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Using US electrical equipment in France

Posted by benedictbell - Created: 17 years ago
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Posted by legend_in_my_lunchtime-182603 - 17 years ago

quote:I have just purchased a very expensive piece of electrical equipment
The equipment runs at 60hz as opposed to 50, could this pose a problem too?

Maybe if you would say what sort of equipment this is, we'll know whether you are likely to have problems with the 50Hz/60 Hz frequency difference.  The sensitivity is with things that have synchronous motors (not electronic alarm clocks which usually work from a converted DC operated crystal)

quote:Is the transformer using the power regardless of what I plug into it?

The transformer doesn't use any power.  (well hardly any at all).  The reason for this is that it is an AC/AC transformer and when running AC, power is only consumed when the current and the voltage are in quadrature - which means an impedance load has to be connected.  So you do not need to disconnect your transformer when you disconenct your device. 


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Posted by benedictbell - 17 years ago

Thank you for the advice, it came in very handy indeed.




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Posted by szozu - 17 years ago

http://www.world-import.com/transformers.htm I bought mine from this company BEFORE leaving the States and after calculating exactly what I would be plugging into each one and if I would be running more than one thing at the same time. There are a few minor computer peripherals that I am running on a power strip connected to the transformer, but none of them draw much power.

Hertz makes a big difference with some things and is negligible in others, as it affects the speed with which a motor turns. For example with a washing machine, food processor or juicer, there's no discernable difference. However, with an electric alarm clock, you might find yourself very late for work. Also your CDs and tapes will not sound right.

Many computer items such as digital cameras, laptops and flat screen monitors are adaptable and automatically "know" the correct frequency.

As to wattage, rule of thumb is to buy a transformer that's double the watts of your equipment to allow for spikes and just so as not to load it up to capacity and shorten its life.

My transformers all have an on/off switch except for the cheapie I bought just for charging my drill. You are advised to turn them off when not in use. Anyway, you can hear them hum if you forget and it's annoying!

And try these site for a further education: http://www.voltagevalet.com/idx.html