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Tuesday 18 October 2011

Transformer heaven

Not far from where I live is a large metal scrapyard. They have a section where motors and transformers go to die, and a lot of what they get is from the local utility + military. Military and utility transformers are highly prized for Tesla coils and other HV experiments, so I really wanted in. My TC really could do with a decent upgrade!

A friendly chat to the workers eventually led me to the owner. This place has a reputation for allowing access to artists (sparks count as "art", surely), so it didn't take long. Access granted! All the blokes there were incredibly friendly and helpful during this.

Of course, my first visit to the place would not have been complete without taking some metal to recycle. So I took some aluminium cans for them, which they particularly appreciated as they'd first have to deal with the beer contained within.

It really is like a toyshop there, except the useful stuff is well hidden. This is what I faced when I went:

I could have spent hours there, but had to be elsewhere so only spent 15 minutes or so. Countless motors there, plus loads of transformers, such as those from microwave ovens, massive utility ones, and a few hefty 3-phase types. But no pole-pig or potential transformers yet (my real desires).

Despite this, I did come away with a beat up old Neon Sign Transformer, which is seen at the bottom of the left photo. And it works it seems! Stay tuned for a quick post on how I tested it "in-heap".

I suspect this will be a regular haunt of mine now, much to the detriment of the girlfriend..

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