Computers on either side of the Atlantic
Since this is a pretty global forum, I'm curious -- has anyone ever moved a computer (not laptop) from North America over to Europe? Are there any problems to worry about besides plugging it into a converter? The reason I'm asking is that it's still quite a bit more expensive to buy, say a Dell, in Ireland than in the US so I wonder if it would be worth my while to buy a PC here before leaving.
I know someone who has done this in the UK and Germany. The trick he used was to replace the power supply once he got it back to Europe.
I don't think I've ever seen a computer in the UK that didn't have a switch next the the power socket that swaps between 240v and 110v. Is it different over there?
check the power adapter; all the laptops I've had work fine both sides (Dells, IBM Thinkpads)
Virtually every PC made in recent years has a "universal" power supply - it has a switch to change the input voltage between 110/120V and 220/240V, it's a switching power supply so the 60Hz/50Hz frequency doesn't matter, and they accept a range of input voltages (when set to 240V for example it will work correctly with input voltages from 210V to 255V or something like that).
The keyboard layout in the UK is different from the US layout. For example the British Pound sign is on the numbers somewhere (I forgot) and the @ sign is not shift 2.
I moved a monitor from Japan to Australia and one from The UK to Australia. Crossing the equator causes some weird colour changes but it is easily fixed with the Degaussing function on the monitor.
>>> Crossing the equator causes some weird colour changes but it is easily fixed with the Degaussing function on the monitor.
Yeah, and if you sit exactly at ecuator, and turn on your computer, you will see nothing at all, because the colors mix with each other in exactly equal quantities.
I've done it in both directions with no problems, but...
I have a US system running in UK. Just flipped the power switch. Keyboard is US, so no pound, but I don't care, about this. I imagine I could plug in a UK keyboard if I did.
I moved a load of stereo equipment from the UK to Canada, and I just went to an electrical store and bought a x2 transformer and a couple of North American plugs. A few minutes work made a transformer capable of handling the load of any electronic equipment and used the sockets from my old UK extension cords. That was six years ago and they are still working fine.
The physical keyboard has precious little to do with what characters you can produce, and what keys you have to hit to get them. Just set your keyboard layout to whatever country you like.
Wow .. thanks for the all the info! :)
A buddy of mine moved from the US to Germany recently. He bought a transformer to convert 220 to 110 with the proper Hz. He told me that the problem wasn't the computers it was the printer, and the scanner, and the monitor, etc. It was just easier to buy one device and plug a US powerstrip into it.
I second what pdq just wrote. When I moved from Canada to France I bought one converter from which I could get power for the monitor (it didn't handle 220), the printer, the scanner, my over-aged answering machine, etc. Depends how much your peripherals are worth...
One of my proudest achievements is being able to say I have actually seen a computer smoking.
Sounds fun, echidna. :)
This is how we know that computers run on smoke.
> So THAT's what the Degauss button is for. I always thought its purpose was to scare users half dead the first time they pushed it out of curiosity. <
I've done it, well in the other direction.
Actually, I would suggest putting a surge protector before the transformer, and then adding a surge protected power strip out of the transformer.
Regarding the surge protector, make sure it's for the appropriate voltage on either side of the transformer. A surge protector power strip designed for 110V, if plugged into 240V, will see the 240V as a major "surge" and will short out in an attempt to "protect" the equipment plugged into it and will blow the fuse or trip the breaker for the power line. A surge protector designed for 240V will provide no real protection at all on a 110V line.
You should be pretty safe with the power supply in the UK; it's one of the cleanest in the world.
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