[Homeroast] update on speed control (Variac substitute)

peter zulkowski peterz5743 at gmail.com
Tue Feb 28 15:20:56 CST 2012

Amazon shipped my  order of this thing:


and it arrived a day early :)
I plugged it into a "Kila watt" and plugged a Poppery into it.
(A Kila-Watt is a power, amperage, Voltage monitor that costs about $25.00 )
Not too happy with this one, but the reviews were mixed on it. Several
folks got bad ones.
What I found was:
the variable was all at the top end of the dial.
At the top of the dial, it would only allow 650 Watts to go through to the
Poppery, but when I switched to to non-variable it allowed 1375W.
Just like when it was not there.

Next I went to a different circuit and tried a 1500W steamer.
Same result, only allowed 650W on variable, but full wattage on the other
side of the switch.
Also power did not vary much at the lower end of the dial, and ramped to
the max quickly at the top end.
Not much control :(
I suspect that the rheostat is defective.
Read the reviews on Amazon. Some folks are happy, and others keep getting

The one I bought will be returned and I am not sure if I will order
another. I would rather learn how to build something with some kind of
Solid State device..   Triac??


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