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Old 04.07.2011, 04:20
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Using a 110v Powerstrip with a voltage converter.

So here is my question. I bought a step down converter for my Xbox that I'm bringing when I move. I'm wondering if I could bring a power strip, plug it into the step down and use it for a bunch of my devices to avoid a bunch of adapters. Anyone done this? Just curious.
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Old 04.07.2011, 06:52
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Re: Using a 110v Powerstrip with a voltage converter.

No problem in theory, but you need to make sure that all of the devices togther don't exceed the capacity of the converter. When you say 'step-down converter', I typically think of something small that's rated for a very low load limit.

For what you're talking about doing, you really need a proper transformer.

I used to have the same arrangement to power my old stereo system. The transformer, incidentally, was about the size of a car battery and cost several hundred dollars.
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Old 04.07.2011, 08:27
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Re: Using a 110v Powerstrip with a voltage converter.

I tried doing this in New Zealand. I plugged my laptop into the strip along with a battery charger. I plugged the strip into the converter, as soon as I plugged into the wall i heard a crackle and a burning smell. The battery charger was ruined, the laptop was still ok but the strip was fried.

So at least for me it didnt work out. Dont remember the name of the converter but it was a $20 one from Wal Mart
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Old 04.07.2011, 08:46
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Re: Using a 110v Powerstrip with a voltage converter.

unless you buy the mother of all step down transformers you'll be in for bad news, xbox is power hungry at the best of times.

there are quite a few threads on here on stepdown transformers, my experience with them was buying one that *should* have been ok with my tv (correct amps etc) it worked for 10 minutes or so, then melted, I ended up having to use a massive industrial type transformer, not a poxy small plug in the wall type.

there was a thread on here recently where someone plugged in there coffee maker into a stepdown and it blew up, so be really careful!!

eta

here you go

Using a US TV in Switzerland
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Old 04.07.2011, 09:53
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Re: Using a 110v Powerstrip with a voltage converter.

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So at least for me it didnt work out. Dont remember the name of the converter but it was a $20 one from Wal Mart
Did it look like this?:


Those are for simple heating element devices like hair dryers or coffee makers, and for intermittent use. That little one plugs right in the wall, but is rated for 2000watts.

A real 2000 watt transformer looks like this:



It weighs 15kg, and costs about 500 francs.

When buying a transformer most folks will type 'transformer 120 240' or something in Google and find something that looks like:




These are the cheapest, no-name transformers available. But- they are 'real' transformers nonetheless. When sizing a transformer I stick to a rule of thumb that the equipment should be rated at 60% of the transformer's capacity. That's for good ones like the middle pic. If using the cheap black ones like the last pic, especially for something that will be used continuously I would want even more of a safety margin. Also, the ones like the last pic are almost always step-up/step-down capable with a switch on the back. The switch should be set to the INPUT VOLTAGE. Not the output voltage desired. Setting that wrong will end in a melt down and lots of smelly black smoke at best.


Pics are clickable, though I don't endorse any of these other than the middle one from Distrelec.
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Old 04.07.2011, 10:08
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Re: Using a 110v Powerstrip with a voltage converter.

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When sizing a transformer I stick to a rule of thumb that the equipment should be rated at 60% of the transformer's capacity.
There is no need for a safety margin, other than making sure that the maximum power consumption of the device is less than or equal to the rating of the transformer.

If a transformer is rated for 300W, then it can do that 24/7. That's why they are rated.

Tom
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Old 04.07.2011, 10:28
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Re: Using a 110v Powerstrip with a voltage converter.

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There is no need for a safety margin, other than making sure that the maximum power consumption of the device is less than or equal to the rating of the transformer.

If a transformer is rated for 300W, then it can do that 24/7. That's why they are rated.

Tom
I'm paranoid.

And with the cheap black ones I would bet my shoes that they are over-rated. Probably can handle intermittent peak loads in excess of their rating but I doubt they can go 24/7 at full capacity.

Still, lots of people play poker with electricity, exceeding ratings, pennies in fuse holders and so on and get away with it. (I like to go the other way) An artist friend of mine lived in a sort of shack in Vevey for a couple of years. No electricity but a nice neighbor let him tap into theirs. In winter he had electric heaters all over the place, all leading to one cord that went out the window and to the neighbors. He would adjust them by feeling the cord to the neighbors... too hot to touch- turn down the heat .
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Old 04.07.2011, 10:47
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Re: Using a 110v Powerstrip with a voltage converter.

I'd take a local power brick where possible for your stuff. If you must run US stuff, another vote here for the decent step-down transformers. It must look like you can pick it up one-handed but when you try to do that, you'll find you need both hands.

I have a US strip with a safety trip on it for my step-down transformer. It's 2000w and runs a KitchenAid mixer without slowdowns.......

Oh and the darn thing will hum for the whole time it's plugged in. Factor that into your calculation too, it's not quiet.
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Old 04.07.2011, 11:06
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Re: Using a 110v Powerstrip with a voltage converter.

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I have a US strip with a safety trip on it for my step-down transformer. It's 2000w and runs a KitchenAid mixer without slowdowns.......

Oh and the darn thing will hum for the whole time it's plugged in. Factor that into your calculation too, it's not quiet.
Wow, I imagine the transformer for the KitchenAid is roughly the same size as the KitchenAid itself.

And yes, you're right to point out the buzzing. They're not quiet.
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Old 04.07.2011, 11:09
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Re: Using a 110v Powerstrip with a voltage converter.

For the price of an Xbox, It'll be less hassle just to get on when you get here.

I'm gonna do the same, sell my Xboxes when I head to the US and buy another there.
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Old 04.07.2011, 11:50
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Re: Using a 110v Powerstrip with a voltage converter.

I've been using a transformer I bought from Pusterla in ZH for several years now. Awesome shop. http://www.pusterla.ch/.
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Old 04.07.2011, 13:00
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Re: Using a 110v Powerstrip with a voltage converter.

I expected mine to be loud (rated 1000W) , but actually outside of turning on and off you can't hear it.

Also I have a surge protector/power strip attached to it and it works fine, but I have heard of some that blow a fuse as soon as you lug a power strip in (even without plugging anything in.

Here are the links to my set up:

http://www.voltageconverters.com/vol...onverters.html

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000J2EN4S

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Wow, I imagine the transformer for the KitchenAid is roughly the same size as the KitchenAid itself.

And yes, you're right to point out the buzzing. They're not quiet.
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Old 10.07.2011, 20:22
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Re: Using a 110v Powerstrip with a voltage converter.

I have a super heavy duty transformer. Steps up and down and can hold 750 watts. It is very heavy, weighs like 3kg. Hopefully the Powerstrip can handle it. I plan on using it with my xbox mainly, but the xbox I have also has a power cord for the Kinnect, so I wanted to plug that in too.
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Old 11.06.2012, 23:11
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Re: Using a 110v Powerstrip with a voltage converter.

Just another experience i'd like to add
My amazing Samsung 3D 63" 440w consumption with a power down converter 750w is not working anymore.... Heard a crack behind the TV, a flash and now it's gone - no image. I am not sure what caused it. Maybe the 60/50Hz difference ? I can't believe it had something to do with draining the converter... Have an US strip attached with a small router ac/dc converter so i am sure this was not the cause.
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Old 12.06.2012, 00:07
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Re: Using a 110v Powerstrip with a voltage converter.

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There is no need for a safety margin, other than making sure that the maximum power consumption of the device is less than or equal to the rating of the transformer.

If a transformer is rated for 300W, then it can do that 24/7. That's why they are rated.

Tom
A slight clarification on what you are saying. The 60% rule is often used because on "start up" many appliances pull much more than what they post as the "normal" consumption.

If you cut it too close, you may up frying things. It is much cheaper to over spec the transformer.
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Old 12.06.2012, 08:00
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Re: Using a 110v Powerstrip with a voltage converter.

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Heard a crack behind the TV, a flash and now it's gone - no image. I am not sure what caused it. Maybe the 60/50Hz difference ? I can't believe it had something to do with draining the converter... Have an US strip attached with a small router ac/dc converter so i am sure this was not the cause.
If you're really lucky, the crack/flash that you heard was the fuse on the converter blowing. You might get away with just replacing the fuse.
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Old 12.06.2012, 10:50
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Re: Using a 110v Powerstrip with a voltage converter.

I have a monster size one which is for a power saw. Any 'site' saws in the UK MUST be 110v for safety. It weighs a ton.

I also have a smaller one for an old DVD player, but even this must be at least 1 kilo in weight.

Ensure the transformer has enough power for all devices/combinations otherwise you'll blow something which could be expensive and dangerous.

Most if not all laptops have dual voltage power supply. Same with most portable devices i.e. cameras, mobile phones etc..
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Old 12.06.2012, 11:16
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Re: Using a 110v Powerstrip with a voltage converter.

Hi

Found this interesting article when googling for my problem:

http://www.gson.org/stepdown/

- Never Use a Surge Protector with a Step-Down Transformer -
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Old 12.06.2012, 14:27
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Re: Using a 110v Powerstrip with a voltage converter.

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Hi

Found this interesting article when googling for my problem:

http://www.gson.org/stepdown/

- Never Use a Surge Protector with a Step-Down Transformer -
Was just going to warn you about that. If you use a power strip it should NOT have any surge protection. You just wants something that just gives you more sockets. I got mine in Lowes back home for like $4-5 for 5 outlets.
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