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variateur

English translation: dimmer (switch) / speed controller

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
French term or phrase:variateur
English translation:dimmer (switch) / speed controller
Entered by: jtucci
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13:05 Jan 12, 2008
French to English translations [PRO]
Tech/Engineering - Electronics / Elect Eng
French term or phrase: variateur
I'm trying to find the correct term in English for "variateur" in the following sentence:

ATTENTION : Pour réduire le risque d'incendie ou de choc électrique, n'utilisez jamais ce rafraîchisseur d'air avec un variateur.

It is from a user manual for an evaporative air cooler. Unfortunately the document provides no further context as to what kind of variateur. My guess is some kind of device that change the speed of electricity?
jtucci
United States
Local time: 06:46
dimmer (switch) / speed controller
Explanation:
You don't give us quite enough context to go on, but i'm assuming this is some kind of domestic appliance, in which case, it is likely that they are referring to the use of the type of dimmer switch (either installed, or cable-mounting) that is commonly used in domes for regulating lighting.

You can't per se change the 'speed' of electricity, but you can use such devices as these to control how much power reaches the load.

It could be referred to as a 'speed controller', certainly — but if this is a domestic situation, people are more likely to be failiar with is in its dimming function.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2008-01-12 14:54:13 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Oops, sorry for the typo: "...commonly used in homes..."

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2008-01-12 15:21:19 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I think Chris is probably right, when he says that it needs to be kept fairly general; the 'lighting dimmer' is cerainyl one possible idea, but by no means the only one, and as Chris says, self-contained speed-controllers do exist on the market, suitable for certain but by no means all kinds of motorized appliances.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 hrs (2008-01-12 17:00:54 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Just for the sake of completeness, I think I need to clarify my position (which I believe is broadly in line with Chris's)

Most modern control devices of this type are continuously-variable (i.e. not operating in switched steps) solid-state devices (some variation on theme of choppers and SCRs / thyristors etc.). This type of device produces a distorted output waveform which may well be satisfactory for operating lamp or heating loads, and even certain types of simple motors, but which can play havoc with the operation of more complex systems, particularly ones that themselves contain active electronics (including electronic 'ballasts' for T/H lighting, etc.)

This is usually why appliance manufacturers warn against using this type of controller on their products.

The much older, and now largely obsolete, purely resistive type of controlller (either a rheostat, or sometimes switch-selected fixed resistors) is less likely to cause problems for appliances of this sort — but is also much less commonly encountered these days, at least in a domestic situation.

And just to be pedantic a bit longer: while some control devices may indeed be specifically used to control current, e.g. the device to control arc-current mentioned in one of BDF's refs., more generally, we would regard these as power controllers — though again, in layman's terms, we more often think about the outcome of that power control, i.e. dimming or speed control (the 2 main groups of applications). Colloquially, people often refer generally to a 'dimmer', particularly when it is installed in a house, even though it is possible some other device might in fact be connected to it...

And finally, do note that over here in France, houses are much more commonly than in the Uk fitted with sockets on a switched lighting circuit — so that you can plug in say a standard lamp and have it come on with the main room light switch. With the incresing use of remote controls and other forms of home automation, dimmer switches throughout are becoming comparatively more common than they might have been even say 10 years ago. Not to mention plug-in remote-controlled dimming devices, etc. ...
Selected response from:

Tony M
France
Local time: 13:46
Grading comment
Thanks for your help!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +3dimmer (switch) / speed controller
Tony M
4Electronic power controller
chris collister
4 -1current adjustment switch
B D Finch
4 -2load-tap changer/ phase shifter / phase splitteretienne muylle i wallace


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -2
load-tap changer/ phase shifter / phase splitter


Explanation:
It is a kind of transformer, as you find at the cable of uploading phones, etc

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2008-01-12 14:26:01 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

it could also simply bwe a "switch" to use either of the functions,

etienne muylle i wallace
Spain
Local time: 13:46
Native speaker of: Native in DutchDutch, Native in FrenchFrench

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Tony M: Very unlikely in the context of a simple domestic appliance.
1 hr

disagree  Bashiqa: power control nothing to do with phase
2 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Electronic power controller


Explanation:
I agree that "dimmer" is tricky for an A/C unit, but who has a speed controller on their sockets? Since in this case it controls (or would control) neither light nor speed, something neutral might work better?

chris collister
France
Local time: 13:46
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 341

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Tony M: Over here, quite a lot of people have dedicated 'lighting' sockets controlled by a dimmer switch, hence why you need to warn people against plugging unsuitable appliances into them. / Nor me! Lethal!
17 mins
  -> Fair enough - in Blighty you just whack in a modified light switch. Decades ago you used to be able to buy SCR drill controllers. I do love most things French, but have never been a fan of continental (not just French) domestic electrics!
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -1
current adjustment switch


Explanation:
You can adjust the strength of current passing through the switch, presumably using a resistance coil. NB. no switch can change the speed of electricity!

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2008-01-12 14:35:15 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

are OFF and the current adjust switch is at the. minimum position. • Connect the positive lead of the charger to the. battery positive terminal (+) and the ...
www.autoshop101.com/forms/h6.pdf

With arc-striking current adjustment switch, can easily adjust the arc-striking current, optimize the arc ignition effect. The pushing current adjustment ...
cdmorrow.en.alibaba.com/product/50370339/51722368/WS7/IGBT_Inverter_HF_TIG_Welder.html - 27k

B D Finch
France
Local time: 13:46
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 44

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  chris collister: These controllers work by "chopping" the ac waveforrm, rather than using resistance - theoretically, this is zero loss, which is why dimmer switches don't cook themselves!
4 mins
  -> Thanks chris - see my response to Tony M.

disagree  Tony M: Rather non-technical language, and the whole point is that it ISN'T merely a resistive device (which might work OK), but an electronic one, as Chris says. / Yes, but almost certainly not a 'switch'
20 mins
  -> I bow to your greater knowledge of electrical devices. However "current adjustment" seems to be what is achieved, whether electronically or by resistance.
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12 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
dimmer (switch) / speed controller


Explanation:
You don't give us quite enough context to go on, but i'm assuming this is some kind of domestic appliance, in which case, it is likely that they are referring to the use of the type of dimmer switch (either installed, or cable-mounting) that is commonly used in domes for regulating lighting.

You can't per se change the 'speed' of electricity, but you can use such devices as these to control how much power reaches the load.

It could be referred to as a 'speed controller', certainly — but if this is a domestic situation, people are more likely to be failiar with is in its dimming function.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2008-01-12 14:54:13 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Oops, sorry for the typo: "...commonly used in homes..."

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2008-01-12 15:21:19 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I think Chris is probably right, when he says that it needs to be kept fairly general; the 'lighting dimmer' is cerainyl one possible idea, but by no means the only one, and as Chris says, self-contained speed-controllers do exist on the market, suitable for certain but by no means all kinds of motorized appliances.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 hrs (2008-01-12 17:00:54 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Just for the sake of completeness, I think I need to clarify my position (which I believe is broadly in line with Chris's)

Most modern control devices of this type are continuously-variable (i.e. not operating in switched steps) solid-state devices (some variation on theme of choppers and SCRs / thyristors etc.). This type of device produces a distorted output waveform which may well be satisfactory for operating lamp or heating loads, and even certain types of simple motors, but which can play havoc with the operation of more complex systems, particularly ones that themselves contain active electronics (including electronic 'ballasts' for T/H lighting, etc.)

This is usually why appliance manufacturers warn against using this type of controller on their products.

The much older, and now largely obsolete, purely resistive type of controlller (either a rheostat, or sometimes switch-selected fixed resistors) is less likely to cause problems for appliances of this sort — but is also much less commonly encountered these days, at least in a domestic situation.

And just to be pedantic a bit longer: while some control devices may indeed be specifically used to control current, e.g. the device to control arc-current mentioned in one of BDF's refs., more generally, we would regard these as power controllers — though again, in layman's terms, we more often think about the outcome of that power control, i.e. dimming or speed control (the 2 main groups of applications). Colloquially, people often refer generally to a 'dimmer', particularly when it is installed in a house, even though it is possible some other device might in fact be connected to it...

And finally, do note that over here in France, houses are much more commonly than in the Uk fitted with sockets on a switched lighting circuit — so that you can plug in say a standard lamp and have it come on with the main room light switch. With the incresing use of remote controls and other forms of home automation, dimmer switches throughout are becoming comparatively more common than they might have been even say 10 years ago. Not to mention plug-in remote-controlled dimming devices, etc. ...

Tony M
France
Local time: 13:46
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 1726
Grading comment
Thanks for your help!
Notes to answerer
Asker: It is a manual for an evaporative air cooler which is a small domestic device that is kind of a cross between an air purifier and an air conditioner.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  B D Finch: "Speed controller" perhaps more likely, as "dimmer" switch refers, as you say, to lighting.
1 hr
  -> Yes, but I'm thinking this isn't about someone going out and buying a speed controller for it, but more about their inadvertently connecting it to an existing dimmer switch (sic!) in their home

agree  Bashiqa: I'll go with Tony as we don't know for sure that it is electronic, could be a simple variable resistance.
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, Bashiqa! Though do note that I DON'T believe it is simply resistive (which would probably be OK)

agree  Kari Foster: I think you're right; it is likely to be a common domestic rheostat aka dimmer switch
3 hrs
  -> Thanks, Kari! Once again, I'm sorry to be pedantic, but a typical domestic 'dimmer switch' is electronic, and is NOT the same as a 'rheostat'

agree  rkillings: "dimmer or speed controller" will do it. Avoid any mention of silicon-controlled rectifiers or other solid-state electronic devices.
13 hrs
  -> Thanks, RK! I think your suggestion of combining the 2 terms with 'or' is the best solution that covers all bases
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