Is it possible to setup US type circuit in EU?

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Old 01-05-19, 11:15 AM
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Is it possible to setup US type circuit in EU?

Purely hypothetical question.....may come in handy in 5-8 yrs.....

Say I want to buy a summer house in one of the EU countries - It will have the standard 220V circuit but if I wanted to have one or two circuits that would accept US based electronics / equipment (110V).....would that be possible within a reasonable price?
And by possible / reasonable I mean something that could be done by almost any electrician or even DIY.... IF I was to ship small sub-panel and tap it to the 220V main panel then just run wires to the 1 or 2 rooms where I would want to have 110V outlets ??

PS:
I know there are devices that plug right in and convert the electricity but those can't handle large current devices...they are good for small low powered things..that's not what I am looking for.. and I am not aware of converters that could handle 15Amps or more....

thanks!
 
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Old 01-05-19, 11:25 AM
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They have straight 230-240v 50 hz power there. They do not have any provisions for 120v.
 
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Old 01-05-19, 12:02 PM
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Some 60 Hz AC equipment can overheat on 50 Hz even if the voltage is correct (say, using a transformer). Determining this is not easy.
 
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Old 01-05-19, 12:11 PM
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Technically possible but not reasonable. Also I doubt that most European electrical codes would allow the installation of US style distribution equipment in a residence.

If you have 5-8 years then just be picky about what you buy. Lots of equipment is rated to run on both US and EU power, some with a simple cord change, others with a different wall transformer. Kitchen appliances and most everything with a motor are fixed, though.
 
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Old 01-05-19, 12:19 PM
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A motor generator set would do it. That is a 220v 50hz motor running a 120/240 60 hz generator.. Would be expensive to build and even more to buy. You would probably need a way to adjust the speed of the 50hz motor either mechanically or electrically. Don't have a clue if or how you could do it.
 
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Old 01-05-19, 01:27 PM
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At work we had a need for 50Hz to test equipment on this side if the pond. Motor-generator was the old way, now electronic but still not cheap. Big enough that it has its own shed.
 
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Old 01-05-19, 01:55 PM
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I don't think it's worth it to build in US current outlets into a European home and I think it will be even less worthwhile in 5-10 years. More and more consumer products are made to accept both flavors of current with only a change in the plug needed so charging your laptop or phone is no problem. Anything else is pretty easy to buy in the destination country. Yes, that circular saw or microwave may cost 20% more in Europe but deal with it. If you are sweating the cost of portable devices then you should double check your finances before getting that second or third home. By the time you consider the cost of voltage and frequency conversion it becomes a no-brainer in most cases.

When you actually look at it what device would you want in Europe that is not available in 240v/50hz? I have some tools and devices that would have been nice to bring to another house but it really hasn't been an issue. For example; I have two corded drills here in the US. Yea, it would be nice to take one of those drills to another country but buying one in the destination country really isn't a big deal.

You can carry over a few things in a suitcase when flying but if you put too many tools or appliances in your suitcase you might earn a "special" stamp in your passport. I've never received a penalty or fine but your on one year probation. So just because it will fit within your airline's luggage allowance doesn't mean it will sail through customs.
 
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Old 01-05-19, 02:12 PM
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What kind of US devices do you plan on using?
Many devices don't care for the frequency difference. So long as you don't use any device with AC motor, most devices will work fine with a simple transformer.
If you really need 15A, there are larger transformers that you can use, but often they require hard wiring.

Many years ago when S. Korea was converting from 110V to 220V system, the power company used to provide a large 220V to 110V transformer at the main panel. It was about the size of small laser printer and I believe it was capable of 30A.
And it was feeding entire house so that people can use existing 110V appliance.
Some houses built later on had both 110V and 220V receptacles and 110V was supplied through a transformer.
Same could be done for your house except that you will still have 50Hz instead of 60Hz.
If you really want 120V 60Hz, you could install a motor generator, but that would be loud for household uses. There are electronic ones as well, but will be very expensive and won't be able to handle as much current.

Most electronic devices these days works with both 120V and 220V and 50Hz and 60Hz without problem.
Therefore, having 120V receptacle is probably not necessary in most cases.
 
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Old 01-05-19, 07:14 PM
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I am into high end audio and home theater.... While HT equipment is not an issue...for basic stereo system, it is a bit more challenging.....I have some tube amps I would like to bring with me.....they are very expensive and hard to get in EU....thus my question.

If the change was something do-able....even at a cost of say... $1000 - I would consider it but it seems like there is no SAFE and acceptable (as per local codes) way....

as I said....this is not about being cheap nor about low powered electronics like laptops...

thank you guys for the input...I guess I will need plan B for my audio system.
 
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Old 01-05-19, 08:10 PM
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You can run a U.S. 12 volt to 120 volt converter off a 220v EU 12 volt dc power supply.
 
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Old 01-05-19, 08:28 PM
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Amplifiers might work fine with 120V (or 110V) 50Hz. Most mosfer based amplifiers will work fine because they actually runs off DC. There may be slight change in voltages, but shouldn't be enough to cause problem.
However, I'm not so sure if it still is ok with tube amplifiers though. It should work fine in most case.

60Hz transformer will run hotter at 50Hz, so I recommend getting transformer with 100V or 110V output instead of 120V. Often these transformers are just 2:1 winding and have wrong rating written on it. So, get one with adjustable voltage to be sure.


You should be able to replace built in transformer to 220V 50Hz model with appropriate output as well.


If all else fails, this would be a option.
https://www.amazon.com/GoHz-Frequenc.../dp/B01GH5SWH4

You could also run a inverter off DC power supply as ray suggested, but that would require very high output DC power supply and very good sinewave inverter to use on amplifier. Cheap inverter will have too much noise.
 
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Old 01-05-19, 09:05 PM
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I wouldn't even consider an inverter setup for amplifiers.

Depending on the equipment..... some tubed amps are built for global sales and may contain multi tapped power supply transformers for different input voltages.
 
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Old 01-06-19, 02:43 AM
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some tubed amps are built for global sales and may contain multi tapped power supply transformers for different input voltages.
Most newer equipment would have this, you can check the back of your amplifiers. Older gear you would likely have to change the transformer, but it's a lot easier than rewiring the home.

Are you going to be traveling back and forth with all your gear, or just moving to Europe?
 
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Old 01-06-19, 09:54 AM
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nah... still in the planning phase... First will be visiting my relatives back home (I am originally from Poland...still have extended family there) then I think I will settle down for good....
Either that or stay in the USA but move to Arizona, Nevada .... taxes and insanely intense, fast life style of NJ is really wearing me down..... I am still in my 40s and already feel this state is not for me....and the way things are shaping it will probably be even more so with each passing year....feel sorry but hey...at the end I need to take care of myself and my family....
 
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Old 01-06-19, 12:07 PM
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I know a dude that did this in a 76' long boat. What a mess. One generator ran at 50Hz to operate a euro cappachino maker. Rest of the yacht had two more generators running 60Hz in some combo of 120 and 240. The engine room was a nightmare. They wintered in the carib and summered in the med. As if that wasn't enough, think about the shore power issue.
 
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Old 01-06-19, 01:56 PM
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taxes and insanely intense, fast life style of NJ is really wearing me down.....
Yeah..... tell me about it.
 
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Old 01-06-19, 03:42 PM
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There are power converters for yachts. They accept almost any flavor current and output 120/60hz so no matter where you cruise you can run your microwave while connected to shore power. I didn't mention them earlier as I'm pretty certain they are somewhere beyond expensive and I've never seen one small enough for just a audio system.
 
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Old 01-07-19, 08:26 AM
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If it's just the audio equipment, a decent electronics guy could fit your gear with a new power supply or transformer. It's technically off-label, but certainly can be done safely. There might even be manufacturer specs for EU versions of the same devices in which you could buy and solder in the EU parts. It would be a couple hundred dollars to make it happen, but certainly possible.

A motor/generator set would work to produce good quality power (better than an inverter), but as they are mechanical devices they are somewhat loud -- not the best solution for high end audio unless you have an outdoor garage or shed where you could install the power equipment and run cables into the house. It really would not be practical in an apartment/condo place.
 
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Old 01-07-19, 09:02 AM
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For some old tube equipment without transformers they used to have different vacuum tubes for EU use. Basically have filaments designed for twice the voltage.
 
 

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