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Tech geeks - Electrical changes on return to UK

Tech geeks - Electrical changes on return to UK

Old Dec 8th 2009, 10:48 pm
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Default Tech geeks - Electrical changes on return to UK

Hi all

So - I know there are threads around which talk about the differences in electronics from the UK to the US but frankly, I don't really understand the ones I have read or they seem to be contradictory to each other *(some suggest just a plug adaptor, others a whole thing inside your computer box)... so... my question is:

On return to the UK, I am considering taking my PC and my PS3. What would I need to have done to them in the UK for them to work properly?

I appreciate your help everyone - thanks!!
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Old Dec 9th 2009, 2:19 am
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Default Re: Tech geeks - Electrical changes on return to UK

Originally Posted by lj2 View Post
On return to the UK, I am considering taking my PC and my PS3. What would I need to have done to them in the UK for them to work properly?
Presuming you are talking about a tower PC; check the power supply at the back, and see if it's a dual-voltage model (it will have a switch which goes between 110v and 230v). If it is, just flick the switch before plugging it in in the UK. If it's not, just ditch the power supply before you pack it to ship home (makes it lighter for the trip) and then buy a new PSU once you get to the UK and install it (this is exactly what I did, albeit in the other direction). The new PSU will also come with the correct mains lead in the box.

If it's a laptop, the power brick will be universal, all you'll need is the correct mains lead (figure of 8 or clover) to go from the wall socket to the power brick. The rest is automagic.

As for the PS3....not sure if these have universal power adapters as I'm not a gamer, someone else can advise you on that.
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Old Dec 9th 2009, 10:44 pm
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Default Re: Tech geeks - Electrical changes on return to UK

After doing the reverse of what you are doing (bringing UK appliances to the US) its probably not worth the hassle. Your US game console will need to be modified to play UK games. Your PC could well have a power supply that will work on 110v or 240v - some have a switch and some sense the voltage and 'switch' themselves. You can swap out the power supply for about £25 yourself if its only 110V.
Is it worth the trouble to pack up the PC and ship it across the Atlantic hoping it arrives intact? If its new enough to have a warranty you may want to check it will be covered in the UK or if they consider it a gray import.
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Old Dec 9th 2009, 11:02 pm
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Default Re: Tech geeks - Electrical changes on return to UK

Originally Posted by lj2 View Post
I am considering taking my PC and my PS3.
Don't know about the PS3, but why not just pull the hard drive from the PC and that'll solve one of your problems. It's a lot easier to carry also.

Ian
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Old Dec 10th 2009, 3:39 am
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Default Re: Tech geeks - Electrical changes on return to UK

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
Don't know about the PS3, but why not just pull the hard drive from the PC and that'll solve one of your problems. It's a lot easier to carry also.

Ian
Because then I would need t buy a new computer in the UK to get my hard drive to work in I assume...
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Old Dec 10th 2009, 3:40 am
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Default Re: Tech geeks - Electrical changes on return to UK

Originally Posted by thinbrit View Post
After doing the reverse of what you are doing (bringing UK appliances to the US) its probably not worth the hassle. Your US game console will need to be modified to play UK games. Your PC could well have a power supply that will work on 110v or 240v - some have a switch and some sense the voltage and 'switch' themselves. You can swap out the power supply for about £25 yourself if its only 110V.
Is it worth the trouble to pack up the PC and ship it across the Atlantic hoping it arrives intact? If its new enough to have a warranty you may want to check it will be covered in the UK or if they consider it a gray import.
I guess the damage risk is there - although I suspect that would be covered by insurance if I bought it, no?

Other than that, if it is only costing 25 quid and saving a few hundred on a new computer it makes sense surely?

I am happy playing just US games on my PS3, as long as it works in the US...
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Old Dec 10th 2009, 5:45 pm
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Default Re: Tech geeks - Electrical changes on return to UK

Originally Posted by lj2 View Post
I guess the damage risk is there - although I suspect that would be covered by insurance if I bought it, no?

Other than that, if it is only costing 25 quid and saving a few hundred on a new computer it makes sense surely?

I am happy playing just US games on my PS3, as long as it works in the US...
Well as someone who constantly is buying components in the US, and then building computers in the UK, I can tell you that that PSU is a non issue, it will either be switchable between 110v-240v or it wont, most are, you will see a red switch on the PSU if its switchable. If not, no worries buy a new PSU in the UK, it will also come with the main leads with the three prongs if you have to buy a new one. Either way, the rest of your computer will work fine, be aware if you have a built in DVD drive or region locked issues, most drives will usually allow you to change the region X amount of tims before its locked in the last regiion you used - look for region free RPC1 firmware for your drive to hack that.

The PS3 is a different issue, PS3 games are region locked, so dont expect to buy any new games in the UK and have them work. The power supply also could be an issue, you wouldnt want to fry the PS3
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Old Dec 10th 2009, 6:23 pm
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Default Re: Tech geeks - Electrical changes on return to UK

Originally Posted by ldobson View Post
you will see a red switch on the PSU if its switchable.

If it doesn't have a switch then check the label on the power supply. Our computer is marked "115 ~ 230 VAC Auto Sensing". Upon arrival here we swapped out the plug on the power cord and plugged it straight in.
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Old Dec 11th 2009, 1:17 am
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Default Re: Tech geeks - Electrical changes on return to UK

Originally Posted by ldobson View Post

The PS3 is a different issue, PS3 games are region locked, so dont expect to buy any new games in the UK and have them work. The power supply also could be an issue, you wouldnt want to fry the PS3
The PS3 isn't game region locked, some games may be publisher side locked, but most aren't.

Need to use a HD tele though as the output will be borked going into a SD tele.

DVD drive is locked for movies and Blu Ray is locked technically, even though most bluray movies will probably still play.

Online account on the other hand could be a pain in the arse, less than the 360 granted.
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Old Dec 12th 2009, 6:51 pm
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Default Re: Tech geeks - Electrical changes on return to UK

OK, so the lead going into the computer says 10A / 125V. On the back of the computer itself there is a small gap with a red number behind it but I can't read it properly - seems to say 15 something... There are no switches on the back of my computer.

I'm thinking that I may take my main computer box as hand luggage and wrap the monitor and other bits and pieces in with my clothes...
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Old Dec 12th 2009, 7:07 pm
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Default Re: Tech geeks - Electrical changes on return to UK

Originally Posted by lj2 View Post
OK, so the lead going into the computer says 10A / 125V. On the back of the computer itself there is a small gap with a red number behind it but I can't read it properly - seems to say 15 something... There are no switches on the back of my computer.

I'm thinking that I may take my main computer box as hand luggage and wrap the monitor and other bits and pieces in with my clothes...
I think you will be fine, you will just need a UK "kettle lead" with the UK plug. Same with the PS3, it has a universal power supply and will work in any UK outlet, many of the new power supplys will auto sense the voltage and adjust accordingly, worse case senario you buy a new power supply.

Make sure the red number is not in fact a switch, often they look like a small tab hich can be moved by using the end of a screw-driver to another position.
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Old Dec 12th 2009, 7:15 pm
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Default Re: Tech geeks - Electrical changes on return to UK

Originally Posted by lj2 View Post
a) OK, so the lead going into the computer says 10A / 125V.

b) On the back of the computer itself there is a small gap with a red number behind it but I can't read it properly - seems to say 15 something...

c) There are no switches on the back of my computer.

d) I'm thinking that I may take my main computer box as hand luggage and wrap the monitor and other bits and pieces in with my clothes...
a) It's irrelevant what it says on the lead. What matters is what it says on the power supply itself.

b) Well then pull it out and have a proper look.

c) The voltage changeover switch is not a switch that sticks out, it's flush with the back of the computer.

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf-JAVA.../c00517964.jpg

d) I doubt it - most PCs are far to big to be taken onto a plane as carry on. They'd never get in the overhead bins or under the seat in front of you. If you want it back in the UK you'll likely need to ship it. Not sure what they'd make of you trying to check a PC into the hold of a plane with all those electronic components in it.

It's looking more and more like a better idea to sell it and get a new one when you get back.

Originally Posted by ldobson View Post
I think you will be fine, you will just need a UK "kettle lead" with the UK plug.
You think incorrectly. Most likely if the OP does this they will blow their computer. Most PCs do NOT have a universal or 'autosensing' PSU. One would think you'd be a little more careful with your advice when really you're just guessing, and to get it wrong could cost the OP money, not to mention potential data loss.

Last edited by BritishGuy36; Dec 12th 2009 at 7:21 pm.
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Old Dec 12th 2009, 7:25 pm
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Default Re: Tech geeks - Electrical changes on return to UK

Originally Posted by BritishGuy36 View Post
a) It's irrelevant what it says on the lead. What matters is what it says on the power supply itself.

b) Well then pull it out and have a proper look.

c) The voltage changeover switch is not a switch that sticks out, it's flush with the back of the computer.

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf-JAVA.../c00517964.jpg

d) I doubt it - most PCs are far to big to be taken onto a plane as carry on. They'd never get in the overhead bins or under the seat in front of you. If you want it back in the UK you'll likely need to ship it. Not sure what they'd make of you trying to check a PC into the hold of a plane with all those electronic components in it.



You think incorrectly. Most likely if the OP does this they will blow their computer. Most PCs do NOT have a universal or 'autosensing' PSU. One would think you'd be a little more careful with your advice when really you're just guessing, and to get it wrong could cost the OP money, not to mention potential data loss.
No, I have built numerous systems, where the parts are purchased in the states (due to pricing) and literally built in the UK. It does depend on the PSU, but any quality PSU is either switchable, auto-sensing or at the worst would cut power to the system, putting the PSU in to 'locked' state if the power is not suitable. All PSU's I have used work fine in the UK, all that is needed is a suitable power cable. And btw these are systems that run 24/7, 365, as they are used as servers.
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Old Dec 12th 2009, 7:33 pm
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Default Re: Tech geeks - Electrical changes on return to UK

Originally Posted by lj2 View Post
OK, so the lead going into the computer says 10A / 125V. On the back of the computer itself there is a small gap with a red number behind it but I can't read it properly - seems to say 15 something... There are no switches on the back of my computer.

I'm thinking that I may take my main computer box as hand luggage and wrap the monitor and other bits and pieces in with my clothes...
You could probably transport the tower, I wouldnt bother with the monitor to be honest. I have transported computer this way in the past, and checked them as luggage, just know that by transporting the system, it could potentially cause, componants or cabling to move resulting in a non functioing box at the other end, not a problem if your confident with opening the case, and securing everything after the trip.
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Old Dec 12th 2009, 7:41 pm
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Default Re: Tech geeks - Electrical changes on return to UK

Originally Posted by ldobson View Post
I think you will be fine, you will just need a UK "kettle lead" with the UK plug. Same with the PS3, it has a universal power supply and will work in any UK outlet, many of the new power supplys will auto sense the voltage and adjust accordingly, worse case senario you buy a new power supply.

Make sure the red number is not in fact a switch, often they look like a small tab hich can be moved by using the end of a screw-driver to another position.
*** Unless this is a cheap retail PC, emachine or some sort, then I would add a disclaimer to say, buy a new pc in the UK, as it wouldnt be worth it!
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