Using a step down 220v-120v converter to safely power US 120v power strip powering gtr pedal board.

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Using a step down 220v-120v converter to safely power US 120v power strip powering gtr pedal board.

Post by stavrakas »

Hello all

I am doing the live sound for a gig where one of the artists who is coming over from the US, needs to plug in his 120v power strip to 220v UK mains. His power strip will be used to power up his gtr pedal board. I am planning on using this step down voltage converter from CPC to help keep things safe [https://cpc.farnell.com/phonapart/sc547 ... 0693?fi=wp]

Will my simple plan work in this situation, and is there anything else I need to be aware of, i.e. the step down converter introducing hum/noise etc?

Thanks for any advice.

Stavros
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Re: Using a step down 220v-120v converter to safely power US 120v power strip powering gtr pedal board.

Post by Wonks »

If it is in the UK rather than Europe, whilst nominally the UK has now a European harmonized 230v mains supply, it is still closer to 240v in most areas, so the output will be nearer 120v than 110v.

As the nominal US wall outlet voltage is 120v, this should be fine.

The unit should simply consist of a 1:2 step-down transformer, so nothing to introduce extra hum or noise.
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Re: Using a step down 220v-120v converter to safely power US 120v power strip powering gtr pedal board.

Post by blinddrew »

Will the 50 - 60 Hz difference have any effect?
(Asking out of curiosity.)
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Re: Using a step down 220v-120v converter to safely power US 120v power strip powering gtr pedal board.

Post by Wonks »

I doubt it (if they've got a good quality power brick) as it is converting to DC.

But the artist does need to make sure that they are only powering pedals from the unit. Some power bricks have mains power outlets to allow linking of power bricks, but with 50W available, you don't want them powering anything else off the outlet apart from another power brick (e.g. the Voodoo Labs Pedal Power 2+ has a 200W rated 'through' power socket).
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Re: Using a step down 220v-120v converter to safely power US 120v power strip powering gtr pedal board.

Post by stavrakas »

Thanks for the speedy and helpful response. I too was wondering if the 50hz-60hz difference was going to be an issue, but as you say if they are using a good quality power brick for their pedal board then it should be OK?
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Re: Using a step down 220v-120v converter to safely power US 120v power strip powering gtr pedal board.

Post by Wonks »

It should be. You tend to have more issues on equipment using direct AC power rather than extra-low voltage DC. On most musical equipment, the only difference between US and UK/EU variants is the input transformer, mains fuses and sometimes the capacitor voltage ratings.
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Re: Using a step down 220v-120v converter to safely power US 120v power strip powering gtr pedal board.

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

There are many variations on the theme of that unit. I'm not a fan of models that plug directly into the wall socket (or plugboard) as they are heavy and bulky, so can restrict what else can be plugged in or tends to work loose. A free-standing unit is generally more practical IMHO.

Just make sure you have a unit which is generously rated for the expected power load, and make sure you don't exceed it!

The 50/60Hz difference won't affect the stomp pedal power supply brick to any significant degree, although it's possible that any US mains transformers in the gear might buzz or hum a little, acoustically.

The mains frequency is only important to devices that use synchronous motors whose speed is determined by the mains frequency. So things like vintage tape recorders, vinyl turntables, Hammond console organs, etc.
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Re: Using a step down 220v-120v converter to safely power US 120v power strip powering gtr pedal board.

Post by DGL. »

If you need more power then the yellow site transformers can also be used, just need to convert the ceeform connector accordingly (could be on the end of a US extension for example).
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Re: Using a step down 220v-120v converter to safely power US 120v power strip powering gtr pedal board.

Post by stavrakas »

Hugh Robjohns wrote: Tue Jul 05, 2022 7:34 pm There are many variations on the theme of that unit. I'm not a fan of models that plug directly into the wall socket (or plugboard) as they are heavy and bulky, so can restrict what else can be plugged in or tends to work loose. A free-standing unit is generally more practical IMHO.

Just make sure you have a unit which is generously rated for the expected power load, and make sure you don't exceed it!

The 50/60Hz difference won't affect the stomp pedal power supply brick to any significant degree, although it's possible that any US mains transformers in the gear might buzz or hum a little, acoustically.

The mains frequency is only important to devices that use synchronous motors whose speed is determined by the mains frequency. So things like vintage tape recorders, vinyl turntables, Hammond console organs, etc.

Thanks Hugh, good point re the benefits of free-standing units (didn't think of that!) and matching the expected power load of the pedal board.
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Re: Using a step down 220v-120v converter to safely power US 120v power strip powering gtr pedal board.

Post by stavrakas »

DGL. wrote: Tue Jul 05, 2022 7:36 pm If you need more power then the yellow site transformers can also be used, just need to convert the ceeform connector accordingly (could be on the end of a US extension for example).

Noted, thank you!
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Re: Using a step down 220v-120v converter to safely power US 120v power strip powering gtr pedal board.

Post by blinddrew »

Hugh Robjohns wrote: Tue Jul 05, 2022 7:34 pm The 50/60Hz difference won't affect the stomp pedal power supply brick to any significant degree, although it's possible that any US mains transformers in the gear might buzz or hum a little, acoustically.

The mains frequency is only important to devices that use synchronous motors whose speed is determined by the mains frequency. So things like vintage tape recorders, vinyl turntables, Hammond console organs, etc.

Thank you Hugh and Wonks. :thumbup:
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