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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I could have sworn I saw at some point, someone leaving a link to a site that helped figure out what kinds of electrical devices would be affected by the 50Hz frequency and which wouldn't be affected, as well as talking about power consumption, etc.
Does anyone know what link I'm referring to?
 

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I could have sworn I saw at some point, someone leaving a link to a site that helped figure out what kinds of electrical devices would be affected by the 50Hz frequency and which wouldn't be affected, as well as talking about power consumption, etc.
Does anyone know what link I'm referring to?
It's been widely discussed here - basically anything with an AC (Alternating Current) motor will run a tad slower (like a mixer or sewing machine) but won't come to any harm assuming you have the voltage set right (230vac here in France). Anything with a DC motor (like a cassette player) will not be affected at all. Anything with a clock timer (alarm etc) will NOT work - they use the Hz setting for timing.

I'm running all my US electrical tools and kitchen appliances on voltage stabilizing transformers (make sure they are big enough for the wattage) which I got here:

Region Free DVD Players, MultiSystem LCD TVs, Region Free DVD Recorders, Multi-System Plasma TV, multi-system TVs, PAL LCD TV, PAL TV, Step Down transformer, Step up transformer, Chicago

no problems and I did the reverse in the USA for 20 years with some UK stuff I took with me. Note that all your US wiring will be fine (twice voltage = half amps) and the light bulb fittings are identical (apart from shade fixing).

Cheers
 
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I could have sworn I saw at some point, someone leaving a link to a site that helped figure out what kinds of electrical devices would be affected by the 50Hz frequency and which wouldn't be affected, as well as talking about power consumption, etc.
I missed a couple of points - power consumption is not really affected just some minor heat output from transformers/converters etc. Travellers converters are only recommended for low power items (shavers etc) - anything bigger will need a proper transformer. You can save on adapter plugs by bringing a couple of power strips then you can leave the North American plugs on the appliances and just use one adapter - be careful on overloading though.

One other area where the difference between 60Hz and 50Hz can cause problems is with older model TV and VCRs - they use the signal to determine the frame rate so will not work on the wrong Hz rating. Pretty much everything else is OK.

All of this is my personal experience having moved from the UK to the US and now France and travelling all over the world on business - I'm not an electrical engineer though.

Cheers
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks rynd2it

Firstly, I had no idea that the lightbulbs would be fine. I imagined I'd have to get new ones and that the ones here wouldn't work because they're 120V. Is that what you meant? Otherwise I don't get the advantage of the lightbulb fittings being identical?

Yes, I've been looking at world-import. Good products but if I get anything NOW, I'll have to pay the major import VAT on anything because it will all be purchased in the last few months.
For power step-down transformers I plan on using these: Step Down Transformers - Step down - 240/120V - 500VA 2 sockets (5476/2w) 19-1043 - euronetwork.co.uk.
I don't have THAT many devices that will need more than just an adapter for the plug but for the ones that do, I don't want to have to worry about overloading the socket.

I was also hoping to take my US television with me (for reasons that are too long to go into right now and that I don't want to bore anyone with). I've asked very plainly on several tech forums for advice on how to handle such a thing from a tech perspective as there CLEARLY must be devices for this in the world on pro sites. I asked for simple tech suggestions and I got nothing but lectures about the stupidity of my idea. A handful of people actually said to me, "I've done it, several times, it's easy with the right equipment, and I understand your desire to keep your TV rather than spend more money." So that was nice, but other people immediately make the assumption that it'll be me and my wife, our luggage and a television in a box without bothering to ask whether we're shipping our apartment in a proper container. Regardless I've found an affordable device that converts PAL HDMI to NTSC and handles all the proper conversions. I've also found another device that will basically create an AC-DC-AC conversion for the NTSC television.

But for the purposes of this question (before going too far off-topic) I was more concerned about things like my expensive kitchen equipment (professional mixer, hand blender, coffee grinder, espresso maker) and things like my iron, a recently purchased kettle. Is it the things that heat up that are potentially dangerous? Like kettles and irons? Or is that irrelevant?
 

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The equipment that heats up just takes more wattage than the other stuff. If you're using power strips or even just a limited number of transformers, you mainly have to be careful that you don't overload the circuit (or the transformer) with high wattage equipment.

I've been told that anything with a motor has a tendency to degrade over time due to the difference in Hz. This may not be the case nowadays, but in any event I would tend to reduce the amount of electrical equipment you bring over if you can - similar products made for the local current are readily available. And, don't forget, homes here are smaller, with less storage space. As it is, we have bulky kitchen equipment stored in cupboards in our dining room and living room, due to the limited storage space in our kitchen here.

DH IS an electrical engineer and when he built this house, he thought he had put in way more outlets than they would ever use (40 years ago!). We wind up with power strips all over the place as it is, and we have far fewer electrical items than most American kitchens.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
And, don't forget, homes here are smaller, with less storage space. As it is, we have bulky kitchen equipment stored in cupboards in our dining room and living room, due to the limited storage space in our kitchen here.
We're moving from a 30 square meter apartment. And we'll be moving to something very similar in Paris (IF the visa is approved, of course). Room is something we're used to having very little of. :)
Thanks for the reply. Good stuff to think about!
 

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Thanks rynd2it

Firstly, I had no idea that the lightbulbs would be fine. I imagined I'd have to get new ones and that the ones here wouldn't work because they're 120V. Is that what you meant? Otherwise I don't get the advantage of the lightbulb fittings being identical?
France uses Edison Screw lightbulbs (E27 & E14) which are identical to the US versions therefore French light bulbs (230vac) will fit in US fitting, so you can bring table lamps etc. The North American bulbs will burn very brightly for about 2 milliseconds ;)

Yes, I've been looking at world-import. Good products but if I get anything NOW, I'll have to pay the major import VAT on anything because it will all be purchased in the last few months.
If it's within 6 months and declared that's true.


For power step-down transformers I plan on using these: Step Down Transformers - Step down - 240/120V - 500VA 2 sockets (5476/2w) 19-1043 - euronetwork.co.uk.
I don't have THAT many devices that will need more than just an adapter for the plug but for the ones that do, I don't want to have to worry about overloading the socket.
It's the wattage that is important - one of my kitchen appliances is 1600W so I needed at least a 2000watt transformer. Bev's comment about wattage is incorrect - the wattage does not change but the amps and volts do. The formula is I=V/R so basically if you double the voltage you halve the current.
Look here:

Volts Watts Amps Converter Tool Calculator

I was also hoping to take my US television with me (for reasons that are too long to go into right now and that I don't want to bore anyone with). I've asked very plainly on several tech forums for advice on how to handle such a thing from a tech perspective as there CLEARLY must be devices for this in the world on pro sites. I asked for simple tech suggestions and I got nothing but lectures about the stupidity of my idea. A handful of people actually said to me, "I've done it, several times, it's easy with the right equipment, and I understand your desire to keep your TV rather than spend more money." So that was nice, but other people immediately make the assumption that it'll be me and my wife, our luggage and a television in a box without bothering to ask whether we're shipping our apartment in a proper container. Regardless I've found an affordable device that converts PAL HDMI to NTSC and handles all the proper conversions. I've also found another device that will basically create an AC-DC-AC conversion for the NTSC television..
I assume from this you have a TV which runs on DC - a strange beast indeed. If not then then I don't know why you need an AC-DC-AC converter. However, the NTSC TV system runs at a frame rate governed by the Hz rating i.e. 60Hz in North America. There is no way to convert this to 50Hz so your picture will jump like an old TV with mal-adjusted vertical hold. To overcome this you need a video converter and they are not cheap - I got mine years ago (for old PAL VHS tapes) from TenLab in California. The advice you are getting is good, either buy a TV here or go to world import and buy a dual system TV - which is what we did.


But for the purposes of this question (before going too far off-topic) I was more concerned about things like my expensive kitchen equipment (professional mixer, hand blender, coffee grinder, espresso maker) and things like my iron, a recently purchased kettle. Is it the things that heat up that are potentially dangerous? Like kettles and irons? Or is that irrelevant?
As I said earlier, all those devices will work just fine as long as you have an adequately sized transformer - do not use travel converters they are not usually big enough for anything bigger than a razor (e.g.)

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
France uses Edison Screw lightbulbs (E27 & E14)
So you're saying I can bring lamps, put France lightbulbs in them and just get an adapter for the plug and the bulbs will run fine with no transformer?

Bev's comment about wattage is incorrect
But Bev's not an electrician so it's fine. ;)

I don't know why you need an AC-DC-AC converter.
Read this... AnandTech Forums - View Single Post - NTSC CRT-HD television, moving to Europe. The TV is 120V - 60Hz, (118W).

As far as video converters go, I'm planning on this one... Atlona Technologies connectivity solutions, cables, splitters, extenders, distribution amplifiers, converters, switchers for commercial, professional and industrial applications

The advice you are getting is good, either buy a TV here or go to world import and buy a dual system TV - which is what we did.
Even with all the equipment to buy, it's still cheaper to take my TV than to buy a new one for 400-500 euros. World Import is out of the question at $250 shipping to France.
 

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So you're saying I can bring lamps, put France lightbulbs in them and just get an adapter for the plug and the bulbs will run fine with no transformer?.
French bulbs will work fine - mine do.

Read this... AnandTech Forums - View Single Post - NTSC CRT-HD television, moving to Europe. The TV is 120V - 60Hz, (118W).

As far as video converters go, I'm planning on this one... Atlona Technologies connectivity solutions, cables, splitters, extenders, distribution amplifiers, converters, switchers for commercial, professional and industrial applications

Even with all the equipment to buy, it's still cheaper to take my TV than to buy a new one for 400-500 euros. World Import is out of the question at $250 shipping to France.
:eek: Way too complex, and as far as cost is concerned all that equipment is going to run at least $200. If you buy the multi-system TV now you can use it now then ship it with your other stuff - it will work on TV signals (cable, satellite and antenna) in France and cable and video input in Canada. Sell your old one before you go. BTW CRT's do have resolution - measured in lines - 525 in NTSC 625 in PAL signals, hence the frame rate issue.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
:eek: Way too complex, and as far as cost is concerned all that equipment is going to run at least $200. If you buy the multi-system TV now you can use it now then ship it with your other stuff - it will work on TV signals (cable, satellite and antenna) in France and cable and video input in Canada.
Keeping the CRT-HD, $350 with all converters needed.
Getting a multi-system:
$600 for the cheapest Plasma
$120 shipping to me in NY (where I live)
20% VAT because it's new (I'd be moving in July if I move)
TOTAL: $840
Buying a new TV in France: Cheapest TV at Darty was still about 640 euros with tax included. I just don't see how any of these options are cheaper than keeping my TV and buying appropriate converters which serve me well in other applications as well? Do you see where I'm coming from?
 

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Keeping the CRT-HD, $350 with all converters needed.
Getting a multi-system:
$600 for the cheapest Plasma
$120 shipping to me in NY (where I live)
20% VAT because it's new (I'd be moving in July if I move)
TOTAL: $840
Buying a new TV in France: Cheapest TV at Darty was still about 640 euros with tax included. I just don't see how any of these options are cheaper than keeping my TV and buying appropriate converters which serve me well in other applications as well? Do you see where I'm coming from?
I do indeed - cost-wise you are right if you buy plasma (and I understand your reasoning for it). However, it is very complex and if your CRT should die ..........

Bon chance
 

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It's the wattage that is important - one of my kitchen appliances is 1600W so I needed at least a 2000watt transformer. Bev's comment about wattage is incorrect - the wattage does not change but the amps and volts do. The formula is I=V/R so basically if you double the voltage you halve the current.
I wasn't saying that the wattage changes on the transformer. Just don't load up one circuit (or one power strip) with all the heat-producing appliances. It will simply overload it. (We used to be able to throw the circuit breaker here in the house if we were running the stove, the deep fryer and the microwave all at the same time. No transformer involved.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I wasn't saying that the wattage changes on the transformer. Just don't load up one circuit (or one power strip) with all the heat-producing appliances.
Cheers,
Bev
Yes, sorry Bev - I misread your original comment.

A lot will depend on the circuitry in the house. As I have been trying work with electricians here I've found out a few things - like you can legally have eight outlets (sockets) on one breaker although older houses seem to have less (like 5). The size of that breaker (in amps) will determine if it trips under certain loads. So just add up the wattage of the various appliances connected to the breaker, convert to amps and you'll know if you are going to overload it if everything is on at the same time. US power strips seem to 15 amps and I'm actually using one with 220vac for my computer - saves changing all the power cords. I have clearly marked it as being 220 though :)

Cheers
 
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