Computer Hope

Hardware => Hardware => Topic started by: stevefotos on July 14, 2004, 03:10:21 PM

Title: Power in Europe???
Post by: stevefotos on July 14, 2004, 03:10:21 PM
I've got an HP PC (Pavillion a420n, deskjet 5150, and a f1503 flat screen monitor). I'm going to the south of France for a year to do a book and need my PC. But in France the power is 220v 50Hz with round plug tips. So I can get adapters to convert flat American plugs to plump round French ones.

My HP has a 110-220 switch but I worry about whether its as simple as moving the switch to 220. Will the PC work properly in Europe. And as well what about my  my monitor and printer. Will the transformers they come with work on 220 with the plug adapters or do I need to get step down converters to reduce the 220 to 110 for everything? And does anyone have experience with doing this and is it going to any create problems with any of my components?



Title: Re: Power in Europe???
Post by: gb johnson on July 15, 2004, 01:37:45 AM
Title: Re: Power in Europe???
Post by: MalikTous on July 15, 2004, 07:46:32 PM
Check that your appliances are either capable of auto-switching or manually switching between 120VAC (USA) power and 220VAC (European) power, and that their power supplies are capable of operation on either 50 or 60 cycle power. The manufacturer's website ( or your manuals should include that data.

Devices that need to be manually switched should be checked multiple times for that before being connected to the higher voltage power sources. Devices that cannot be switched must be connected by a TRANSFORMER power converter, not one of those DIODE converters that are only good for lights and hairdryers. Most modern computer power supplies are capable of working with either 50 or 60 cycle AC, but connecting a 110-configured or 110-only device to a 220 supply is going to cause an explosion, fire, or meltdown in the device, assuming the fuse doesn't pop first.

Properly configured devices may be connected directly (with simple prong adaptors) to a local style surge strip. If the locality does not provide a surge strip, knot the cords for at least some surge protection.
Title: Re: Power in Europe???
Post by: stevefotos on July 16, 2004, 05:34:04 AM
Thanks for the info, I had suspected that the external power units for printers etc that said 110-240 VAC would work but wasn't aware that they automatically corrected for different power. The important part of your answer was in relation to the 50-60 cycle AC . I wasn't sure that the computers would work correctly at a different Hertz rate.