Category:Power Transformers
This page was last modified 23:29, 16 August 2021 by Grauw.

Power transformers, also called step-up / step-down transformers, convert between different national grid voltages.

European 230V to Japanese 100V transformers

The Japanese electric net is using 100V, so in order to power Japanese MSX computers from the European electrical net a 230V to 100V step-down transformer is needed. The AC frequency does not matter since Japan has a dual frequency electric net (50 Hz / 60 Hz depending on region).

Because Japan is the only country using 100V, there are no European-made step-down transformers for it available. However on the Japanese market you can find the following models:

North American 120V to Japanese 100V transformers

The US electricity net is often cited as 110V for historic reasons, but nowadays the supply is 120V. This is similar to how the European electricity net was unified from a range of 220V-240V to 230V.

Because the US’s 120V electricity net voltage is similar to the Japanese 100V and the countries use the same power plugs as well, it is possible to power a Japanese MSX directly. Note however that this supplies 20% too much voltage, which puts strain on the hardware, since normally the specified tolerance is only 10%.

For this reason it recommended to use a power transformer for prolonged use. On the Japanese market you can find the following models:

  • Ariake Denso UT-320A

European 230V to North American 120V transformers

It is quite easy to find cheap Chinese 230V to 110V / 120V step-down transformers, but these supply 10%-20% too much voltage for Japanese appliances, and perhaps more importantly, the quality of these Chinese products leaves something to be desired. They often get hot, aren’t silent, and the electrical safety is questionable.

Although they might do the job in a pinch, these are not suitable for Japanese MSX computers in the long term.

Pages in category "Power Transformers"

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