty is not love, Love is not music: Music is THE BEST...   
Wisdom is the domain of the Wis (which is extinct). Beauty is a French phonetic corruption of a short cloth neck ornament currently in resurgence..."
F. Zappa ... by way of Mary, the girl from the bus.

 

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