[Homeroast] variac basics

silas coelho silascoelho1 at gmail.com
Sat Nov 13 21:35:22 CST 2010

Variac is also know as variable auto transformer, and basically what does is
to adjust the output voltage as a PROPORTION of input voltage, and I
enphasize proportion, because if your input voltage (115 Volts/127 Volts or
even 220 Volts) changes, the output is also going to change.
When connected to our popcorns it will control the total power of the
popcorn maker,

The issue is, unless your input voltage is constant (seldom the case) your
output power is going to change over time (means your temperature + motor
speed for the fan as well). But it does the work for  most of cases, giving
you a bit of control of the temperature for the poppers. If you want to go
even further, a suggestion will be to adapt a switch to turn on/off the
heater on the popper allowing you to have a 'cool down fan' (depending on
the popper it will require much more then just switch)

Hope will not be against the list police (no competition here) Radio Shack
and similar stores would have variacs, I will  divide 1250w/114 Volts giving
around 11 A, but going to the safe side stick to the 15 A (it is a lot)



2010/11/13 <msmb at suddenlink.net>

> After a good number of years I today tried roasting with an air popper once
> again.  I came across a 1250 Watt Proctor Silex one that was left in a
> rental property and couldn't resist the temptation of trying it.  I was
> amazed at how quickly it heated up and how powerfully it kept the beans --86
> gramms, same thing I used in my I-roast--  swirling around and ultimately
> how evenly it roasted.
> is it overkill to use a vaciac with this kind of roaster?  if it is not,
> can someone tell me about vaciacs; I have the scantest knowledge of what
> they are (I was just reading a bit online).  I take it that if I were to buy
> one i should get one that plugs into a whall outlet and that has an outlet
> into which I plug the popper.  Then there is typically a dial that you turn
> in order to set and  control the wattage of the popper and that by doing
> this you can carefully control the heat.  I assume that after using the
> popper enough you will become accustomed to what point on the control keeps
> the popper at a given temperature.  Is all fo this correct?
> Tne next question is what the capacity should be for a variac that will
> control a 1250 w device.  if i understood correctly I would divide 1250 by
> 84.5, which suggests a 15 AMP variac.  But that seems like a lot doesn't it?
> Then the next question, if it is permitted in this forum; where do you
> purchase a variac?
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