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  1. #1
    Holly's Avatar
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    What power cords will make my US-version Elinchrom lights plug in here in Aus? HELP!

    Good grief I need some clear help here, I can't figure this out:
    I stupidly bought two Elinchrom Style RX 600 flash heads from the States, had them shippped over, then realised what an ignorant fool I was
    for not taking into account the power cord differences between US and Australia - can't plug 'em in of course. *whacks head*

    So now, I'm stuck with two flash heads which I desperately want to keep and use very soon, for long and complicated reasons, and
    I can't work out if it's possible to just use a local IEC C13 power cord to plug them into a wall outlet and not blow the heads up, or
    use some kind of US-AUS power adaptor and hope that doesn't blow them up either..

    I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT ELECTRICITY, well, very basic understanding, and could really use some help from anyone who
    happens to have dealt with this same problem before!

    I know that my Style rx 600s are the US 120V version, but does anyone know if it is safe to use the Australian 240V IEC cord with it?
    Do these units have some kind of transformer in the head itself..??..? Not even sure I'm using the right word?

    If I've ended up with two beautiful flash heads which I can't safely plug in and use here, and can't return them because they have a
    return cut-off date at B&H I am seriously screwed.

  2. #2
    mr rusty's Avatar
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    Hi

    OK, had a quick look at the Elinchrome website and looked at the manual. DO NOT plug these 120V units into your 230V supply. You will fry them.

    The easiest way to run them will be to get a step-down transformer.

    Looking at the specs you will need a step-down transformer rated at least 500W

    Otherwise, you could try contacting Elinchrome and see how easy the modification is. It could just be an internal jumper and a change of bulb, after all manufacturers like to make things easy for themselves.

    EDIT. here you go - I've done the research for you. I think you will need one 500W transformer for each light, or one 1000W with 2 outputs. http://www.invertershop.com.au/240v-...-500-watt.html
    http://www.invertershop.com.au/240v-...1000-watt.html

    BEFORE you order these check the rating plate on the unit. It should say what they are rated at in either Watts, Amps or VA. Watts = Amps x Voltage = VA. I THINK 500W will be enough for each light, but without the lights to hand I cannot be 100% sure.
    Last edited by mr rusty; 04-16-2012 at 04:13 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3
    hoffy's Avatar
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    I think that there is a lesson in this for all of us - when buying from O/S, always ensure that you can use it in where you live - this could have been quite a nasty and expensive exercise otherwise.

  4. #4
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    You need to get a 240 - 120 transformer. Take them to your local electrician and show him/her your problem, they should be able to work out the VA rating for the transformer. They just may have a voltage select switch on them somewhere too if your luckly.

  5. #5
    Holly's Avatar
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    Hi, thankyou so much for doing that research for me!! I took a look at the link, the transformer thingy looks too good to be true - I am scared of it!
    Is it really that simple, just plug in and you're all set? Wouldn't it overload something or die after an hour or be really tricky to use in certain
    locations? By the by, do you happen to be an electrician lol ?

    I'm not sure what or where the rating plate is? on the body of the unit itself there's nothing really to find except underneath the plug input there
    is written: 120V - 50/60Hz . Is that what you mean? Like I said, CLUELESS about electrics.

    What do you think would be the least traumatic: getting Elinchrom to tinker with the units and fix them to be Australian or this transformer idea?
    Considering I am a pretty broke visual arts graduate and have several exhibitions in nearing months which need to be shooting for now.
    I know that when the T.O. from my art school had to send Elinchrom flash heads back to Switzerland for special fixing it was weeks before
    they resurfaced again to be used. I don't have that luxury of time unfortunately!

  6. #6
    Holly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoffy View Post
    I think that there is a lesson in this for all of us - when buying from O/S, always ensure that you can use it in where you live - this could have been quite a nasty and expensive exercise otherwise.
    I'm glad I could be of use to you all! But it is looking like it will be a bloody nasty and expensive exercise all the same for me.

  7. #7
    Holly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMBooth View Post
    You need to get a 240 - 120 transformer. Take them to your local electrician and show him/her your problem, they should be able to work out the VA rating for the transformer. They just may have a voltage select switch on them somewhere too if your luckly.
    Mm-hm, and what's a voltage select switch? What if I get some dodgy electrician who doesn't know what he's doing and he
    tells me the wrong thing? Is there only one right answer with this kind of thing, iykwim?

    Utterly frustrating. Damn adhd!

  8. #8
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    The easiest thing to do would be to just get the step down transformer and plug them in. The transformer linked to even has the right sockets to plug in US style plugs.

    No reason why it should "overload something or die after an hour or be really tricky to use in certain
    locations"
    .

    Quote Originally Posted by Holly View Post
    Mm-hm, and what's a voltage select switch?
    Typically, the transformer inside the unit will have two primary windings each rated at 120 volts. For use in countries with 240 volt supplies, they are connected in series. In countries with 120 volt supplies they are connected in parallel. As long as the connection is appropriate for the voltage, each primary gets the correct 120 volts across it.

    Sometimes there is a switch to change between the two configurations, sometimes it is a little link connection (or two) known as a jumper lead and sometimes it will require re-wiring.

    (If they are both identical and have internal transformers, I would personally try to run them in series - but this is not really good advice so don't do that!!!)


    Steve.
    Last edited by Steve Smith; 04-16-2012 at 05:43 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  9. #9

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    Basically you need one of these <http://www.tortech.com.au/category/595/?PHPSESSID=fe4a8fa1aa50ab10db6d1808805b12f5> or similar.
    There are other manufacturers as well, and you just need to Google "Transformer Australia" and you'll get a list.
    Choose a couple and phone them and ask to speak to someone in their technical department.

    I repeat the advice of others. Do NOT, under any circumstances connect either the units themselves or the USA supplied leads to our 240v power supply. You might fry yourself as well as the lights.
    Leica M6,
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  10. #10
    Rick A's Avatar
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    Step-down transformers can be had on line for 20-30usd. These are sold regularly as travel power adapters so we "Yanks" can use our toys when we travel across the pond.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

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