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Dc chopper power converters are used to control the power supplied to a dc load from a dc source. In a battery-powered vehicle, for example, a dc chopper can control the dc series traction motor. Thyristors are favored for the switching element in high power applications. The particular circuit described here can be used as a voltage step-down converter or a voltage step-up converter and uses two auxiliary thyristors to turn off the main power thyristor. The behavior of the step-up circuit is described by exactly the same equations as the step-down circuit when the input voltage is replaced by the load voltage and the load current is replaced by the input current. The analysis treats the general case where saturating reactors are used to soften the commutation of current in the power semiconductors. The nonlinear characteristics of these reactors are approximated by two linear segments when molybdenum-Permalloy powder cores are used. Linear or square-loop cores are included by the theory as special cases. A design synthesis based on the analytical equations is best performed with the aid of a computer.