Bachmann Message Board

Discussion Boards => General Discussion => Topic started by: AndyL on December 30, 2010, 08:05:49 PM



Title: Aussie power pack for US set.
Post by: AndyL on December 30, 2010, 08:05:49 PM
Hi, because the Aussie $ is at parity with the US $, I am thinking of getting a set for my son from ebay, as even with the shipping from the US it still works out around $130 cheaper than buying one locally (unfortunately). What I will obviously need though is a suitable Power Pack.  The set I am thinking of is the one of the Santa Fe EZ-Command Digital sets which is powered by a wall pack.  Can anyone tell me whether I can buy a Aussie standard (240v 50Hz) plug pack from Bachmann (which would obviously be in a set if I bought it locally), or if I have to source something locally, what the output voltage and amperage should be?
Thanks in advance
Andy


Title: Re: Aussie power pack for US set.
Post by: Kris Everett on December 30, 2010, 08:11:37 PM
you would probably have to find something locally but the output voltage is 16vac amp is 1000ma (mil-amps)

vac (volts Alternating Current)


Title: Re: Aussie power pack for US set.
Post by: AndyL on December 30, 2010, 08:25:18 PM
Thanks, I thought I had read somewhere that the output was ac, but finding dc should be equally as easy. Does anyone know if the supplied US power supply is auto-switching ie can handle 110-230/240v? If that is the case I would just need a "prong"adapter.


Title: Re: Aussie power pack for US set.
Post by: Joe Satnik on December 30, 2010, 08:49:18 PM
Dear Andy,

http://www.bachmann.co.uk/pdfs/ez_man.pdf

In the manual it shows 16v A.C.

I believe that in the U.S. the EZ-Command control unit uses the same wall transformer as the Large Scale and HO/N/On30 power packs,

which is 16V AC 1 amp ( = 1000 milli-Amp) output.

The real DCC experts will be with you shortly....

Hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Joe Satnik

 


Title: Re: Aussie power pack for US set.
Post by: Jim Banner on December 31, 2010, 12:38:48 AM
The supply is a simple transformer type which works only with 120 volts input.  An Australian one rated 240 volts input, 16 volts ac at 1.0 amp output should do the trick for you.  Look around - you might even have an old one from a printer or other electronic device.  Just make sure  the output is 16 volts ac and can provide at least one amp.  If the small plug on the end of the cord is wrong for the E-Z Command, just cut the plug and some of the cord off the 120 volt wall pack and splice it onto the 16 volt ac output of the 240 volt wall pack.

Jim


Title: Re: Aussie power pack for US set.
Post by: Doneldon on December 31, 2010, 01:11:55 AM
Andy-

You can also get an inexpensive 220/110 converter like travelers use to step
your 220 down to 110 and then use the transformer which comes with the
Bachmann set.  That will be the cheapest way to go and you won't have any
trouble exceeding a small step-down's capacity because you are outputting
very low current.
                                                                   -- D


Title: Re: Aussie power pack for US set.
Post by: Jim Banner on December 31, 2010, 12:50:34 PM
If you follow Donaldon's advice, just make sure the converter is made to handle reactive loads like transformers.  Converters that are themselves based on transformers fall into this class.  Their down side is that they are heavy.  The lightweight, all electronic travel converters often produce strange, non-sinusoidal wave shapes.  This means that even if their output is rated at 120 volts rms, the voltage they generate inside the E-Z Command after the power is passed through a transformer, then a set of rectifiers, and finally filtered by one or more capacitors, can deviate considerably from the safe operating voltage the inner workings of your E-Z Command expect.

There is another problem with the converter idea.  In the US, most appliances are 120 volts.  So virtually all the travel converters sold in the US convert from a different voltage to 120 volts.  In Australia, most appliances are 240 volts.  So virtually all the travel converters sold in Australia convert from some other voltage to 240 volts.  I suspect you will have trouble finding travel converters that convert from 240 to 120 volts in Australia.  Larger, heavier stationary converters, designed for household use are probably available for people who have emigrated to Australia and insisted on taking their foreign appliances with them.  On the positive side, these are generally transformer based.  On the negative side, they are much more expensive than the travel converter.

I don't know about Australia but here in Canada one can buy suitable, used wall packs in second hand and thrift stores for two or three dollars each.  With your dollar and our dollar being within pennies of one another, I would expect similar prices there.

Then there is a third consideration as well.  A suitable converter in terms of voltage and waveform will put out 50 Hz in Australia.  At this lower frequency, the 60 Hz power pack included with the E-Z Command will produce about 10 to 20% less current.  This translates to fewer trains.  A wall pack in Australia rated at 16 volts, 1 amp is normally rated at the locally used 50Hz.  And when you use a 50 Hz power pack, you can expect it to produce its full rated current at 50 Hz.

Jim 


Title: Re: Aussie power pack for US set.
Post by: Joe Satnik on December 31, 2010, 03:23:29 PM
Are the wall outlets/plugs in UK the same shape/voltage/frequency as OZ?

Perhaps someone in UK (or OZ) has one to sell.  (The controller heads are more likely to stop working, could be spare transformers lying around....)

Perhaps

http://www.bachmann.co.uk/

may be able to help. 

Don't know what shipping to OZ would be, though.

Hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Joe Satnik


Title: Re: Aussie power pack for US set.
Post by: Kris Everett on December 31, 2010, 09:52:07 PM
ok i got a really cheap way to fix your problem and any body that runs on 22v volts can do this.

Warning this dose involve the use of electricity!!
1. turn off power the the outlet
2. take off the face plate and take the outlet out of the box
their should be 4 wires a red one a black one a white one and a green or copper one
remove the wires from the outlet.
3. dose your outlet look like this? http://www.gwarreninc.com/images/safety-hazards/large/safe-grounded-three-prong-outlet-21ae.jpg (http://www.gwarreninc.com/images/safety-hazards/large/safe-grounded-three-prong-outlet-21ae.jpg) if not get one.
4. reattach the black and white and green wires to the outlet

You now have 110 volts at your ready

Just to clue you in i am studying to be an electrician so im not talking out my rear on this one.


P.S.

if you don't have a white wire goto your local home center get the length you need and run the wire back to your main panel. turnoff the main breaker and take off the panel cover run the white wire to where either the white wires are or where your copper or green wires are. put everything back.

mark the outlet that it is 110 not 220.  should cost about 10.00 or less.


let us know how you do

KRIS



Title: Re: Aussie power pack for US set.
Post by: JerryB on December 31, 2010, 11:25:55 PM
Kris, All:

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DO AS KRIS DIRECTED ABOVE!

IT WILL NOT WORK FOR SINGLE PHASE 220 VAC HOUSEHOLD CIRCUITS FOUND IN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE THE U.S.

REWIRING AS KRIS RECOMMENDS WILL NOT PROVIDE 11OV, AND CAN POTENTIALLY CREATE A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION.


Kris, you do not know what you are talking about. You have advised folks to do something that could damage their equipment, their houses, and possibly seriously injure or kill themselves. It is outrageous to post such a suggestion on a public message board. Will you (or your parents) be liable for the damage or injury that can be done by someone following your instructions? Please post the address for those damaged to send their claim to.

Regardless of Kris' claim of expertise, here is the fact: 220V single phase circuits found in other countries are 220V wire to wire. Unlike some U.S. single phase 220V circuits, there is no neutral that can be broken out to provide 110V. There are only three wires in a single phase British-style 220V outlet: Blue (Hot), Brown (Neutral), and Green/Yellow (Ground). The voltage from 'hot' to either the 'neutral' or the 'ground' is 220V. Australian household power circuits have the same wire to wire voltages and follow the same color codes. It is NOT POSSIBLE to derive 110V by rewiring that arrangement. That includes following Kris' instructions to run a new neutral or ground wire. You will still have the full 220V at the outlet.

I truly hope no one reads Kris' post and attempts to do this very dangerous modification.

Happy (Better Informed) RRing,

Jerry


Title: Re: Aussie power pack for US set.
Post by: ACY on January 01, 2011, 12:32:07 AM
ok i got a really cheap way to fix your problem and any body that runs on 22v volts can do this.
Just to clue you in i am studying to be an electrician so im not talking out my rear on this one.
Kris, be careful what you post, I have made erroneous posts before, but I do not recall endangering anyone's life with the information I provided.


Title: Re: Aussie power pack for US set.
Post by: Doneldon on January 01, 2011, 01:19:02 AM
Jim-

Back when I was still working we had worker exchanges with the analogous offices to ours in several countries, including Perth twice. In each case, the Aussies who came to work with us purchased 220v to 110v converters in Australia so they wouldn't have to buy all new personal appliances while they were in the US for the year. They didn't need anything heavy duty as they stayed in the homes of our workers who did their jobs in Austalia for the year. (And our employees stayed in the Aussies' homes during the exchange year.) Perhaps the best thing about my work, other than our great staff, was being at the best place in the world for the highly specialized work we did so we always had foreign professionals visiting or exchanging with us. Anyway, the converters should be readily available in Australia and the Australian manufacturers should be able to tell Andy which would serve his needs.
                                                                                             -- D


Title: Re: Aussie power pack for US set.
Post by: Jim Banner on January 01, 2011, 02:18:14 AM
Kris, if you are studying to be an electrician, you obviously missed lesson one - Before doing anything, be sure you understand what you are trying to do.  Electrical workers who ignore this lesson often learn it later the hard way, by being seriously injured or dying.  Perhaps you should consider a safer occupation, something that presents no danger either to yourself or those around you.

Jim


Title: Re: Aussie power pack for US set.
Post by: Jim Banner on January 01, 2011, 02:34:20 AM
Donaldon,
Assuming AndyL can find a suitable converter, he will still have the problem of the wall pack ('wall wart') that comes with the E-Z Command being unable to delivery its full rated output at 50 Hz.

Jim


Title: Re: Aussie power pack for US set.
Post by: AndyL on January 01, 2011, 05:50:24 AM
I can get on of these http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=MP3021&CATID=27&form=CAT&SUBCATID=521 for $24 and then attach a suitable plug so all should be well. I may even have an old one in the shed.
Thanks to all who replied (even if a little off the mark!). A Happy New Year to you all.


Title: Re: Aussie power pack for US set.
Post by: Doneldon on January 01, 2011, 06:36:17 AM
Andy-

That looks just like what the doctor ordered unless there
is a problem with the 50 cycle Australian current as Jim
mentioned. I guess I can't think of a cheap or easy way
around that. My guess is that 50 cycle current would work
okay if converted to DC, just maybe less performance,
but I don't know if 50 cycles will screw up DCC. Does
anybody else know? (Someone surely does.)
                                                                            -- D


Title: Re: Aussie power pack for US set.
Post by: AndyL on January 01, 2011, 08:03:10 AM
I wouldn't imagine that the plug packs supplied with Australian sets would also perform a frequency conversion i.e. 240v ac 50Hz input 16v ac 60Hz output. Perhaps the EZ-Commander is tolerant of 50-60Hz so as to saleable around the world? Maybe someone from Bachmann can confirm this?


Title: Re: Aussie power pack for US set.
Post by: AndyL on January 01, 2011, 08:42:53 AM
I just found this photo of a wall pack supplied with a UK set. Doesn't mention the output frequency though.
(http://www.modelrailforum.com/gary/bachmannezcommand1/MRFezcommand3004-29-2005.jpg)


Title: Re: Aussie power pack for US set.
Post by: poliss on January 01, 2011, 11:14:04 AM
It might be a good idea to contact the Australian online shop,  DCC Concepts. They have stand alone DCC power supplies.


Title: Re: Aussie power pack for US set.
Post by: mabloodhound on January 01, 2011, 01:10:26 PM
I was really troubled about the advice given on converting the wall outlet.   Kris is in the US and he is not learning to be an electrician in Australia.   Really bad and dangerous advice.
Glad you guys posted the warnings.   I've worked around electricity all my life but would NEVER attempt to advise someone in another country, other that the relatively safe wall transformer/converter options so well explained here.


Title: Re: Aussie power pack for US set.
Post by: JerryB on January 01, 2011, 02:24:42 PM
I just found this photo of a wall pack supplied with a UK set. Doesn't mention the output frequency though.
(http://www.modelrailforum.com/gary/bachmannezcommand1/MRFezcommand3004-29-2005.jpg)
AndyL:

The output frequency of that "AC - AC Adapter" will definitely be the same 50 Hz (50 Cycles) as the input. That unit should be a direct substitute for the AC Adapter supplied with U.S. sets.

The advice to check with the AUS supplier is a good one. They probably have the correct AC - AC Adapter for AUS.

Although no one here has mentioned the input frequency labeling on their U.S. set, it is most likely designed for 50 / 60Hz. That allows Bachmann (and most manufacturers) to just switch the provided AC - AC Adapter ('Wall Wart') when providing sets for use in other countries.

Does anyone here have a U.S. set like AndyL's that they can check the labeling on the Power Pack / Speed Controller? We especially need to know the listed input frequency.

Happy RRing,

Jerry


Title: Re: Aussie power pack for US set.
Post by: Jim Banner on January 01, 2011, 04:01:57 PM
The alarm power supply looks ideal for the job.
- It has the right output
- It has the right plug to fit an Australian outlet
- It does NOT require the use of the wall pack that comes with the set so 50 Hz is no problem (there is no difference between the E-Z Commands sold in North America and those sold in the U.K.  The difference is in the wall pack that comes with it.)
- It can be easily adapted to connect to the E-Z Command using the small plug (and some of the wire attached to it) from the North American wall pack.

Have fun and enjoy your train.

Jim


Title: Re: Aussie power pack for US set.
Post by: rogertra on January 01, 2011, 04:10:55 PM
What the INPUT voltage is has no bearing at all on anything, other than don't mix different voltage ratings of course. Don't try and plug a 110VAC into a 240VAV circuit.

The ONLY thing that is important is the OUTPUT voltage. In this case you need, according to the photo in the previous post, a16VAC 1000mA 16VA output.

No matter what country you in, anywhere in the world all, you need to do is to find a local store that sells a wall wart that will provide those output readings, or really close to them, and away you go.



Title: Re: Aussie power pack for US set.
Post by: Doneldon on January 02, 2011, 01:23:55 AM
Andy-

Here's an excellent and local (for you) resource about electronic things and model railroading in particular:     talkingelectronics.com/   

                                                                   -- D