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A coaster heater with nichrome wire <- circuit and components advice

  1. Oct 21, 2009 #1
    A coaster heater with nichrome wire <-- circuit and components advice

    Okay, for a certain... project I have, I need to make a little heater-type thing that would most likely go in the base of a mug. The concept is, it keep your hot drink hot. No more cold tea or coffee. But for the sake of safety, I would like to make the heating coil of nichrome wire separate from the power source, which would be in a sort of fat "coaster"-like thing. You know how a kettle only goes on when it's sitting on top of it's little plug? Like that. When you set the mug down on it, it completes the circuit.

    I drew a diagram. It's attached...

    Anyway, basically I want to know:

    How much nichrome wire would there need to be to keep tea/coffee hot?

    With that amount, could it be powered by (everyday) batteries? (Like AA or AAA?)

    If so, how many?

    If not, how do you connect something up to the mains without... killing yourself?

    Provided everything else worked, is the kettle switch thing idea good, or should it all be in one unit (the cup or the coaster) where you push a button?

    Do I need something to stop the wire from overheating? Is it called a thermostat? What is it and how does it work?

    The cup should be insulated so that it only heats the tea/coffee, not the mug itself, right?

    Anything else I might need to consider?

    Thanks for your help!

    (BTW, the drink doesn't need to boil or anything, just stay at that nice temperature where drinking from it is like sinking into a hot bath... great, now I want one. *goes makes cup of tea*)
     

    Attached Files:

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