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For the last few years, I've been using a 230v Faema No-Stop machine in Japan (100v), using a 2:1 step up transformer...so basically its supplying only 200v to a machine that needs 230v...(and given the quality of transformer, is probably getting more like 180-200). Its a been a bit of a nightmare as the transformer has had no end of hassles, so I've decided to scrap the project and try and find a 110v machine (presuming I can't find a 100v one) from the USA.
The only place I can think to look is ebay, but they seem much more expensive than there. There are numerous 2 group machines on ebay in Australia for around 500-1k mark....and I've personally bought 4 ranging from $350-750. I can only find one two machines under $1kUSD on USA ebay, and most a way more expensive than that.
I'm just wondering if anyone here (hopefully some USA residents) know where else I could look at picking one up from.
Better yet...are any USA residents looking to offload theirs? If so, 2 group is preferable, but single would be fine as well. Brand preference would be Cimbali, LSM, or Faema (so parts will be interchangeable with my other machines), but otherwise any brand that coffeeparts stock parts for is fine by me.
Anyone got any ideas?
Depending on where you are in Japan, whether 50Hz or 60Hz....
If you are in the East, then you would be better off with a straight 110V-240V step-up transformer as this will give you a decent enough outcome for your existing Faema or other 230V machines. The VA rating is the killer of course, since you would need something in the area of 3.0KVA+ I would imagine.
Or, if you know a qualified electrical person over there, he/she could separate the heating element load from the rest of the machine, a small amount of wiring reconfiguration, power this via it's own direct feed, then use a much smaller (less KVA) transformer to power the pump motor and the rest of the machine electrics. A smaller transformer would be much easier to manage and be less expensive to buy too...
It sounds to me like you are adding to your own frustrations due to using a transformer that isn't exactly to the spec you want..
Perhaps a simple solution is to obtain the correct 100-230/240V step up unit.
As Mal suggested, the correct size may be to much $$$ and quite large in size.
How many VA is the current unit you are using? You talk about to quality of the transformer, have you measured anything here or just going on looks? Is the rating appropriate for your usage?
We had a 2000w transformer at first, and we had the machine modified to use less elements. I cant recall if it has 2 or 3 elements, and we are using 1-2 of those, but i know we are using at least half (possibly less) of its rated capacity as we had an electrician disable one of the elements before we shipped it over.
I found this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b08Tck_ZXLQ) which is my machine exactly, and (at 3:18) it seems to show that its 220v, 13.5A, and 2750W. I don't quite know how that works since 220x13.5= 2950 not 2750, but thats what it says.
In any event, the transformer we had (even though we were well under the rated load) would continually blow fuses in the transformer itself, the power lead from the transformer to the outlet would get very hot, and sometimes cause yellow/brown marks to appear suggesting it was very close to melting something.
We then got a 3000w transformer, and it was better, but it still had the same set of issues (just less frequently). That has now died though, and needs to be replaced, so we are either looking at spending another couple of hundred dollars on a transformer....or buying a 110v machine and getting it sent over again.
Clearly the latter option will be more expensive, but it should at least work. If we spend hundreds on a new transformer and all we get was the same crap as before, it will seem a bit of a waste.
Also, isn't there always going to be a problem with amperage using a transformer? As I understand it, Japanese power (at least in the east where we are), is 100v, 15A. Doesn't that mean that that once the transformer steps the voltage up to 220v, that the available current is stepped down at the same ratio to about 6.8A, meaning at the end of the day, no matter whether im using a 2000w/3000w/5000w rated transformer, I'm still only going to be able to draw 1500W from it?
If correct, this is obviously where Mal's suggestion would come into it, cos that would allow us to split the load, but the problem would then be we would essentially need two dedicated circuits, one for each element, because each element would be around the 1375w mark. Two circuits, two transformers, plus an english speaking japanese electrician
I have a different problem but still relevant. I've got an Australian-spec 240V Vibiemme Domobar Junior and Macap M2M that I am currently running in Jakarta. However, I'll soon be moving to New York (110V).
I have been running under the assumption that it would be too risk to run a step-down transformer to run this equipment in the US, and I will be forced to either keep it in storage or sell it. Is this right?
FWIW, I had so many hassles with the US "lack of power grid" that I would advise you to store it and buy new stuff there.
The good news - gear is very cheap there.
The bad news - almost any decent machine will need to wired in their "US 3-phase" which is (barely) 220V. I started with a total lack of success with my audio amps - 2 of them overloaded the mains badly even after wiring them into "US 3-phase" - they use 1.8KVA transformers on each channel, it was pointless adding the other 4 so I shipped them (unopened) back to Oz. I then made my worst coffee mistake - I bought a 110V GS3. After living with a 240V one in Oz, the 110V GS3 is a bad joke - barely capable of three shots in a row before it runs out of puff. I installed a three phase 220V GS3 and it sort of worked, however it kept tripping thew circuit breaker until they upgraded their "spaghetti wire" to something more like Oz standard. I ended up using my manual Electra (on their "US 3-phase") more often than anything else until I came home.
In hindsight, if I went over there again (shock, horror) I wouldn't take any electronic gear that consumes real amounts of power - the grid is just not good enough there AFAIAC.
Hope this saves you a bit of grief.
Last edited by TampIt; 22nd November 2015 at 02:21 AM. Reason: typo on / one
If you were running a 220v 3-phase device in a house with-out a converter of some kind it's no wonder you had problems. Residences in the US (Except in extremely rare circumstances such as converted industrial spaces.) are only wired with 220v/240v single phase power.
Java "Power what?!" phile
Toys! I must have new toys!!!
There's plenty of power: 10amp single phase (U.S. split phase 240v with a neutral) fits into a 15amp socket (power point) wired s/phase 1 and s/phase 2 and neutral and the ground (earth) which produces 240VAC no problem. Residential normal use sockets are wired s/phase 1 and neutral and ground which produces 120VAC.
Last edited by sprezzatura; 21st November 2015 at 10:36 PM.
The electrician called it 3 phase (Colorado). Even the electrician over there was stunned at my power amps - which explained why most amps over there showed signs of power limiting (i.e. lacked true grunt) - all 250w rms amps are not equal - mine deliver it across the board into an 8 ohm load, however they also have incredible peak outputs (needed to drive bass & treble transients into my monitor speakers).
The Colorado place had circa a 40 amp @ 110V limit. More capacity was hellishly expensive, even adding the "3 phase" cost a fair whack. Considering my Bentley West Oz property had 3 * 100 Amp feeds* - i.e. 300 amp @ 240V, I stand by my comments that the US grid is a joke.
FYI, the standard GS3 over there is 110V, not 220 / 240 so it does not need three phase / split phase or whatever. Shows just how expensive it is to obtain power capacity.
Tamp "guess it depends what you are used to" It
* Between my "normal" 3 bedroom house (with an urn and various coffee makers for my staff & self), 3 phase 5 hp bore / retic, audio system (recording studio with adequate power amps - driven by 6 * 1.8KVA transformers - plus the rest of the gear), computer workshop (both music room and workshop were a separate building) and then add air conditioning to the whole place even the local SEC WA / Western Power Electricity supply company agreed I needed to go beyond the usual 3 * 45 amp feed that is standard in WA (i.e. still about three times the standard Colorado capacity). It cost chicken feed to upgrade from 45 to 100amp at the time. Regular $1,000++ power bills were the downside, however my businesses paid for it.
40 amp at 110V power availability? HAHAHAHA That's what houses were wired for when electricity was first invented and made publicly available in the US and houses were typically wired with 2; 110V circuits each rated at 10-20 amps. The modern residential standard in the US is 200 amp 220/240V single phase service with even more amps in larger houses giving plenty of power availability.
220/240v single phase power is readily available in any even semi-modern house in the US. You may need to run a new powerpoint to get it where you want it, but it is there for the taking. As an example in my house in addition to all the 110V circuits I have 5: 240V single phase circuits which range from 15 to 60 amps. Additionally I also have 240V 3-phase power available via a Micro Drive to run one of my roasters.
Java "Plenty of grunt" phile
Toys! I must have new toys!!!
I'm not going to challenge that a 110V GS3 is as effective as a 240V one that's for certain!
There is confusion for some people about how residential power works in the U.S. Single spilt looks like two phase (really, really old wiring or even three phase). But the power is available.
Your 110v GS3 would've needed split-phase because that's the only way one obtains grid single-phase power. This is how single-phase is delivered to the mains in the United States.
Glad to hear that at least some of the US has sane power delivery. Figures I missed out on it.
As I was only ever going to be there for less than 18 months, I ended up renting in a covenanted community with a corporate body from hell. Over 70 "mostly sane / routine" proposals lodged in the 6 months I was there, only 2 approved - and one of those was after a huge bunfight. Two flow on decisions - never rent for more than 2 weeks (even if the employer pays for it!), and never, never, never, ever deal with a corporate body again... FYI, I subscribe to EnergyBiz - and have done for too many years so the whole situation clean bowled me. Considering the overall US energy consumption is high, it must have been possible to access it somehow (given helpful info & not being restricted to the recommended "electrician"). Working long hours also meant I lacked the time to deal with the problem thoroughly.
Ironically, I have switched / am switching more to solar power these days and am running into the same old issues again (melted inverter anyone?) however at least I can sort them out myself here in Oz without dealing with a lame brained committee that regard Byzantine Bureaucrats as the gold standard for inaction.
Tamp "at least it is solvable" It