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Using a step down transformer with equipment from the US

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by Milkshake, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. Milkshake

    Milkshake Guest

    It can often be quite difficult (and pricey) to purchase goods in Australia.

    I already purchase my microphones from the united states, which has proved to be a harmless endeavour, but I was wondering if anyone has any knowledge about buying items like Audio interfaces from the states, and then running them through step-down transformers, so they run at the Australian voltage (240v).

    I read one website that said not to do it, but I could not confirm whether it was reputable or not, and I wanted to know what you guys thought.

    ANy help would be greatly appreciated,
    thanks a lot.
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    It isn't usually a problem to use a transformer, just an inconvenience. You may well find that the equipment is auto-switching or can actually be changed over to 220/240V operation, without this fact being mentioned in the US specifications.

    If you go the transformer route, to allow for poor power factor in the interface, use a transformer (or autotransformer) that has at least twice the VA rating as the rated consumption (in Watts) of the interface.

    You may also want to check the grounding arrangements, as I have sometimes found these to be not up to European/Australian standards in some Far-Eastern made goods destined for the US market.
  3. phil1960

    phil1960 Guest

    I bought a pair of Fairchild limiters (they are amazing!) from the USA (110 volts needed) to use in the UK and just bought a pretty cheap transformer from Maplins, it was about £20 and works great...you have to get one with enough ampage though for what you are running.
  4. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    "cheap transformer from Maplins,"

    The roflcopter has landed. Nothing in maplins is cheap if you care to shop around. In Glasgow, I can go round the corner and save 15% on audio gear. I can get the train two stops (along a route I'd normally take) and save up to 30% on PC goods.
    If it costs more than a fiver, odds are you're being shafted.
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    No, what he means is that it's a cheap transformer but it costs a lot to buy.
  6. FlaccidEagle

    FlaccidEagle Guest

    Hello, long time reader, new member...

    I have the same question, as I'm moving to Spain from the US, and can't really afford to replace my US musical equipment. I've got to bring my US ProTools there.

    I've got a June 2008 MacBook Pro computer, Pro Tools 003R, and a FireWire 800 Lacie HD. I've already got an Apple converter kit for the laptop, and since a new Apple Store opened this week a block or two from my apartment, I've decided to buy a new HD when I get there.

    So, what would be the best plug, adapter, or converter that I should get for my US 003R to run and not get damaged while in Europe? Would it be better for me to bring my HD with me and get a simple adapter, or buy the drive there?

    Spain is 230 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles;
    My 003R says on the back: AC 120-240v; 50-60HZ;1A

    So, do I just need the proper power cord? Or do I have to flip a switch on the inside or something? I don't want to fry my system!

    thanks so much in advance...
  7. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    No, you just need a Schuko plug to IEC socket power cord.

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