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Other Vintage Household Electrical or Electromechanical Items For discussions about other vintage (over 25 years old) electrical and electromechanical household items. See the sticky thread for details.

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Old 9th Sep 2017, 4:14 pm   #1
usradcoll1
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Default Austin House Step-down Converter.

I picked this item up at a charity shop.
It doesn't seem to be anything special, 100 watt rating. Three core flex, fitted with a BS1363 plug, which still has the 13 amp fuse. It's a auto-transformer design, made in China.
The data sticker states: 220/240 50HZ in, 110/120 60HZ out.
It amazes me, what the Chinese can make a transformer that can reduce the voltage and increase the frequency as well, just joking of course!
It only contains a transformer, a NEMA 5-15r receptacle and an output fuse.
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Old 9th Sep 2017, 5:17 pm   #2
hannahs radios
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Default Re: Austin House Step-down Converter.

If there's no electronics in it I doubt it can produce 60c/s unless the Chinese have found someway to fiendishly clever to do it. The voltage is believable of course any one can do that with a tranny.
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Old 9th Sep 2017, 6:43 pm   #3
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: Austin House Step-down Converter.

Cheap but functional: ideal for running US import equipment in the UK,

Provided the 3-core flex is able to handle 13A in overload [in other words it's 0.75mm or greater] a 13A fuse is OK. Remember that the fuse is there to protect the flex **not the thing the flex connects to**.
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Old 10th Sep 2017, 12:42 pm   #4
turretslug
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Default Re: Austin House Step-down Converter.

A curious thing to have found in the US- the other way around would make more sense! Yes, the frequency discrepancy is odd, but I suspect that it smacks of a non-technical person being involved in the description on the basis of what probably appears on many appliances of both 110/120V and 220/240V rating without appreciating the ramifications of "Hz", it would have been better if someone informed had been across the labelling process.
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Old 10th Sep 2017, 1:55 pm   #5
mark_in_manc
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Default Re: Austin House Step-down Converter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turretslug View Post
...without appreciating the ramifications of "Hz"...
Tangent:
When working in an acoustics lab, we were once baffled for a while when a customer rang (on receiving his report) wanting to know 'what this H2 thing is all about'...
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Old 10th Sep 2017, 4:18 pm   #6
usradcoll1
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Default Re: Austin House Step-down Converter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turretslug View Post
A curious thing to have found in the US- the other way around would make more sense! Yes, the frequency discrepancy is odd, but I suspect that it smacks of a non-technical person being involved in the description on the basis of what probably appears on many appliances of both 110/120V and 220/240V rating without appreciating the ramifications of "Hz", it would have been better if someone informed had been across the labelling process.
The best part about it, was the unit was never used!
The flex was never unwrapped, still had the original twist tie. It seems it's built rather well.
I thought the 60 Hz on the label was a typo.
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Old 11th Sep 2017, 2:45 pm   #7
Oldcodger
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Default Re: Austin House Step-down Converter.

usradcoil- DIL is from LA, and all her stuff is 110-120. I always thought that over the pond 110-120 AC was standard.
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Old 11th Sep 2017, 4:56 pm   #8
usradcoll1
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Default Re: Austin House Step-down Converter.

In the US, all domestic plug-in equipment and appliances are designed for 120VAC.
The wiring installations in residential and small commercial have been 120/240 volts, using two 120 volt legs and a earthed neutral. The 120 volt legs are 180 degrees apart and used together produces 240 volts for large loads. This practice has been in use for at least 80 years.
The only reason I bought the transformer is because it was cheap and it's a interesting conversation piece.
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