WTF is a Saturable Reactor?

Author: | Posted in Projects, Video No comments

A saturable reactor is an arcane piece of electrical kit that modulates a large AC current with a small DC input. This unit was removed from a Bridgeport Series II CNC milling machine where it was used to regulate the power supply to the stepper motor drivers that moved the X, Y, and Z axes. In this video I describe how it works and demonstrate it’s operation.

I’m building a new welder and I’m going to wind my own transformer! I’m planning on at least 200 Amps output so I’m salvaging some large iron cores from a CNC milling machine power supply from the 1980s. In this video I show you how to disassemble a transformer and salvage the iron cores and wire.