View Full Version : Electrickery Question

3rd Dec 2007, 23:54
Need help on a couple of electrickery question please.

I'm in LA and looking at buying a US Region A Blue Ray player to bring home with me so I can play disks bought here (no multi-region Blue ray machines exist). All the models on sale here are marked as 110V 60Hz on the power inlet, including all the Japanese, Korean ones etc.

Now, I know that is not necessarily correct gen, as it is common knowledge that the Sony PS3, even though also marked as 110/60, actually contains the standard 110-220V/50-60Hz and can be plugged straight into the mains in UK. It would seem to be more a legal labelling/marketing issue rather than a manufacturing issue.

Right, the questions. Firstly, is there anyone out there who has a US purchased machine and knows or can check the power supply inside one for me?

Secondly, if the supply is 110V/60Hz will I get away with a power tranformer? I am lead to believe modern electronic controlled motors for DVD drives etc use their own speed controllers and will ignore the 50/60Hz difference, is this correct?

Ta very much.

4th Dec 2007, 06:33
Yes, you will. Frequency will not be an issue. We do it all the time here for gadgets bough stateside. Sister's DVD player as I remember uses a transformer.

4th Dec 2007, 07:05
Agree on the power-line frequency -- synchronous motors are just down the hall form the dodo exhibit at the Musee de Progresse.

Wise to not hope for 220 tolerance in a product sold to 110. That feature comes with some added cost in circuits, testing, and certification, so not an automatic freebie.

west lakes
4th Dec 2007, 08:47
As above 230v/110 transformers available from high street electronics stores

4th Dec 2007, 19:04
Plenty of transformers around in a 13 amp plug format at about a fiver, but watch the power rating - most of them are only 45 watts - not enough for a WII anyway, don't know about the Blu-Ray. 100 and 200 watt models are around £12-15 but have a lead and separate box.


4th Dec 2007, 19:54
The reason I ask is I have, a few years back, had a 110V/60hz 5-in-1 scanner, printer, fax etc which just plain refused to operate on 50hz after it went through it's internal start-up checks.

4th Dec 2007, 20:35
Can’t say why your printer combo wouldn’t work – ever get chance to try it on 60 Hz again and prove that worked again?
I have loads of stateside stuff running via transformers having moved back to Blighty from there two years ago. 120V US step down transformers (wall-warts) – themselves fed from 240/120V step-down transformers – (for the phone etc) tend to run a little hotter due to the lower efficiency of 50Hz but everything works fine. Workshop tools run on UK 110V centre tapped site transformer without problem but the induction motors run 20% slower. European grinder ran sweeter on 60Hz – guess it was designed originally for that frequency.
Only problem I have known is with kitchen white goods with their induction motors and old-fashioned mains powered timing circuits.

5th Dec 2007, 07:24
ORAC, I find that hard to believe. Are you sure you were using a proper rated transformer? Maybe it could not provide current for the scanner during loaded condition?

5th Dec 2007, 09:08
There's good reasons and bad reasons for unexpected technical oddities.

A category of bad reasons is "cripple" functions designed in to provide selective technical control of product distribution into various world markets. Sometimes in the form of jumpers or switches, but these days more likely just bits in a flash that say what the specific product unit will or will not do with variations in power, signal protocols, time zones, whatever.

Doubt any of the above will apply to your blue-ray, but it might have done with the older printer.

In the worst case, one can purchase very decent little converters from 12VDC into 110V 60HZ - sizes from 200 to 1000 watts readily available, and one for about 300 for maybe US$30-$40 at an auto or electronics store. You can carry a little bit of LA around wherever you travel when having one of them. Guessing / assuming the blueray would not mind the corners and wrinkles in the pseudo sinewaves the inverters put out on their 110vac.

7th Dec 2007, 13:31
Just make sure whatever 240/110 converter you use is a genuine transformer - relatively heavy - and not a lightweight half-wave rectifier that puts out DC. That DC will quickly fry the wall-wart of the bluray player.