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For those in need for a simple and dirty way of getting 120V instead of 240V...A proper step down transformer can set up back quite a bit as most if not all things are available for 240V use anyway.So with no real need you have to pay the asking price.But if we consider that most prices won't be those with a higher amp rating we might be able to cheat our way out - assuming you are willing to do some work.You need ANY kind of transformer that has at least a bit more input rating than the 120V device in question.Microwave transformers are a cheap thing these days and for some applications they can be used but I don't really like that they tend to blow your fuse so often.Old style halogen transformers (the heavy ones without electronics ;) ) are often good enough for smaller things like a printer, Dremel or similar.For very serious demands a stick welder could be considered.Ok here is how you could make it work if you don't care too much:The primary of your transformer must be rated higher than the device you intend to use on it!!The secondary winding is removed, preferably without destroying it for later use.If in doubt use an angle grinder to open the welds on the transformer core to seperate it and once all done weld it back in place.We already know that an ideal transformer would need half the amount of turns on the secondary to give us 120V instead of 240V.For the real world we need a few more turns.The wire we need to use must be rated for the max current we need and that means not for single line use but as a winding.If the primary is rated for 5A and you actually need at least 4A on the 120V side than the same diameter or just the next thicker size will do.The tricky parts is to get the number of turns for the secondary just about right.Anything from 115-125V should be fine but without knowing the number of turns on the primary we need to guess or calculate the number of turns we need.I suggest use a system with multiple outputs, this way you just connect the wire and keep winding.With the ideal number somewhere in the middle of your output taps you can simply measure which one suits best once all is put back together.For some devices the frequency can be crucial, so before you do anything try to find out if the device can tolerate 50Hz instead of 60Hz.Especially the input uses a transformer than this one might get seriously hot and fail after a short time - here is would be best to get an alternative power supply that give the internal voltage you need but works with 50Hz.
Even easier, if you find a split primary transformer of the right VA rating or higher. Leave the secondary in place, connect the centre tap together, connect 120 to the tap and one end of the primary, pick 240 off the same end and the other of the primary.
Some of the prizes will do both 240 and 120.
For the ones that don't power converters up to 1600 watts are easy enough to get for $40 to $60 US.
But if you need 5000 watts you can pay as much as $500.
So if you live in the US it's easy to get a transformer for a non US voltage, but if you live outside the US it is REALLY hard to get one for a reasonable price ----SUCKS!!!
I know it's a US based website but just about the whole rest of the world uses 240v, it would be nice if Instructables considered it
Canada also you can get a 1600 watt converter for about $35 Canadian.
Its not quite the rest of the world; Canada, US, Mexico, and South America are all 120 volts, that is the 2nd 3rd 5th 8th 14th 20th and more the largest countries in the world.
# 1 Russia #1 240 volts
# 2 Canada 120 volts
Depending on who you ask # 3 China 220 volts and # 4 US 120 volts or # 4 China 220 volts and US # 3 120 volts
# 5 Brazil 120 volts
# 6 Australia 240 volts
# 7 India 240 volts
# 8 Argentina 120 volts
Holly Kumquats England don't make the top 50 in land mass.
So mostly "The Americas!" (south, north and central) and I include Canada in that as very north. The yanks are generally out of step with the rest of the world as they don't use metric or Celsius either. And I'm not in England - I'm in NZ
That would be close to fair if everyone had service.
I knew you were NZ I read your profile; I just thought Great Britain would make the top 50, and it didn't.
Surprisingly by population China, India, then US with 1/10 the population of China and India.
Canada has 1/10 the population of the US.
Lets face it China and India with almost 3 B Asia would have half the worlds population by its self and I'm sure they are all 240 v. so it might be closer to 1/10 by population if everyone had service.
With those numbers ^ (I guess you are going by land area) populationwise 240v serves 2775 million people while 110/120v makes 555 million on latest population figures ( so 5 to 1)
Try to find a low cost step up transformer.
That's what I'm having to do in my workshop. I'm planning on installing a transformer that supplies a couple of US power sockets.
Nope, you will get US 120V in almost all cases.
I think it'll be only 120V, but some might accept 220V too...
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Posted:Mar 12, 2017
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