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Orange Ad200b Transformer Voltage Conversion

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by Wolffgang, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. Wolffgang

    Wolffgang Supporting Member

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    Hi all!

    Recently purchased an Ad200b from America. Looking at the back panel, I saw the mention of 120V and 240V fuse specifications and the little voltage toggle and rashly assumed that this meant I could just change the fuse and flip the switch, but the switch only goes from 100v to 120v (or some similarly narrow range- either way, of no use to me right now). This leaves me with many questions:

    Is changing the fuse sufficient? I assume not, but it was with a preamp I bought recently.

    Is there some internal rewiring I could have done that would get me what I want? I remember reading a thread (on the Orange forum, I think) that briefly mentioned that the transformers could perform in either region, but required a small rewire, although I now can't find that thread for the life of me and am wondering if I optimistically imagined it >.>

    Assuming none of the above is possible, a step-down transformer might be the next most practical option. Based on the voltage and amperage, I think I need a 1000W step down. Anyone know what the difference between these 2 would be?

    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/271341122998?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/261313546095?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

    I'm inclined to think I need the expensive one, but I don't know enough about them to discern between them. Will the cheaper one do what I need?

    If I were to replace a transformer, would it be the OT, PT or both? What should I be looking for?

    Thanks for the help! I'm also going to email Orange and post on their forum, I'll update if I hear anything.
  2. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

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    You have run into the major problem faced by folk living in the 230/240V world buying stuff from the 120V world.

    Fuse: Should be half at 240V that it is for 120V.

    Transformer: The primary of the PT needs to be suitable for 240V. That requires a wiring change for the primary taps in some cases. In others it needs a whole different PT.

    Japan runs at 100V, North America at 120V. The PT you have is suitable for North America and Japan. Whether the PT has other taps to allow it to work in your country is something that you have to ascertain.
  3. Sid Fang

    Sid Fang Reformed Fusion Player Supporting Member

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    I've moved back and forth between the US and Europe, and there are three main possibilities.
    1. Buy a sufficiently big mains step-up/step-down transformer and run your amp from it
    2. Verify that the power transformer in your amp has taps for both 240V and 120V and change that one wiring connection
    3. Swap power transformers
    I did (1) with my Fender guitar amp, because I rarely moved it. I did (2) with my SVT, twice. I did (3) with my EBS Drone, which was easier than I had feared, because the EBS design uses solderless connectors for the transformer. It was a 5 minute wrench-and-scewdriver operation.

    If you change transformer or tap, you also need to change the fuse. If you run off an outboard mains converter, you need to keep the original.
  4. Wolffgang

    Wolffgang Supporting Member

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  5. Downunderwonder

    Downunderwonder

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    Mesa and SVT tube amps can do it, most likely you can too. Paul might be able to make sense of that diagram. It's not really a diy job, an error could blow up amp or zap you 240v.

    How did you ship it?
  6. Wolffgang

    Wolffgang Supporting Member

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    Yeah I'm not doing it myself, I have a somewhat learned friend who's going to help me. People make a really big deal about opening up tube amps, but I think emphasising 'Don't touch the electrolytic caps, or at least discharge them first' would be more helpful advice. But I completely agree that screwing around inside a transformer is a bit more than just opening one up, and no I'm not doing that myself. The guy was confident he could do it if I could find out what needed doing, and that diagram seems pretty straightforward.

    I'm glad that it'll be doable, but it's a shame, to me, that they would have a transformer capable of doing it but make it such a pain to get it done.

    It was in a road case, which I'm sure helped, and was then well packed in a box. Honestly, I think it would have made it fine in just the roadcase, tube amps are pretty hardy, despite their fragile reputation. I use a reshipper called Shipito, which has been damn near the most useful discovery I've ever made for sucking money out of my bank account. It often ends up being cheaper than whatever international shipping would have otherwise been available, plus faster, plus I can buy buy from people who aren't willing to ship internationally, plus you can fill out your own customs declaration (The amp did NOT cost me $850, but it did as far as customs knows >.> Maybe I'd feel bad about lying if our prices weren't artificially inflated for no good reason)
  7. Downunderwonder

    Downunderwonder

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    I've used shipito, what service did the actual reshipping? Brave move on the revenue getters.
  8. Wolffgang

    Wolffgang Supporting Member

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    TNT Express, I think, it usually works out the cheapest and fastest (cost $266), or at least nearly as fast as FedEx for a more reasonable price. I've used them for everything so far, I think, which would include some tubes, a tube preamp, and this amp.
  9. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

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    Better to over protect than under. I shipped my V4 cross country in a road case and it still took a pretty big drop in transit, enough to cause some minor damage despite the Calzone ATA case.
  10. nashvillebill

    nashvillebill

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    If that diagram was correct (a big IF) then a qualified tech should be able to change the wiring to run off of 240 without changing the transformer.
  11. MAMMOTHvolume

    MAMMOTHvolume

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  12. Wolffgang

    Wolffgang Supporting Member

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    Just in case that diagram is wrong, anyone have any opinion on what the difference between the two step-down transformers linked in the OP might be?
  13. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

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    I can't understand the cost discrepancy between the two. Shipping weight might help to clue in if the first listed includes an actual transformer or just a voltage divider. No mention of isolation concerns me.
  14. vin*tone

    vin*tone Supporting Member

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    It should be very easy to verify if your transformer is multitapped. Open the case and have a look for anything that looks like what I imagine would be a terminal board with 6 pins and connecting wires - quite likely marked with 120-240v. There will be lines running from the power transformer and the on/off switch.

    Given that it's an amp designed in the UK and sent to the US I would be gobsmacked if it did not have a switchable PT.
  15. Sid Fang

    Sid Fang Reformed Fusion Player Supporting Member

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    Having used step-up/step-down transformers similar to both of the ones you referenced on Ebay, I would recommend going with one that's in a box. Unenclosed transformers are obnoxious things to transport and store. The only disadvantage of the enclosure is that it traps heat when the transformer is working hard. So just make sure you order one that's rated for a lot more power than you could ever use, which is what you've already done by selecting 1000W units.

    As someone else noted, it's not at all clear why the unenclosed 11kg unit is being sold for such a high price. I paid something like $40US a couple of years ago for an enclosed 750W unit to power my European-voltage subwoofer, and it's been perfect.
  16. Wolffgang

    Wolffgang Supporting Member

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    Excellent, thank you, I'm much happier about spending $60 on one than $300, if I have to at all
  17. ThisBass

    ThisBass

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    The 11kg transformer provides galvanic insulation. However any autotransformer (non electrical isolation) will do the step down job all the same. Autotransformer are known to be much more economical.
  18. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the vote of confidence! :D

    It has two 120V primaries each with a 100V tap.

    For 100V, the two 100V taps are connected together with the common ends also connected together. Thus each primary expects to see 100V AC. For 120V the scheme is the same except that the 120V taps are utilized. Primaries are in parallel.

    For 240V the 120V taps are used but the primaries are connected in series. Thus 240V. The fuse should be half the value of that for 120V.
  19. Downunderwonder

    Downunderwonder

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    See, grumpy old men have their uses. Funnily enough I never knew series parallel was that easy to switch so it was making my head spin looking at it. Cheers.
  20. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

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    HEY!!! It's Grumpy Old Fart to you!! :D

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