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I am looking for a 220v/50Hz to 110v/60hz step down transformer - any help please?

I want to purchase a computerized sewing machine for my wife from the US, however this machine is VERY sensitive, and manufacturer does not recommend running it on different voltage than 110v.
I have checked with them, and the required input for it is:2.4  wattage. The amp is .02 and the voltage 120.

I have not managed to find a reasonably priced step down transformer which can also transform the frequency - only one, but it costs a few thousands of dollars :)Please, help! This machine is not sold here, not in Europe, not even similar model.

One answer I've got from a company specializing in such reliable converters:

Since your sewing machine is computerized and very sensitive we do not feel confident that it will work properly with a voltage converter because of the cycle or hertz difference.  Here it is 60 hz and Israel it is 50hz and converters do not change the cycles. your sewing machine may be adversely effected.


The machine I am talking about is this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003EPLBMO/ref=gno_cart_title_1


Thanks!

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frollard4 years ago
I'm not 100% sure, but in order to run all the digital stuff in there (stepper drivers for xy, and the digital systems for the controller) I would bet it is a variable input device. In the instruction manual it shows straight cords with different countries' ends - UK, US, AUS, etc - all plugging straight into the machine. This AC>DC conversion inside means the Hz don't matter.

In order for the machine to be able to embroider, it would need to track the location of the stitch head - which would happen at any head speed, whether the motor is DC or AC, it's variable speed - so the different AC Hz again wouldn't affect the motor except for top speed if it's AC coupled.

LONG STORY SHORT
a) I hypothesize you can plug it directly into 220 -- a 220 model MUST EXIST if the power cord is available for international units (220/50hz)
b) a 220>110 adapter that is 50hz won't matter.
Carmageddon (author)  frollard4 years ago
Well, I looked again at everything - are you referring to the small drawing on page 17 in the manual PDF? if so, I am not sure WHAT to think.. Why didnt Brother tell me in the mail it supports multiple countries? I will ask them explicitly now.

If it does - my problem is solved (however I checked brother.au for example - no mention of such model..).
Else:
Lets say it is not - again, why do you say frequency would not matter? how can we be so sure it converts to DC voltage inside, and the converter is not affected by different frequency?
Even if it does not affect it, perhaps this is true from pure electrical perspective.
I have read somewhere, that the change in frequency even when not directly harmful, can change the speed of clocks (slower/faster), etc, by up to 20% difference - this might have repercussions if the machine is suddenly having to deal with 20% more power than designed for, or sewing 20% faster than designed speed.
Brother will use state of the art electronics. Supply frequency will not be used as a timing parameter, they'll use quartz crystals, or ceramic resonators for timing components.

Mains powered clocks are often cheapened by using mains frequency as the timing element - by law, the frequency has to be extremely stable when averaged out.
Carmageddon (author)  steveastrouk4 years ago
Ok, its been a long waiting time! The machine has finally arrived..
Here is the promised screenshot of the input power label:
https://www.box.com/s/12lts8wagprb2gd62qh2
Another warning label:
https://www.box.com/s/6bpo1u143grdw228t41v

I have the 100watt Step Down/Up transformer, but those labels sound bad, because I also see that the power cable is AC, and is going directly into the machine, no DC converter outside like on laptops.

What do you think? do we need to open it up, in order to really be sure it is DC and not AC? Or will I need to get some kind of Frequency converter as well?


Lastly, thanks for your advice so far! lets hope we can still find a safe way to power it up :)
Hi,i want to send a brother pe770 in europe and i have the same problem, so just want to know if the u'r machine works whit the voltage adapter? Thank you.
Carmageddon (author)  klu1644 years ago
I have taken the machine to a Brother lab which deals with sewing machines, and to my surprise - he told me actually that I am not the first to bring a 110V machine into the country, and that many bring and use those on 220v network using power transformer.

He actually had an older transformer in the shop!
So, we did a quick test to see that it is working and accepts the 110v power - and it did!!

Later after a day, I went to another electronics store to buy a working transformer (I bought 85watt one which costs ~15$, and Brother claims that the machine uses 2.4Watt) - and actually met there another customer buying some electronics controller chips - turns out he is also repairing sewing machines including digital ones! he says the Frequency is not an issue at all, and it will only work slightly slower and thats it!

Now today my wife starts to watch the tutorial videos, and tomorrow we will begin using.

I will report further if I encounter any issues, but I dont expect any, as multiple people already told me its most likely safe to run it on a 50Hz power system.

Just final piece of advice - check your transformer with a Voltmeter before plugging in the machine!!! the one I shipped originally from the States produces 220V and not 110! seems like a malfunction/DOA, but would have been a costly one if I plugged the machine instead of a voltmeter :)
Carmageddon (author)  steveastrouk4 years ago
This machine'd design is at least 3 year old I believe, probably more.
Do you still consider that state of the art electronics?
Yep. Universal supplies have been around for20 years.
Take a look at the "Innov is-90"
http://welcome.brother.com/content/brother/ae-en/products-services/home-sewing-machines/innov-is-90e.html

Look kind of familiar ?

Steve
Carmageddon (author)  steveastrouk4 years ago
I looked at it - seem to be a slightly newer, better model with more features which is also about twice the price!

Any other suggestions? Hopefully today Brother will answer me about the 220v, Universal plugs and DC voltage inside questions.
Its a custom machine specifically promoted by Brother and "Project Runway", I would suggest, hence the -PRW postfix. I bet there are other models in the same range.
Carmageddon (author)  frollard4 years ago
Well, I finally have received the official reply from them.

What do you think?

--------------
We do apologize for the delay in replying to your email request.

Thank you for your inquiry.

1. Brother does not manufacture machines that will support multiple
input voltages. The machine will be manufactured to use the 120V power
or the other one only, depending on what country the machine is being
sold in.

2. We are very sorry; however, we do not have any information on
converting power internally to DC.

3. The LB-6800PRW machine is manufactured to be used in the United
States. The frequency would matter to power up the machine.

If you are not in the United States, you will need to use the CSA/UL
approved information given for that machines specified voltage.

Note: Although step up or down transformer may be used, the voltage and
minimum amperage indicated on the rating plate is required.

The performance may vary between (step up or down) transformer
manufacturers. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the results.
--------------------


Do you still believe a simple Step down transformer+surge protector would be enough?
With that information, I still insist you look at another machine designed for your region.
Carmageddon (author)  frollard4 years ago
Well, there is none - I already looked at this option.
All similar machines in Israel start at prohibitive pricing, even in reviews for this one, it says it is the only one with those features - no rivals.

Besides, I already ordered it, along with a good 100 watt Step-down transformer.
We will resume this discussion once it arrives, and we would have the input power label to look at, and then decide how to act further.

I thought maybe the "CSA/UL" thing tells you something, about the likelihood it wont be dependent on the input power's frequency.
Another option is to get a 220 car battery charger, a 12 volt deeo cycle battery, and a true sine wave inverter to run the gadget. It's not the most ideal but at most it would set you back only a few hundred dollars.
Carmageddon (author)  frollard4 years ago
Only one with those features in the same price range, I meant.
I think I'd want to really look at the real rating plate before I made that call, but I agree with you. This is more likely a universal input - because Japanese makers are enlightended about such things, and it costs them much less to make a universal machine than a national one.
Carmageddon (author)  steveastrouk4 years ago
Well, can you find it sold anywhere else please? I looked at .au, .uk as those have 220v infrastructure - none has it for sale by Brother.

Lets assume you both are guessing correctly - that it is either universal plugged, or working on DC internally and hence frequency does not matter (not sure why yet, but I am not Electrical expert) - why did Amazon so clearly stated: "We do not recommend using this machine in countries that do not support 120V AC even if a voltage adapter is in use."?
Ass-covering.
Addendum; buy a local digital embroidery machine. Surely with a little searching one exists -- I hate the brother brand as everything I've used of theirs is crap.
I really don't think the frequency will make much or any difference to the machine. That power spec sounds way too small to me. If you insist, then cycle converters can be made from motor speed controllers like this one. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1-5KW-2HP-VFD-AC-Variable-Frequency-Speed-Drive-e4-/120793640439?pt=UK_BOI_Electrical_Components_Supplies_ET&hash=item1c1fdcadf7

At the output of that, you'd connect a conventional transformer, to convert 240V to 110V, it would only need to be 100VA or so.

Then, dial the controller to 60Hz/3200 RPM and the system produces 120V @ 60Hz.

If it matters.
Carmageddon (author)  steveastrouk4 years ago
PS: I noticed this item outputs a 3 phased power - how might this affect the machine?
It won't. You'll be using a single phase transformer.
Carmageddon (author)  steveastrouk4 years ago
A bit expensive option, but an example of what might be needed once all other alternatives discussed above are exhausted - I would just need to find one less powerful and with such a wide range so it'd be cheaper and good enough for this need.

Thanks!
armourer14 years ago
I have faced exactly the same problem, I want to bring one of the Brother machines to country with 220v supply.
Can you please update us with results of your investigation ?
Did you already received the machine ?
Did you tested if it works?
Carmageddon (author)  armourer13 years ago
I have received the Step-Down transformer.
Sorry I forgot to answer here and select best answer, but better late than never :)

It works! over half year now, and it works perfectly without any issues.

Hello Carmageddon,

I have also purchased a brother machine (Brother SE 400) from USA. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003AVMZA4?psc=1...

And I plan to use this machine in India. Where the voltage is 230 V, 50Hz

Would you be able to tell the Step-Down transformer model, link, photo of its specs which you are using with yours? So that i can buy the same or similar.

Thanks for any help.

Simon

Dear Simon,

I also recently bought the brother SE 400 ..........will be using it in India.....could u please give the details of the type of transformer and the link or place from where to get it..........

I bought it from amazon US. It costed 30$ still works good.

It was purchased through my friends account, trying to get the link for the same.

Thanks Simon

Here is the converter i am using.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001TPZ294/ref=cm_sw_r_wa_s_awd_d_NjqDxbSJDEM2F

Hi there, this is very helpful and nice guide. I have also bought brother machine for my wife http://www.walmart.com/ip/Brother-130-Stitch-Sewing-and-Quilting-Machine-SQ9185/29176878.

I live in UK and facing same confusion, will it work or not. Machine is arrived today and we are looking it like a monkey lol as we can't operate it. My question is how's your machine is? still alive lol? and your mentioned above 0.02 Amps, but in your given image label says 0.67A ? so it make is ~78watts? I am thinking to buy this transformer

http://www.etwist.co.uk/products/details/mercury-651000-240-120v-uk-to-usa-plug-step.html

do you think it is enough?

I have sent an email to Brother USA more than a month ago they didn't come back to me. I have even phone them then the lady says "Machine is designed to be use in USA and this costumer services is only for USA "

Carmageddon (author)  armourer14 years ago
Not yet, I have about 15 packages arriving at a logistics center (almost everything arrived by now).
This week I will be combining them into one big shipment, and then ship by Sea which should take around 30-40 days to arrive.

I will of course update once it arrives with the actual power specs label, get a final confirmation that it is indeed operating on DC power (meaning frequency does not matter), and THEN test it :)
glennt3 years ago
There is a product that we produce which is aimed at the RV / Fifth Wheel market in Europe. It will achieve everything that you require.

You can supply the unit with 230VAC +/- 10% 50 Hz and achieve a stable output voltage of 120v 60Hz.

Our website is http://www.rvtransformers.co.uk
Carmageddon (author)  glennt3 years ago
Thank you! very interesting, seems quite powerful unit, but you don't state the price...

I want to buy a Brother SE400 from US (110v/60Hz) also..
What I need if my country AC is 230v/60Hz?
Only voltage transformer? Or are there other important informations which I must be carefully about it?
Thank you..

MoathA5 glennt1 year ago

I want to buy a Brother SE400 from US (110v/60Hz) also..
What I need if my country AC is 230v/60Hz?
Only voltage transformer? Or are there other important informations which I must be carefully about it?
Thank you..

MoathA51 year ago

I want to buy a Brother SE400 from US (110v/60Hz) also..
What I need if my country AC is 230v/60Hz?
Only voltage transformer? Or are there other important informations which I must be carefully about it?
Thank you..

MoathA51 year ago

I want to buy a Brother SE400 from US (110v/60Hz) also..
What I need if my country AC is 230v/60Hz?
Only voltage transformer? Or are there other important informations which I must be carefully about it?
Thank you..

SimonM131 year ago

Hello Carmageddon,

I have also purchased a brother machine (Brother SE 400) from USA.http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003AVMZA4?psc=1...

And I plan to use this machine in India. Where the voltage is 230 V, 50Hz

Would you be able to tell the Step-Down transformer model, link, photo of its specs which you are using with yours? So that i can buy the same or similar.

Thanks for any help.

Simon

AmalieE1 year ago

Hi, I want to bring a Brother machine from US to Norway. It would be helpful if anybody could send me options of good transformers i can use. Thanks for all help!

umfaza2 years ago

Hi there, this is very helpful and nice guide. I have also bought brother machine for my wife http://www.walmart.com/ip/Brother-130-Stitch-Sewing-and-Quilting-Machine-SQ9185/29176878.

I live in UK and facing same confusion, will it work or not. Machine is arrived today and we are looking it like a monkey lol as we can't operate it. My question is how's your machine is? still alive lol? and your mentioned above 0.02 Amps, but in your given image label says 0.67A ? so it make is ~78watts? I am thinking to buy this transformer

http://www.etwist.co.uk/products/details/mercury-651000-240-120v-uk-to-usa-plug-step.html

do you think it is enough?

I have sent an email to Brother USA more than a month ago they didn't come back to me. I have even phone them then the lady says "Machine is designed to be use in USA and this costumer services is only for USA "

elshad753 years ago
What kind of Step-Down transformer do you use?
Can you please write model number, manufacture name and etc. of Step-Down transformer?