Using a Variac to revive power supplies

Tobias Russell toby at
Thu Dec 23 08:11:45 CST 2010

I've recently acquired a Variac (220V 10A) and was wondering what the
collectives views are on using them to revive long dormant power supplies.

Previously I have removed the electrolytics and reformed them with a bench
power supply setup, slowly ramping up the voltage (as per Am I right in
thinking I can use the Variac to effectively reform the capacitors in

I'm currently rebuilding one of my PDP-8/E's which has a linear PSU which I
believe is ok, but will it also work with later DEC switchmode PSUs?

All the best,

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