Help with converting to Europe power

By Falconeer ·
Hi all,

Kudos to the people at TR, you don't hear from me much because if I wait for a while someone will answer a question, state a fact, or retort much better and funnier than I.

I'm hoping someone from the Salzburg,
Austria area will be available but I welcome any and all thoughts. Please, English only.

How in the world do I manage to get myself into these crazy situations?

--- Facts & Q1 ---

I'm stuck in the boonies just (as the crow flies) 75 miles SW of my temporary base in Salzburg, Austria, quite near where Switzerland, Italy and Austria meet... Yikes, I really don' wanna climb those hills!

Anyways my fairly new (6 months)equipment hasn't arrived from the U.S. but when it arrives I'll have to admit I'm not real comfortable plugging in to the solar power/battery/converter of 220 volts. They said a real temporary power line would be up shortly, sure!!! and the day after that I'm gonna climb to the snow-line on the peak right next to me.

In short the equipment was tested in the U.S. and everything worked fine on a 110 volt, 60 hertz, 15 amp surge-protected outlet.

The techs, read sales people, said that all pieces were voltage auto-sensing and would switch automatically... this is from Circuit City in Memphis --- and then a month later closed their stores.

So, I can only give you a basic list of the equipment.

1. HP Media Center running Vista Media, (Ok, Vista is gonna kill me quicker than the climb to the snow-line)

2. 22 inch Samsung monitor

3. Small pair of Creative speakers

4. Lexmark all in one printer

That's it 'cept for the ...

5. Lab package - of which I do know the specs. Problem is it's the most expensive of all. I could purchase a couple or so full blown NICE systems running XP Pro of course. I make a mistake and fry that sucker and I'm in deep dodo right up to my wallet.

So I'm thinking why not just do it dirty? It worked just fine on 110 ac, as mentioned before.

Let's see volts*amps = watts, right?
110 * 15 = 1650 watts
Sorry, it's been a long time.

So all I need is a step-down/converter at 2000 watts.

Have I just painted myself into a corner?


I'm sorry, I'm running out of power outside. We've had overcast and last 24 hours of rain with 2 or so days of rain forecast so the solar hasn't been able to keep up with even the miserly amount of power I'm using, turned off the HI-LED lighting hours ago and went to propane light, turned the microwave x'mitter to low power (so I'm getting a lot of stutter on the up side).

I also had a question on whether there was an easier way to get this Austrian made laptop (Gericon)to speak English. Other than the menu driven option.

It's running Vista Home Basic, in German, of which I only speak about 10 words. I stumbled through it but it remapped the keyboard which really didn't help.

I haven't seen the guy that was supposed to x'late for me in 4 days. He drove me down here, walked me through the operations of the spartan equipment, including proper use of the porta-potty. I can only suppose he went on a beer-run and had the nerve not to invite me.

He's supposed to return this morning to bring me back to Salzburg, but before we go I'll disconnect from the solar and charge the battery bank from the car for a while.

Thanks in advance for any help - wish me luck as my moniker is 'RealityCheck' and I'm living up to it ? umlaut and all.

Cheers, have 1 for me...

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OK Converting from 220 to 110 Volts is terribly inefficient

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Help with converting to E ...

So you will be wasting even more power by doing that.

The Media Center should be Dual Voltage and if it is a NB it will be Auto Sensing but you'll need to read the Destruction Manual or at the very least the Actual Mains Adapter and see what it says. If it is a Desktop you'll need to flick the switch on the PS to 220/240 and not plug it in before doing that.

A 2KW Step Down Transformer isn't going to be cheap either as the average 10 Amp one is somewhere around the $200.00 depending on who you buy it from.

Not sure about the Monitor as they vary depending on which market that they where made for so you'll have to read the Destruction Manual for that.

I wouldn't expect the speakers to be Dual Voltage as they just have a Small Transformer and some Diodes in them to convert the AC to the DC that they use though you may be able to directly inject Low Voltage into them to get them to work, Bypassing the Mains all together.

The Printer again I'm not sure about as that depends on which market that they where made for but as most of these work off Low Voltage directly injecting the 12 or 24 V DC from the Solar Batteries would considerably increase your running time. You loose a lot of Power Converting from the DC Voltage through the Inverter to the 220 V AC and then when you step back to 110 V you'll loose even more. If you could directly inject the 12 V DC into the units other than the computer it should work but you'll need to watch the Polarity.


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