Voltage switch

  recap 12:27 12 Jun 03

On the back of the tower there is a red voltage switch. At the moment it is set on 230, if this was changed to the lower setting of 115 what if anything would happen to the computer?

  seedie 12:50 12 Jun 03

Kiss you your computer goodbye if you're feeling lucky and want to try it.


  DieSse 12:51 12 Jun 03

Smoke and bang most likely

  Valvegrid 12:54 12 Jun 03

seedie's correct, don't even think about trying it, it will, repeat will distroy the power supply no question.


  Quiller. 13:16 12 Jun 03

It goes bang, with a loud BANGGGGGGGGGGGG.

We did this a few years ago on an old machine that would not boot. The indicator was filthy. We bought a new psu and hey presto it booted up.

What you will be doing is to send 230volts through the 115volt side of the transformer. Great if you want to liven up a party, but expensive and dangerous. lol

  recap 14:46 12 Jun 03

Thanks all, was not going to do it, just curiosity [killed the cat you know] LOL

  recap 09:22 13 Jun 03

I asked Dell the same question as it is a Dell computer I am refering to, and this is their reply to my via email.

"I understand that your concern is regarding using the Red Voltage selector.

After researching your issue, I feel that using the UK power supply and changing the 230V to 115V should not cause any problem.

However before using the power supply unit I would request you to refer the Dell Knowledge Base article given below for more details.

click here"

I must stress here that I do understand what will happen and that nobody should alter this switch as the results can be DANGEROUS. MIXING HIGH VOLTAGE WITH LOW VOLTAGE SHOULD NEVER BE DONE.

FE, if you feel that this thread is edging on the dangerous I would understand if you pulled it out. The reason I have added this is as a warning to others not to tamper with this switch.


  Valvegrid 10:19 13 Jun 03

Dell say: "After researching your issue, I feel that using the UK power supply and changing the 230V to 115V should not cause any problem."

Then why put a voltage selector switch on at all?

Some types of switch mode power supplies are able to run on 110/230 volts, but these are clearly marked to this effect.

Some of our Medical Equipment is able to run on 110/230 without change, but some you have to change the switch, this is the problem because the patient often forgets to change the switch back when they return from holiday, this often damages the mains transformer before the fuse blows!


  eccomputers 14:25 13 Jun 03

I was given a gateway machine last year for repair where the customer thought this had to be slid across for the modem lead to plug in. This is the outcome...

Power supply blew.
Motherboard/processor blew.
memory blew.

The surge killed it big time.

  Valvegrid 17:58 13 Jun 03

Semiconductors, the fastest fuse in the world :-)

  Tim Piggott 23:17 01 Mar 04

Ok - So it was a stupid thing to do!!

I wanted to see what the alternate voltage was so I slid the switch.

115v it said - no noise - Computer was off at the time but the power cord was connected!

Didn't even consider I had done anything wrong until the next time I went to switch on and nothing happened :(

Solution? Took PSU (Power Supply Unit) out and took case off and found a little 20mm 5Amph/250Volt fuse soldered to the board that had blown - managed to get a new one - soldered it back in and 'Hey Presto' - back in business.

I've contributed this, not just to humiliate myself to you all, but also to let you know that this posting left me in a high state of anxiety at a time when I was looking for comfort and consolation. I can only hope that my story will give others hope that all (PSU, Motherboard, Memory etc.) is not lost if they make the same mistake as me!

Regards - Tim Piggott

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