Voltage Converter - Power Specs.

I may be going to England soon and have been looking at voltage converter kits. I've seen some that say they only work with items using 500 watts to 1600 watts. I can understand the maximum wattage amount, but why would they have a minimum? These are not expensive converters.
Thanks for any information.
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wrote:

Those high wattage ones (as opposed to ones around 40-50 watts) are only good for devices that lack electronics, ballasts or motors. The high wattage ones merely chop the waveform and pass through a higher peak voltage.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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nr wrote:

The "cheap" converters are typically a diode in series with the line. They work ok for many higher power heating appliances. But for smaller units, each one has to be looked at individually. Many electronic things will run on 240 volts, 50 cycles directly with only a plug adapter .... some will not. Some units have voltage switches, but, with the proliferation of switching power supplies, many will just be spec'd at something like 100-250 volts, 45 - 100 cycles. There are also small electronic converters for units that are only spec'd at 120/60. They take 240 volts 50 cycles and convert it to 120 volts 60 cycles. BTW, some hairdryers will work with the "diode" type adapter and some won't. Some you may have to reverse the plug, if there's diodes in the hairdryer. If we knew what you were trying to power, it might be helpful.
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Art Todesco wrote:

Yes, you need to look at the specs on the devices you plan to bring. On a recent trip to Egypt all I brought was a plug adapter and a power strip since all the phone chargers, camera chargers and other stuff I was bringing had wide input range switching power supplies.
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When I went long ago I made the mistake of taking 60hz things, my 60Hz Casette player, Lp record player didnt work to well on 50Hz, kinda slow.
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ransley wrote:

Hmm, If capstan motor was AC driven.
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Depends what you are going to power?
A more elaborate voltage converter may include an SPS (Switching power supply, somewhat akin to a computer PS) they require a certain minimum load in order to work properly.
Also as mentioned the mains frequency in many countries in this world is 50 hertz, not 60 hertz, as in North America. That can have two effects. 1) Clocks and audio players 'may' run slow! 2) Certain devices don't run as well at 5/6ths the frequency and in extreme cases may run hotter (partly because there is less magnetic metal in transformers and motors that run at 60 hertz.)
But it is very much a case of what are the specs. of the devices you want to power over there. There is a heck of a difference between a shaver or moustache trimmer taking 3 to 7 watts and a hair dryer using say 1200 watts! Also whether the devices are recharge-ables or direct plug in.
Generally there are two requirements: a) Voltage converter (if needed). For example; your PC power supply/ charger may (or may not) have a switch that changes it from 115 to 230. Or it may be compatible with both without changing anything. Read the specifications. b) Plug adapters to fit sockets over there (The UK generally accepts the UK 13 amp, fused, 3 pin plug) to adapt them to your North American style plugs. If you also are going to other parts of Europe you may need to adapt to Schuko two pin plugs with a side ground/earth contact.
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