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Old 29th March 2006, 11:55 AM   #1
bigwill is offline bigwill  United Kingdom
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Default Toroidal mains transformer

I have a toroidal mains transformer lying around. I want to use it as an audio step-up transformer just to test my experiments, I know the quality wont be very good. Will this blow up my amp? My load will probably have a low capacitance and I will not be driving it very hard, I just want to get sound. I'm unsure of the ratio of the transformer but it has two primary leads and four secondary leads so it must be a dual secondary step down transformer. I will drive the secondaries with the amp and use the high voltage output across the primary (I don't need a center tap at the moment). Is there anything particularly wrong with doing this?
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Old 29th March 2006, 12:24 PM   #2
SY is offline SY  United States
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Whether or not your amp will blow up is one of those unanswerable questions until you try it. That's part of the fun and adventure of DIY.

For an ESL, you do want a very high step-up ratio, so parallel the secondaries and use the primary as the ESL drive. What are you planning to do about the needed center tap? Are there dual primaries, too? That would be ideal.

One thing to watch for is insulation failure, so if you see or hear any sparks, smoke, or what-have-you, be ready to do an emergency shut-down.
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Old 29th March 2006, 12:38 PM   #3
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If you can put a one ohm power resistor in series with the sand amp and the transformer for the initial testing you will make it easier on the amplifier.while finding out generally if your idea is going to work or not.
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Old 29th March 2006, 01:17 PM   #4
bigwill is offline bigwill  United Kingdom
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I guess I could tap a battery to the terminals to get sound but that's not as fun as music
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Old 29th March 2006, 01:32 PM   #5
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Old 29th March 2006, 06:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: Toroidal mains transformer

The sound quality of those transformers is pretty good.
If you don't drive it with more voltage than the transformer was originally designed for you can be sure your amp won't blow up.
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Old 29th March 2006, 08:18 PM   #7
bigwill is offline bigwill  United Kingdom
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Hrm, $4.00, that's pretty insane. Shame they're out of stock. I wonder what the equivalent thing is here in the UK
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