Step-down converter questions

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By Stakker

Rookie (28)

Stakker's picture

16-01-2016, 10:07

I've been using this old Japanese 220V—100V converter for some time. It has worked great and never even gets warm, even though it's quite small. It's only rated 30W though, and the MSX2+ says 20W on the case. Expansion carts also probably require some extra watts, so I'm wondering, is 30W enough?

And another thing: it's much easier to find a new 110V converter. I've been searching up and down the internet, but can't find any info about how bad exactly is it to plug in an old 100V rated device into 110V. Will the MSX:s transformer run hotter? It can't have an effect into the DC side in any case, right?

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By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3263)

sd_snatcher's picture

16-01-2016, 12:20

This is a recurring question in this forum. In a nutshell, the vast majority of Japanese MSX machines were designed to take up to 127V without trouble.

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

anonymous's picture

16-01-2016, 13:33

I've always had european MSXes until some four years ago. During the first two years I encountered this two times:

I let my most used Japanese MSX have a european PSU built in and another one luckily had a european PSU when I bought it.
The remaining Japanese models are being switched off as much as possible as I don't want to run into melting step down converters ever again.

By -Neo-

Champion (381)

-Neo-'s picture

16-01-2016, 13:40

I have a UT-130E brand new in box for sale. This is a 220V-240V to 100V converter made in Japan. I use it myself on my Turbo R with several expansions attached and it works very well. The device doesn't get hot which is probably due to the fact it can handle 130Watt.

By Meits

Scribe (5828)

Meits's picture

16-01-2016, 14:06

Its power is important indeed. This particular unit with "just" 50 Watt could not handle a turbo R with a filled slotexpander. It got hot as well with just the computer attached to it.
These step down converters are just wrong.
-Neo- has the best solution if you want to keep your original internal PSU. These things are scarse though.

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3263)

sd_snatcher's picture

16-01-2016, 17:41

Since Brazil has a dual voltage power grid (some states have 127V, while others have 220V), good 110V/220V transformers are very easy to find on any electric store and sometimes even on supermarkets and hardware stores.

They come in all sizes, power and shapes and are reversible : IOW then can transform 220V to 110V and vice-versa. It's just a matter of which end you plug to the wall socket. Just be sure to get one made in Brazil and not the crappy ones made in China.

If you have a Brazilian friend going to Europe, you can probably ask them to bring one for you.

EDIT: No, you can't. It seems that 60Hz-only transformers like these can't be used on 50Hz.

By flyguille

Prophet (3029)

flyguille's picture

16-01-2016, 19:15

Meits wrote:

I've always had european MSXes until some four years ago. During the first two years I encountered this two times:

I let my most used Japanese MSX have a european PSU built in and another one luckily had a european PSU when I bought it.
The remaining Japanese models are being switched off as much as possible as I don't want to run into melting step down converters ever again.

that is because those "sealed" units don't let the hot air escape from it, so them are the worse...., a good unit needs vents in the bottom and the top, to get cool air from the bottom and let the hot air escapes up, as the hot always go up.

Others transformers aren't encapsulated in plastic, like the ones for old printers, it is the transformer core painted in black what you get, but the connections are sealed on the sides, those are better, but also bigger.

By Stakker

Rookie (28)

Stakker's picture

21-01-2016, 20:43

Thanks for the replies all. Sorry about posting about this common topic, but it is a bit difficult to find anything coherent by searching the board history... That UT-130E sounds good.

By Stakker

Rookie (28)

Stakker's picture

21-01-2016, 20:46

(-Neo-, I sent you a message.)

By Thom

Hero (616)

Thom's picture

04-05-2020, 13:06

Is it ok to use a 230 -> 110 V / 100 W - converter with the output being 50 Hz? It's fairly simple to get one of these, but finding one outputting 60 Hz is not.

By Daemos

Paragon (1710)

Daemos's picture

04-05-2020, 15:15

Yes you can use a simple transformer but keep in mind that the slightly higher frequency will affect the cor of the msx transformer. This is usually noticable through some strange noises coming out and the transformer will be slightly less efficient so just a little bit higher heat output. I have my msx running for hours sometimes and it still didn't blow up. Transforner doesn't overheat.

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