Power supplies and north america vs europe

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by JES, Jul 29, 2017.

  1. JES

    JES Supporting Member

    Greetings. I am about to cross the pond for a few months and am thinking of taking a small pedalboard with me. If I plug the power supplies for a Pigtronix Infinity Looper, Eventide H9 and Source Audio Bass OFD into a power strip, and then put an adapter on the power strip for a European outlet, am I going to blow anything? All 3 power supplies are external wall wart type.

  2. Oddly


    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    I'm pretty sure you'll need a transformer, unless you can switch from 110 to 220v on the gear.
    An adapter alone won't do.
    davidprice likes this.
  3. JES

    JES Supporting Member

    This is the question -- all 3 wall warts are technically transformers already. I can write the companies but I thought someone here might have already done this.
  4. Oddly


    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Well I've played a bit with an american guitarist over the last couple of months in Ireland.
    Even with some of his power supplies saying 110-240, he prefers to be safer than sorry and uses a transformer.
    I'd be inclined to do likewise.
  5. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    look right on the power adapters, they'll say right on them what their acceptable input voltage is


    So he doesn't believe what the manufacturer printed right on it?
  6. markmck79


    Oct 14, 2013
    The wall warts are likely fine, but they will explicitly state on them something like "100-240v 50/60hz" if they will work. The power strip is probably not rated for more than ~110v.
    davidprice and Killed_by_Death like this.
  7. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    power strips should be rated for amperes & voltage

    and then of course the maximum WATTS
    AlexanderB, -Asdfgh- and markmck79 like this.
  8. Oddly


    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Partly that, partly the fact the info panel on some of the units is worn off, and I guess it's just simpler to add a transformer to his set-up rather than mess about working out which unit is ok and which might not be.
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  9. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Well, the more items he can plug straight to 220v, the smaller of a transformer he'll need. Isn't it heavy?
  10. Oddly


    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  11. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    DOH!, that's pretty big. Too late now, but he probably could have gotten one much smaller if he'd figured out how many NEEDED the transformer first & determined how many amps/watts they needed :wideyed:
    I'm supposing he's a traveling musician, so lightening the load any way possible is usually a good idea.
    Oddly likes this.
  12. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    Unless you have a very good converter, using us wall warts in EU is asking for trouble. Very often they will comply fine IF you change a fuse, something you may forget about.
    The simple and IMHO right way to do things is to use a single, isolated ground, power brick for all your pedals that is 110/230V compliant.
    It costs way less than the forementioned quality converter.
    baxter_x, navijaz, Deak and 3 others like this.
  13. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I agree, at least about getting a DC converter that can handle 110v to 240v. That's much better than getting a step-down transformer to feed the smaller transformers (wall warts).

    I've never seen a fuse in a wall wart & the majority of ones made for U.S. consumption are probably made in Asia.
    but I also haven't opened one in a long time
  14. Edmang

    Edmang Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2013
    If you just want to power your pedals can get one of these to use in place of the pedal adapters


    Runs at different voltages and has a variety of plug outlet adapters that come with it.

    The outlet required plug in England is different than what is needed in France for example. If you will be in different countries also have to worry about outlet differences
  15. Fun Size Nick

    Fun Size Nick

    Feb 21, 2006
    London, UK
    I'd echo the suggestion that the best thing to do would be to find a single-unit power supply with enough juice and voltage options to power everything you have that works at 110-220V (check out what Cioks, Voodoo Lab etc have to offer) and do away with the wall warts forever. Lugging around a big transformer gets old fast.
    navijaz and Killed_by_Death like this.
  16. JES

    JES Supporting Member

    Thanks all!
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  17. Should be? Yes!
    Of course if you double the voltage you use half the current. Power rating (actually VA rating) is the same.
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  18. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Yes, I was trying to think of a way to work that in w/o confusing the OP.

    P = E x I (where P = Power = Watts, E = Energy = Volts, & I = Current = Amperes)

    so, a device that requires 1,100 Watts at 110 Volts will draw 10 Amps of current
    but at 220 Volts, the same device will draw only 5 amps

    P/E = I


    Watts/Volts = Amps

    this electric motor label verifies that:


    15 Amps at 115 Volts
    7.5 Amps at 230 Volts
  19. baxter_x


    Nov 27, 2013
    THAT is the only way to do things properly!
  20. SpottedBass


    Mar 12, 2012
    Agree that a single powerbrick type source would be nice from a convenience standpoint. However, if the wall-wart is rated up to 230 volts then by all means use it. Frequency is another issue to watch as some countries are on 50hz others on 60hz. Modern power supplies can handle the entire range of voltage and frequency. I am NOT a fan of stepdown transformers as they tend to introduce a tremendous amount of noise. Using a step-down transformer to convert 240 to 115 for a wall-wort that has a 115-240 input voltage range makes no sense whatsoever. Same goes for your laptop and iphone chargers, they will cover the entire range so you just need a plug adapter, NOT a transformer. I am a frequent visitor to Europe, so I speak from experience.
    Killed_by_Death likes this.