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Possible to use any power adapter with 220v/50hz?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by hstraf, Nov 2, 2005.

  1. hstraf

    hstraf
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    OK, I have a quick question... :)

    Why do some "wall wart" power adapters (transformer from AC to DC) work with 110v/60hz and 220v/50hz.. but others do not?

    Don't they all have the same electronics inside, with the only difference being the output voltage and amperage?

    Don't they all use the same sort of AC to DC conversion that would work with both input voltages/frequencies?

    Is the only difference that some are marked to work with both, and others are not?

    In other words, am I safe to plug in my power adapter for my dvd into 220v/50hz even if it isn't marked for 220v/50hz? (I bought my dvd player in Canada, but just moved to France, and I didn't bring a power convertor because all my other adapters say they work with both voltages and I just assumed this one would work, too...)

    It DOES say that it is marked for 110v 50/60hz, which is kind of strange since we don't have 50hz in north america... so why would they indicate both frequencies but only one voltage?

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. thedoc

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    IIRC some transformers have some sort of electronic regulation on board, and hence are dual marked.

    If your transformer is not marked up for 220V, I would strongly advise against using it.

    See if you can see what it outputs and what load it will take, then see if you can find a replacement 220V version.

    Alternatively contact the OEM and see if they can supply a 220V adapter for you.
     
  3. LV426

    LV426
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    If it isn't rated at 240v then in all probablity, you'll kill it quickly. You may start a fire and/or take fuses or circuit breakers out with it.
     
  4. hstraf

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    Ok, here's another question - similar in nature.

    The adapter that I have for my device says it is:

    Output: 5.0v / 2.5A

    I was able to find another adapater that works with 220v/50hz, but the output is: 5.0v / 2.0A

    Can I use this adapter for my device? Will .5A cause a problem?

    Thanks!
     
  5. LV426

    LV426
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    You won't damage your equipment; you may, however, damage the power supply.

    What you need to do, if you can, is find the power requirements of your equipment - not of the existing PSU. If the equipment will draw 2.5 amp, then a 2 amp PSU will either overheat, and fail prematurely, or will protect itself with a cut-out, or it may contain a small fuse which will blow. (Conversely, if your equipment draws, say, 2 amp, then a 2.5 amp PSU would not be harmed by it).

    If you can't establish the power consumption of the equipment, then one can only presume the original PSU delivers just enough current for your equipment. They are rarely supplied over specified.
     
  6. thedoc

    thedoc
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    If you're feeling paranoid, then you could always splice in a 2A fuse into the lead from the PSU to your DVD. At least if you go over the 2A you protect the PSU and reduce the risk of overheating.
     
  7. tfboy

    tfboy
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    Auto-ranging power supplies are called switch mode PSUs. They don't rely on a mere transformer and diode bridge to bring voltage down and go to DC.

    As LV426 said, no problems with using a higher amperage rated PSU than the equipment, but I wouldn't do it the other way around as you risk overheating the PSU...

    If the power supply from Canada only says 110V 50-60Hz, it is most likely NOT a switch mode and will probably go bang if you plug it in 240V or rather 220V French mains.

    If the end of the PSU is a standard one, you can just go to an electronics shop and get a suitable power supply. As long as you can get the voltage your equipment requires and the supply can provide the same or more curernt than your equipment, you will be fine :)

    Bonne chance :)
     

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