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American electronics in Germany

 
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joshc
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:17 pm    Post subject: American electronics in Germany Reply with quote

Hello,

I'm an American who has just moved to Germany. I've got a bunch of American electronic equipment. It seems like the only practical thing to do is run the equipment into an American surge protector, the surge protector into a convertor/adaptor, and the convertor/adaptor into the wall.

Three questions:

1. Is there a better solution?

2. Does my solution endanger my equipment?

3. Do I need any particular kind or quality-level of surge protector or convertor/adaptor?

Thanks,
Josh
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vtech



Joined: 08 May 2006
Posts: 1264
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 2:06 am    Post subject: Re: American electronics in Germany Reply with quote

joshc wrote:
Hello,

I'm an American who has just moved to Germany. I've got a bunch of American electronic equipment. It seems like the only practical thing to do is run the equipment into an American surge protector, the surge protector into a convertor/adaptor, and the convertor/adaptor into the wall.
Three questions:
1. Is there a better solution?
2. Does my solution endanger my equipment?
3. Do I need any particular kind or quality-level of surge protector or convertor/adaptor?
Thanks,
Josh

By "electronic equipment", if you mean entertainment (TV/video/audio), providing a converter for voltage difference from 220V to 110v is usually not a problem however, video format compatibility IS the problem.
Any television designed for USA, is pretty much useless for reception in Europe & vice versa unless it is specifically designed as a multiformat (very unlikely)
Similar with DVD players due to region coding of media material. Tuner station spacing may also be different which will affect FM reception.... you can google the subject & find much more.

In a nutshell, when moving to/fro overseas, better off leaving home entertainment behind--with an exception of may be Amps/speakers
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

60 hertz vs 50 hertz. Pal vs NTSC.
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Justmanuals



Joined: 21 Aug 2004
Posts: 1949

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Something you definitely should've checked out beforehand.

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torbjorn



Joined: 07 Jun 2007
Posts: 370
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The major problem is the mains voltage, 230 V in Europe as related to 110-120 V in the US. This problem is most easily solved by using an 230/115 V transformer, but make sure that it has a large enough power rating. You should use a full transformer rather than an autotransformer, in order to get the 115 V equipment galvanically isolated from the mains. American 115 V equipment does not fulfill the safety rules required for directly powering them from a 230 V mains.

Equipment with switch mode power supplies (most modern electronic equipment) will work equally well on 50 or 60 Hz, but you should be careful with equipment with a mains transformer unless the nameplate expressly states 50/60 Hz. There is a possibility that the core of a transformer that is designed for 60 Hz gets saturated when running on 50 Hz, and this will cause noise from the transformer and possibly overheating.

Also, electromechanical equipment with induction motors will run slower on 50 Hz, that might be a problem in some cases.
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