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  1. #1
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    Step Down Transformers

    Hi all,

    I am moving from the US where electricity is 120v 60Hz.

    If I brought my equipment to Thailand and use step down transformers would it work?

    1. Do these consume a lot of power? Would I be better off just buying new equipment?
    2. 50Hz vs 60Hz will that make a difference?

    Thanks

    Kim

  2. #2
    Fresh Seaman CaptainNemo's Avatar
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    Lecky in TL is 220V [at] 50Hz, so you run the risk of damaging your bits.

    I've used a step down transformer with a laptop brought from Japan (110V like 'Mrrca); and I think I had a step up one for UK appliances (230V +10%/-6%).
    Heavy things, and use up to about 100-120W IIRR. It cost about 600B from a bric-a-brac shop in a small Isan town (of ill repute). Maybe try and buy a decent quality transformer in 'Mrrca before you come

    Read: Electricity and Electrical Appliances of 220 Volts in Thailand

    Just to be clear, "step down" is when your appliance has a lower voltage rating than the socket in the wall of the country you are plugging it into; e.g.:
    Stepdown 240/120v Transformer USA to UK 100VA: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics
    (this is aimed at a Yank trying to plug their vibrating vagina recharger into a UK 3-pin socket).
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1F2i0rYMj8

    we are all figments of our own imagination.

  3. #3
    Member SandMike's Avatar
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    My thoughts...

    most recent electronics should be fine, PC's, laptops, hi fi, phones, etc. as long as you get the voltage correct. Anything that runs off a separate 'power brick' should be fine, or you can buy new generic power bricks in Thailand. For a PC new power supplies are cheap enough if there is a problem.

    Your TV tuner won't work in Thailand if its NTSC only. If it's multi-region it should be OK. Thailand is PAL.

    Anything with motors in it may be a problem, fans, washing machines etc. the motor will run slower, and may overheat. I'm aware of european washing machines where the water pump will not run on 60Hz, not sure if the reverse is true. The controller is usually driven by a mains powered motor and will take longer to run a cycle, and the spin will be slower.

    older microwaves may work for a time, but will normally fail within a year, because the electronics multiply up the mains frequency. a 20% reduction in frequency means that the high frequency elements operate outside their design range.

    Mains powered alarm clocks will run slow in Thailand.

    My 'equipment' normally functions fine though unless the frequency exceeds two or three times a day.

    Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    sabaii sabaii
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    Quote Originally Posted by SandMike
    Anything that runs off a separate 'power brick' should be fine
    I know of someone who blew up an Xbox here

  5. #5
    sabaii sabaii
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    Televisions are cheap her, plus you run the risk of getting your equipment damaged in transit, as my friend found out with a 42" he flew in from Singapore

  6. #6
    Member SandMike's Avatar
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    ^^

    That first paragraph is poorly worded ...

    What I meant to say was that there should be no problem with frequency (50/60Hz), but you need to make sure you get the voltage correct. Power bricks often mean that the device operates on DC internally

    Many of the power bricks I've seen here in the sandpit are auto voltage ranging anywhere between 120 & 240V, and dual frequency 50/60Hz

    Apologies if any confusion caused.

  7. #7
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    Thanks all for the responses!

  8. #8
    Gohills flip-flops wearer
    withnallstoke's Avatar
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    Be ware of all that sort of stuff.
    Bring all of your worldly goods with you, but get somebody else to plug them in.

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat
    Agent_Smith's Avatar
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    I bought a Compaq laptop in Thailand in '08 and brought it back here to the US. Had no problems with it so far, mainly because it runs off DC power and the AC/DC converter is wide range (100 - 240 volt, 50 - 60 hz).

    So, if you're bringing a laptop to Thailand check that converter and see if it can handle that range.

  10. #10
    Member RamboII's Avatar
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    I brought a Grundfos water pump in my carry on bag from the U.S. in February (I bought it cheap off of Ebay:it is 220 volt so the only difference is the hz). Its been installed at my orchard since April, when the thai water pump that had worked for a year burned up . If the Grundfos shoots crap, I will have lost only $200.
    the other Marmite

  11. #11
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    OP: Once you decide to stay, I think you will find that you bit by bit offload all the US stuff, and switch over to local. After decades in Asia, I only run one thing through a small transformer, and that is the two bedside lamps. My wife and I both read a lot, and local lamps (Philippines) have very low power light bulbs. I still have US lamps since they will handle 100/150/200 soft light bulbs. Other than that, over the years all of the US stuff has been kicked to the curb.

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