240V to 120V converters?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by yobi4ever, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. yobi4ever

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 16, 2006

    I've moving from Canada which uses 120V to another country that uses 240V.
    I would like to move some electrical equiments like Microsoftwave, Vaccum...etc since they are brandnew and I was told I can buy a converter?

    Do they work and are they reliable? if they are then i don't want to be scammed and I would like to know what certain features should they have?

    Many Thanks.
  2. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004

    The converter is just a step-down transformer. For small stuff, it might make sense. I think you'll find the cost of the transformer large enough to handle a microwave is more than the cost of a new 240 VAC microwave. One big enough for a vacuum cleaner would weigh more than the vacuum - not too portable.

    Have a big moving sale and buy new stuff.
  3. Gadget

    Distinguished Member

    Jan 10, 2006
    They may have been talking about those Horrible 'Switching' type converters, that use a something similar to a Light dimmer circuit to "Chop Up" the 240 volts to give an RMS output of 110volts. Unfortunately the peak voltage still remains somewhere in the vicinity of 330 volts, so anything much more than incandescent lighting, a heater, a hairdryer (non electronic) or similar heating appliance (non electronic) will turn to toast.
    As I live in a 230-240 volt country, I have seen the results of Imported stereos hooked up to these things.
    You HAVE to use a Big Arse transformer..... Big, Heavy, and Expensive.
    Also remember that Most 240 volt countries also use 50hz, not 60 hz, so even if you do get several HUGE 2KV 240 - 110 stepdown transformers, anything with an AC motor in it will probably run a little slow.... Normally not enough to cause problems, but it has happened. ALSO anything with a Clock that uses the mains as a reference (microwave, bedside clock , vcr) will loose 1 minute in every 6. And, on the subject of VCR's and TV's ... most 240volt countries dont use the US/Canada/Japan colour standard (NTSC), so they wont work unless they are Multi Standard as well.
    Anything that uses a Power adaptor ("wall wart" in US speak) can be used simply by replacing the Adaptor with a 240V version
    In Conclusion However.....You would be MUCH better off to sell your gear, and buy new stuff when you shift. That'll not only save you from blowups, and carting 100lb transformers around with you, but save on Freight as well....;)
  4. mrmeval

    Distinguished Member

    Jun 30, 2006
    Sell or give away anything that doesn't allow you to switch the voltage. Most computers allow that and laptops but those will work on the cheap voltage converters.