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Auto Transformers vs the Autobots

I still can’t read the word ‘autotransformer’ without thinking of the Autobots and Transformers. While I never read the comics, or watched the TV shows, I was able to see all of the movies, and fell in love. I’ve seen the second and third movies at least three times, and the first one, still my favorite, probably at least 5 times. Although I could ramble on about Optimus Prime and his fellow Autobots all week… autotransformers are a little more real and relevant to our lives today. Autotransformers can be found in the automotive, commercial, electronics, power transmission, telecommunications and marine industries.

Autotransformers are able to apply both primary and secondary voltage. The single winding has two end terminals, along with one or possibly more intermediate points. Primary voltage can be taken from two of the terminals, and secondary voltage is taken from two terminals. In nearly all cases, one of the terminals used for the second voltage is the same as in the primary voltage. The volts produced depend directly on the number of turns it travels up the winding. The different terminals, or taps, determine the different voltages of the mechanism.

Unlike many traditional transformers that contain two windings, the autotransformer contains only one winding. Because there is only a single winding, a winding being the coils wrapped around a metal core, in these transformers and a smaller core, they are able to be smaller. They also tend to be more efficient while being less-expensive than other models. Some common applications for autotransformers can include voltage regulators, speaker adapters, to stimulate low line conditions for testing, interconnect systems and for impedance matching. Given, autotransformers may not be quite as cool as watching the Autobots battling the Decepticons in the movies, but they are still highly interesting and more importantly, useful for the technology filled lives we lead.