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Author Topic: 240 volts in the U.K.  (Read 5187 times)
123-wilman

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« on: February 21, 2012, 03:55:53 AM »

I would like to purchase a U.P. big boy with dcc sound. What sort of controller will I need and will the U.S. bought train work with U.K. 240 volt mains electricity ?
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bruhowchi

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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2012, 05:07:59 AM »

Most of the U.S bought units have wall plugs that range from 110 to 240 all you would need is a conversion from the 2 pin US to 3 pin UK.  If unsure you can buy from Maplin a 110volt to 240volt conversion transformer.  I have one of these and it works without any problems.  Check with supplier of your purchase to confirm voltage range.
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phillyreading

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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2012, 08:42:12 AM »

You will need a step-down transformer for the 240 volts to 120 volts that the USA uses. There used to be a frequency issue with USA & European electricity, mainly the USA is on 60 hertz and Europe is 50 hertz. I am not an electronics wizard but I think this might interfere with proper running for electronics.
I had problems with some stereo pieces(turn table, cassette tape deck and clock) that I bought while in Germany, when I was in the US Army, then tried to use them here in the USA.

See if Bachmann sells the U.P. big boy in the European market version, that way there will be less chance for problems. Or you may have to install the European version of the DCC decoder chip in your engine.

Lee F.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 08:50:31 AM by phillyreading » Logged
poliss

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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2012, 01:37:53 PM »

If you're just buying the loco it will work fine on a UK bought DCC system. The UK uses the same NMRA DCC decoders as the USA. It will work with the Dynamis for instance. If you want to take full advantage of the sound functions then stay away from the basic DCC controllers and avoid the Select as it is not NMRA compliant.
If you are buying the loco direct from the USA remember that you will probably be charged 20% import VAT and up to 16.00 postal administration fee.
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rogertra


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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2012, 01:55:01 PM »

I would like to purchase a U.P. big boy with dcc sound. What sort of controller will I need and will the U.S. bought train work with U.K. 240 volt mains electricity ?

This question, again?

Why do you need to buy a North American "Controller" to run your loco in the UK?

Your North American purchased locomotive DOES NOT RUN ON MAINS ELECTRICITY, it runs on 16 AC provided by a transformer, which is the same everywhere in the world, 16 VAC regardless of the mains voltage.

Just buy a UK DCC throttle (Controller) or use your existing UK DCC "controller" and away you go!  It's that simple!
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JerryB

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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2012, 02:00:58 PM »

123-wilman:

Bruhowchi is correct.

As he wrote, most modern train set 'wallwarts' (the part that plugs into the wall and produces the low voltage that runs the controller and train) are built to operate in the international / world market. Typically they will work on ~100 to 240 volts and 50 or 60 Hz power.

If you let us know what DCC controller you are considering, someone can probably look at the wallwart nameplate and confirm the power specifications. Be sure to take a look at any wallwart or other power supply for the rating prior to use. And as bruhowchi also wrote, you will probably need a mains adapter to plug the two pin U.S. connector on the wallwart in to your wall socket. They are available in any store that sells electrical or electronics components.

There is no such thing as a ". . . European market version . . ." of the Big Boy, and there is no such thing as a ". . . European version of the DCC decoder chip." DCC is an open source international standard. Neither the locomotive, DCC controllers, nor the decoders know or care what country they are in.

Happy RRing,

Jerry
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123-wilman

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« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2012, 02:25:58 PM »

Hi there,thanks for all your help as youve probably guessed i am no train expert and I wasnt going to buy a U.S, controller just the loco for my son so I didnt want to spend a bundle of money on an engine he couldnt use. Regards Geoff
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poliss

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« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2012, 02:48:36 PM »

The UK Model Shop Directory has a list of specialist DCC suppliers in the UK if you're looking for a DCC controller.
http://www.ukmodelshops.co.uk/retailers/typeDCC-DCC_Specialists
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rogertra


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« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2012, 03:47:02 PM »

Your local UK model railway hobby shop, if you have one, will be able to assist.
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phillyreading

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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2012, 04:13:02 PM »

Jerry,

Looks like I learned something about DCC systems in H.O.

I guess the larger scale can take a lesson from the H.O. world and make everything to work on an international basis. EI; Lionel's TMCC is hertz sensitive from what I have been reading on CTT forum. Meaning Lionel's TMCC control can not be used effectively overseas, like in Europe.

Lee F.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 04:17:39 PM by phillyreading » Logged
bobwrgt

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« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2012, 06:16:11 PM »

rogertra

If it is HO scale it probably runs on DC  not  AC.

Bob
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richg
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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2012, 06:29:29 PM »

rogertra

If it is HO scale it probably runs on DC  not  AC.

Bob

No DC without AC first.

Power packs will be labeled, usually, 100 VAC to 240 VAC if they are what are called, Universal power packs. I have seen many and they all had the specs on the pack. They cover 50 Hertz and 60 Hertz.
If all else fails, follow instructions, a difficult task for the Male Species.
The rub will be what type of prongs on the pack, and as mentioned before, an adapter for the different type prongs.
Transformer to convert 240 to 120 can be expensive.

Rich
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richg
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2012, 06:34:08 PM »

What kind of DCC system are you interested in buying or are you going to run the loco with a DC power pack? Many locos with DCC on board can be run with a DC power pack or DCC system
Sounds like you are very new to DCC so some research may be important before buying anything

Rich
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captain1313

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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2012, 06:45:20 PM »

DCC output is AC to the tracks, not DC.  Just like in laptops and other electronics the power supplies all put out the same DC voltage which is converted from the AC input whether it's 120 or 230.  Some power supplies have a slide switch to choose what voltage, some do it electronically.  All you need is wall plug for the country your in and your ready to go.  If you have a older desktop look at the back at the power supply.  You'll probably see selector switch. 

Kevin
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rogertra


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« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2012, 09:39:59 PM »

rogertra

If it is HO scale it probably runs on DC  not  AC.

Bob

I've not got mine set up but I was under the impression that DCC was 16 VAC to the track and it was converted to DC via the DCC chip.  Or have I got it completely wrong?
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