while looking at the nearest hardware store for a power cord to fit my eWOK's heating element (settled for two small appliance cords, 1 just for its plastic casting, split the other cord, + contact in 1 plastic casing, - in the other), i came across some old style (w/ thermocouple that slides in between heating element contacts) electric grill/skilled cords w/ temp dial (right type, but none were the right size). some of these were rated at 1600w others at 1650w. as i mentioned in the pyrex thread, i'm more than happy with the eWOK/CO setup, but this has me thinking of getting heat control similar to that of a variac in my 1400w popcorn pumper. obviously, i wouldn't get the extra 20-25v that a variac would offer, but the pumper has no problem getting hot. on the plus side, i'm guessing the thermocouple would keep temp at the level i dial in, and these things only cost about $20, much cheaper than a variac or a dimmer w/ that kind of wattage. anybody tried this? any luck?
sorry, that's *skillet* stereoplegic wrote: <Snip>
I don't think it will work for what you are planning. They are two different types of control. The variac is a voltage regulator and changes the power input. The dial thermostat is on/off at a given temperature and at least in my roasting style, I don't want full power at a given temperature. I want increments of power. $20 vs $100. Having "battled" against a variac for years (multiple on/off switches) it is easily the best $100 I have spent. Oh, the other thing is that I would be surprised if that dial on the TC was all that accurate. 25-50 F would not surprise me and that is too far off for my tastes. At 22:58 1/23/2007, you wrote: <Snip> John Nanci AlChemist at large Zen Roasting , Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.chocolatealchemy.com/
I am betting that these skillet cords use a heater/bimetal contact which may have a huge on/off hysteresis. Some may have a sensor that fits into a well in the skillet. These are fine for their intended use, but may not work in controlling a popper. If you are up to it, buy one and play with it to see how well it does work. BTW, a variac leaves the entire ac sine wave form untouched and reduces the voltage as a transformer. A dimmer reduces the voltage by chopping the tops off the ac wave. Both supply a continuous reduced voltage. There is another alternative, a router speed control, actually a 1500 watt dimmer. However, you may have difficulty buying one that actually works. I gave up on a mail order company that kept giving me controls with burned out triacs. Buy from a local electrical supply shop where you can return it and complain in person. -- ---------- <Snip> <Snip>