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Thread: Electricity conversion for PCs, music gear, stereo, TV, etc.?

  1. #1
    trimprover is offline Member
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    Default Electricity conversion for PCs, music gear, stereo, TV, etc.?

    I currently have a home office and a little music/video studio. This translates into lots of electronic equipment, including computers, musical instruments, recording gear, stereo, speakers, video cameras, TV, etc. I'd like to bring at least some of it to NZ, but I'm worried about how to run it all on NZ electricity.

    All my stuff runs on 120V/60Hz. Some of it might have switches to run on 230V, but I'm not sure about the 50Hz. I've read that there is no way to convert 60Hz to 50Hz, which is why it's not recommended to bring digital clocks to NZ. What about music equipment? Since music is time-based, won't that get confused as well?

    Also, it seems like it would be expensive to have a separate converter for each piece of electronic equipment. Are some converters able to power multiple pieces of equipment, via a surge protector? For instance, a computer, a monitor, and a set of speakers? Is there a danger in overloading a converter, and creating a fire hazard?

    I currently put each PC and major piece of gear on a separate universal power supply (UPS), which acts as a surge protector and a battery backup. These cost $50-$100 each and range from 650 to 900 VA. I'd like to use UPS's in NZ as well, but I'm guessing I will need to buy new ones which are designed to work on 230V/50Hz. Does that sound correct? Or is there a way to get my UPS's to work?

    My ultimate goal is to be able to power all my current equipment there in NZ without spending too much money, and without losing the benefits of surge protection and battery backup. If there are pieces of equipment that absolutely will not work there (like digital clocks), then I'll leave there here or sell them.

    What strategy do you recommend, as far as planning to run a bunch of 120V/60Hz equipment there in NZ?
    US citizen applying for Permanent Residence via Skilled Migrant Category

    2008-12-16 Submitted EOI
    2009-01-17 EOI successful
    2009-02-03 Received ITA
    2009-04-07 Mailed application

  2. #2
    alan&moyra's Avatar
    alan&moyra is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    I am assuming you are in US or Canada ? or in a country with 120v ??
    EOI Submitted 10/04/2007
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  3. #3
    Sulaco is offline Junior Member
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    Default Power Conversion

    Hey mate... Most electronic devices range between 50-60Hz / 220v - 230v here. If your devices can switch between 120v - 220v they will adapt to the frequency. Some devices have 'auto-ranging' but make sure the voltage ratings cover this. Getting the step down transformers for any devices that cannot be changed can be a messy and expensive solution - you might want to look at selling them off and getting new or second hand units here.

    for your PC a replacement ATX power supply (400w) should only be about NZ$50. UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply's) units can be quite heavy, so there are transit costs to be considered when bringing them over, and if you require an adapter on the mains side, it defeats the purpose of having them!

    Check Dick Smiths Electronics (Dick Smith Electronics - New Zealand) website, they have many solutions there for power conversion to get an idea of costs.

    What musical equipment do you have? Regarding Amplifiers - some of these can have the primary side of the power supply modified to take any changes... Depending on the technology - the older the better!

    Hope this is of some use...

  4. #4
    trimprover is offline Member
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    I just did a quick survey of my music and computer gear. There seem to be 4 types of devices:

    1) manual switch to 220V
    2) automatic switch between 120V/60Hz and 220V/50Hz
    3) only 120V/60Hz
    4) 9 or 12V DC ("wall wart")

    I would love to find a way to plug multiple US devices into a UPS or surge protector, which is then connected to a 220V/50Hz converter. The idea is to have as few converters as possible, while still having sufficient power, and not spending tons of money! I'll check out the Dick Smith site. Thanks!
    US citizen applying for Permanent Residence via Skilled Migrant Category

    2008-12-16 Submitted EOI
    2009-01-17 EOI successful
    2009-02-03 Received ITA
    2009-04-07 Mailed application

  5. #5
    Sulaco is offline Junior Member
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    Hey....

    Another thing, the US mains plug configuration is different to the NZ one, so if you are going to get a surge protector - buy it in the US so you can plug your devices into it and then put a step down transformer between that and the mains side...

  6. #6
    trimprover is offline Member
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    I have lots of (US) surge protectors already, and several UPSes. I checked out some of the NZ UPSes, and they are expensive! They also aren't as powerful as I want. It's also hard to find step-down transformers which have the same power ratings as my UPSes.

    The UK uses the same power as NZ, right? So, I think I will try to expand my search to include UK devices. Does that sound like it will work?
    US citizen applying for Permanent Residence via Skilled Migrant Category

    2008-12-16 Submitted EOI
    2009-01-17 EOI successful
    2009-02-03 Received ITA
    2009-04-07 Mailed application

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