Lego and other HV things

David Halliday (Volt Computer) a-davidh at
Fri Jun 27 22:31:07 CEST 1997

He got it from a place in the US that specializes in selling electrical
transmission equipment to utilities.  They sell reconditioned
transformers ( Certified PCB free too! - a major deal ) for about $200 -
they are heavy enough that the shipping cost him another $200

These transformers were designed for rural areas - to take a balanced
14.7KV power line and to drop it down to balanced 220 volt - he ran it
off of his shop 220.  Current draw is a big problem so he uses an arc
welder wired in series with the primary - an arc welder is designed to
limit current flow in the 10-50 Amp range so it is perfect for the task.
He runs his big coil ( 48" tall, 8" diameter with a 20" wide top
electrode ) with this on partial power and gets continuous multiple arcs
from 15' on up.  Serious power!!!

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	J.D. McEachin [SMTP:jdm at]
> Sent:	Friday, June 27, 1997 6:05 AM
> To:	synth-diy at
> Subject:	RE: Lego and other HV things
> On Fri, 27 Jun 1997, Mark Pulver wrote:
> > I think what amazes me the most about this is "how does one go about
> > getting a power pole transformer,
> Get drunk and run into a power pole. :)
> You can buy them if you know who to call, though I suspect this guy
> got 
> it from someone who worked for the electric company.
> > and just where do you get the 480(?)
> > needed to drive it?"
> I assume that the transformer was being used to step UP from 240V 
> to a medium voltage, wasn't it?
> Most pole mounted transformers are for transforming from a medium
> voltage
> of 4160-13,800V down to a low voltage of 240V.  Occasionally you'll
> find
> 480V transformers on poles, but usually if you're going 480V/3 phase,
> then
> you'll have a pad mounted transformer.
> And if you were wondering, High Voltage is 115-230kV, and Extra High 
> Voltage 345-765kV, according to the IEEE.  These are typically used to
> get 
> from the power plant to the substation, where's it's dropped down to a
> medium voltage by those big-ass transformers you see.  You wouldn't
> want 
> high voltage lines running through your neighborhood.
> > Can you really call the electric company and say "hey,
> > I need a 100 amp 480 run to the house".
> The electric company wouldif you had a 480V service installed and up
> to
> code.  They would probably want to know what your projected demand was
> to
> justify the cost, but I bet they would do it anyway if you offered to
> pay
> for the transformer.  Not that you need it - it's scary shit compared
> to
> 240V. 

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