Microwave oven transformer uses

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My microwave oven just quit. Mechanical problem. So, of course, I gutted it and took out the transformer, rectifier, and capacitor. I was thinking I might use it to power a home brew tube HF amplifier. Anyone try this? I know it doesnt have a filament tap, but it may be possible to add one. It's an open frame transformer. I wouldnt probably use the rectifier or filter cap, just the HV transformer. Any thoughts?

tom lish II:
Although it would have been so much easier to replace the burnt out 60 what light blub, but we are hams.. a microwave is a challange.. just remember it operates at 500 to 700 watts on about 2.4 ghz, which is perfect for frying flesh.. so be careful.

Larry J. Rolewic:
Most of the microwave oven transformers will have one side of the secondary tied to the frame.  (And thus, ground.)  That means you will have to use it in a half wave rectifier circuit, making the filtering all the more difficult.  (And expensive.)
    Unfortunately, you can't just "lift" the frame connection, as the winding isn't properly insulated to operate that way.
    Most recommendations for use of these transformers has been to use two identical transformers to be able to use full wave rectification, and a hefty supply rating.
    That said, it MAY turn out to be useful.  But remember:  BE CAREFUL, and always keep one hand in your pocket when working around H.V.  The transformers will put out anywhere from 1500 to over 2500 Volts, and you don't want to become a "bleeder resistor."

Yes, you can use a microwave oven transformer to drive a small linear amp, and as mentioned two are better as one end will be tied to ground at the HV output.


Please PLEASE be very careful as the voltages you are dealing with will kill you without question. This is not a job which requires guesswork or second-rate components and if you are not sure about something then ask.

End of lecture, have fun.


Thanks guys,

Good point about the secondary being tied to ground and indeed this one is. I might even decide to take off the secondary and rewind it for 70VAC output and use it as a power supply for a transistor amplifier. I guess it depends on how industrious I feel.




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