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Moving US to UK: Bringing Computers and a Television

Moving US to UK: Bringing Computers and a Television

Old Jun 7th 2017, 8:32 pm
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Default Moving US to UK: Bringing Computers and a Television

So among the stuff we are packing, we will bring 3 desktop computers, 3 laptops, 2 tablets and a Samsung 'Smart' TV.

All of these devices run on DC, so swapping a 120v power brick for a 240v power brick with a 3 pin plug should do the trick. Certainly I never have any issues when I bring the laptop back and forth. The issue is whether the fact that US runs at 60 cycles, and UK runs at 50 cycles will make a difference to how (and whether) the desktops and the TV will work. Will it effectively 'underclock' the CPU by 17% - which shouldn't be a show-stopper, or will it prevent these systems from working at all?

Anybody got any experience with this particular issue?

I don't think that NTSC (US) and PAL (UK) is an issue any more, as modern televisions handle both with no problems.

Cheers,

Stephen N.
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Old Jun 7th 2017, 8:40 pm
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Default Re: Moving US to UK: Bringing Computers and a Television

Most modern electronics work on universal voltage. They will have a rating plate attached which will state the input requirements. If it says something like "100V-240V, 50-60Hz" you're golden.
If it states "120V, 60Hz, you'll need a new power brick.
If you plug a 120V device into a 240V outlet, fireworks will follow.
CPU speed is not dependent on mains frequency.

Last edited by chawkins99; Jun 7th 2017 at 8:42 pm.
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Old Jun 7th 2017, 8:41 pm
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Default Re: Moving US to UK: Bringing Computers and a Television

Look at the spec plate on the back, it should say "50Hz-60Hz", which means the device can work on either frequency.

While NTSC and PAL have both gone away, the US and UK implemented incompatible digital TV standards, so you cannot just switch the power cord for a US TV* and watch TV in the UK. That said, many cable and satellite boxes, game consoles, and Internet TV devices support both digital standards.

* Check the spec panels on the power bricks as you will probably find that they say "100v-250v" and so will work on UK mains if you replace the plug or the power cord that is plugged in to the brick.
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Old Jun 7th 2017, 8:53 pm
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Default Re: Moving US to UK: Bringing Computers and a Television

I just went round reading half a dozen power bricks, and sure enough they all say 'Input: 100-240v, 50-60hz'.

The Samsung TV has instructions for both US and European markets, so I'm guessing it works for TV both ways. If not, well it will work as a fancy monitor anyway, or even as a Chromecast device. Anyway, we only paid $150 for a 32" jobbie, so it won't break the bank to buy another one in England.

Cheers,

Sn.
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Old Jun 7th 2017, 9:36 pm
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Default Re: Moving US to UK: Bringing Computers and a Television

Originally Posted by PimRoad View Post
I just went round reading half a dozen power bricks, and sure enough they all say 'Input: 100-240v, 50-60hz'. ....


You're welcome.
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Old Jun 8th 2017, 7:03 am
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Default Re: Moving US to UK: Bringing Computers and a Television

I need to bring my son's desktop PC over to the UK. Are you packing everything away in check-in luggage? Just take the hard drives out and carry them on, then pack lots of clothes around whatever you put in the suitcases?
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Old Jun 8th 2017, 10:47 am
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Default Re: Moving US to UK: Bringing Computers and a Television

Desktop PC? Watch out!!..look at the rear of the power supply on the housing. Some better models have a switch 110v / 240v, otherwise you will just hear a pop and it's all over.
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Old Jun 9th 2017, 6:50 am
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Default Re: Moving US to UK: Bringing Computers and a Television

I brought my cheapo dual voltage Vizio TV 6 years ago. Bought an HD Freeview box, and have been golden ever since. Even if the digital signals in the tuners are not compatible (and I understand some high end have tuners that work over here - mine did not), you are fine with a Sky box or a Freeview box.

My desktop PC has the 110/240 switch on the back. Definitely check that. Laptops, tablets etc. are generally fine - the 'brick' is almost always dual voltage.
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Old Jun 10th 2017, 4:17 am
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Default Re: Moving US to UK: Bringing Computers and a Television

Originally Posted by calman014 View Post
Desktop PC? Watch out!!..look at the rear of the power supply on the housing. Some better models have a switch 110v / 240v, otherwise you will just hear a pop and it's all over.
So if we don't have a switch then we will need to get a new 240v power supply once in the UK with a 3 pin plug right? They are about 30 GBP?
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Old Jun 10th 2017, 5:06 am
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Default Re: Moving US to UK: Bringing Computers and a Television



This is my PSU. Will it be OK in the UK?
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Old Jun 10th 2017, 6:59 am
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Default Re: Moving US to UK: Bringing Computers and a Television

Originally Posted by Saigon456 View Post
I need to bring my son's desktop PC over to the UK. Are you packing everything away in check-in luggage? Just take the hard drives out and carry them on, then pack lots of clothes around whatever you put in the suitcases?
Check-In luggage? I think the computers, the bikes, the books, the bed, the kitchen stuff might cause raised eyebrows at Dulles. We will be shipping, together with all the other stuff. Girding my loins to get quotes for a 20 foot container. When I did it in 1995, US to UK, it cost a grand total of $1395 door-to-door. So far i've seen quotes varying from $3000 to $7500.
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Old Jun 10th 2017, 7:04 am
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Default Re: Moving US to UK: Bringing Computers and a Television

Originally Posted by Saigon456 View Post
[This is my PSU. Will it be OK in the UK?
Yes, look at the "Input" row of the table - it is designed for countries with a 220-240v (actually says 200v-240v, but most countries have at least 220v mains), and 50Hz or 60Hz (the spec plate says 47-63Hz, but I think all countries are 50Hz or 60Hz) mains power supply.

In the UK mains is 230v nominal, and 50Hz, so that is towards the middle of the acceptable ranges for both voltage and frequency.
Originally Posted by Saigon456 View Post
So if we don't have a switch then we will need to get a new 240v power supply once in the UK with a 3 pin plug right? They are about 30 GBP?
Look at the spec plate! ..... What does it say?

Not sure if that picture you posted is the same one you're talking about here?

Last edited by Pulaski; Jun 10th 2017 at 7:10 am.
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Old Jun 10th 2017, 7:47 am
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Default Re: Moving US to UK: Bringing Computers and a Television

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Yes, look at the "Input" row of the table - it is designed for countries with a 220-240v (actually says 200v-240v, but most countries have at least 220v mains), and 50Hz or 60Hz (the spec plate says 47-63Hz, but I think all countries are 50Hz or 60Hz) mains power supply.

In the UK mains is 230v nominal, and 50Hz, so that is towards the middle of the acceptable ranges for both voltage and frequency.

Look at the spec plate! ..... What does it say?

Not sure if that picture you posted is the same one you're talking about here?
Yes the pic I posted is the computer in question, so it looks like I'm all good. Although it does say there "SELECT THE RIGHT INPUT VOLTAGE!"....how do I do that if there is no switch? It automatically detects what voltage it needs right?
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Old Jun 10th 2017, 8:07 am
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Default Re: Moving US to UK: Bringing Computers and a Television

Originally Posted by Saigon456 View Post
Yes the pic I posted is the computer in question, so it looks like I'm all good. Although it does say there "SELECT THE RIGHT INPUT VOLTAGE!"....how do I do that if there is no switch? It automatically detects what voltage it needs right?
Bit strange this. If you are in the USA on 110V then how does it work as it says its it's a 220v power supply? Is there a seperate switch on the casing saying 110/240v?(Sorry, just seen you said no switch!) If so then there has to be a step up transformer inside the casing. Based on what you show then yes, you're good to go.
It does not say 110/240V 50/60Hz as most portable equipment power supplies do. I had an old PC with a 110/240 slide switch and being nosey looked inside. The power supply had a dual wound transformer - 110 or 240 v and the slide switch simply connected the correct wires.
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Old Jun 10th 2017, 8:11 am
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Default Re: Moving US to UK: Bringing Computers and a Television

Originally Posted by quiltman View Post
Bit strange this. If you are in the USA on 110V then how does it work as it says its it's a 220v power supply
I'm not in the US, I'm in Vietnam. Sorry...it was a bit of a thread hijack.
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