If you are bringing a U.S. or Canadian 110-120 volt appliance to Japan, you need a step up "booster" transformer. Step up transformers take the 100 volt electricity supplied by Japanese sockets, and convert the voltage up to 110-120 volts for use by the North American appliance. The 1BT-30G transformer performs that conversion, allowing you to power your North American appliance from a 100 volt Japanese socket. The transformer supports up to 400 watts, so be sure that your appliance's wattage does not require more than 400 watts. To comply with UL regulations, the transformer is built with a grounded, 3-pin NEMA 5-15 plug on its cord. If you need to plug into a non-grounded Japanese socket that does not accept the third grounding pin, you will need to attach our item #WA-6 adapter to the transformer's plug.
Todd Systems has been manufacturing transformers for industrial environments and the military for over 40 years. All Todd Systems transformers are designed and manufactured in the U.S.A. All Todd Systems transformers are precision wound and insulated with the latest hi-tech, insulating materials. The core laminations are of high grade annealed silicon steel, designed to keep heating to a minimum. All transformers are impregnated with a modified polyester heat cured varnish, which seals the transformer, thus protecting the electrical windings from moisture and contamination. Metal housings are baked enamel finished, and all Todd Systems transformers meet UL and IEC specifications. Every Todd Systems transformer is thoroughly tested, twice, and thoroughly inspected to ensure top quality. The result of this use of superior materials, advanced design, and complete 100% testing is long, trouble-free transformer life.
Todd Systems 1BT-30G Step Up Booster Transformer Features:
But do I need a voltage transformer? Or would a plug adapter be enough?
Well, that depends on what you need to plug in. If your appliance's voltage matches the local voltage at your destination, then a plug adapter will do just fine all by itself. But if your appliance is not compatible with the local voltage, that's when a voltage transformer comes in. Voltage transformers actually change the local voltage to a voltage that's suitable for your appliance.
Electrical sockets in Japan usually supply electricity at 100 volts AC. If you're plugging in an appliance that was built for 100 volt electrical input, or an appliance that is compatible with multiple voltages, then an adapter is all you need.
But plug adapters do not change voltage, so the electricity coming through the adapter will still be the same 100 volts the socket is supplying. North American sockets supply electricity at between 110 and 120 volts. Consequently, North American appliances are generally built for 110-120 volts. But that doesn't mean that your specific appliance isn't already compatible with the Japanese voltage -- it may very well be.
So how do I know whether or not my appliance is compatible with the local voltage at my destination?
Short answer: The only way to know is to check, and there's absolutely no getting around that crucial step. Electricity is nothing to mess around with, and assuming can be bad news. If you're wrong, you could "fry" your appliance, or worse yet, start a fire.
That being said, generally speaking, most modern "digital-age" appliances (especially ones that run on batteries) are being built to be compatible with all worldwide voltages, from 100 volts in Japan to 240 volts in the United Kingdom. This usually includes things like laptops, PDAs, cell phones, digital cameras, digital camcorders, many portable video game devices, digital music players, etc. More and more personal grooming items like hair dryers curling irons, shavers (especially cordless ones) and such are being built to be compatible with multiple voltages as well, but most of them aren't.
"Conventional appliances" like kitchen items, audio/video equipment, vacuum cleaners, lamps and lights, and most bath appliances are not compatible with multiple voltages. Again, the only way to know is to check. A common misconception is that there's any such thing as a "standard" electrical input for appliances. There's not. They're all different.
Okay, so how do I find this info for my specific appliance?
The electrical input specifications will appear on a label on the appliance itself, or on its charger or AC adapter if it uses one, near where the brand name and model number appear. Look for the word "input." As a last resort, you could check the back of the manual, but 99 times out of 100, it will be on the appliance's or charger's label. The input voltage is usually abbreviated to "V" and it should look something like this:
Input: ~100-240V 50/60Hz 65W -- This means the appliance is compatible with multiple voltages. This item can be brought just about anywhere in the world, and any difference in voltage is basically irrelevant. The appliance (or charger) adjusts itself to whatever voltage it receives. The only issue is whether or not the plug can physically interface with the socket. The appropriate travel plug adapter is all that's needed.
---or--- Input: 115/230V 50/60Hz 200W -- This means that the appliance can be switched between 110-120 volts in North America, and 220-240 volts in other parts of the world. This is common of desktop computers and some hair dryers/curling irons/etc. However, it is not compatible with Japanese 100 volt electricity.
---or--- Input: 120V 60Hz 2.8A -- This means that the appliance is only compatible with a single voltage, in this case, 120 volts. For a 100 volt Japanese socket, then an adapter by itself isn't enough, because travel plug adapters do not change the voltage supplied by the socket. For this appliance to work as intended, the voltage needs to be changed from 100 volts to 110-120 volts by way of a voltage transformer.
Is this transformer big enough to support my appliance?
The transformer you buy must be capable of supporting the amps and/or watts that your appliance needs in order to operate. If the transformer is too small, you will blow the fuse. The model 1BT-30G supports 400 watts. So as long as your appliance is 400 watts or less, this transformer should be fine.
The watts and/or amps that your appliance requires can be found on a label on the appliance (usually on the bottom or back) where the brand name and model number appear. If the appliance uses a charger or AC adapter, the information will appear on that piece. Sometimes this info is molded into the plastic or stamped into the metal, as opposed to a label. Look for something like this: "Input: 110V 60Hz 100W " The "W" number is the watts. For this model transformer, that "W" number should be 400 or below.
Sometimes the label will show amps instead of watts. In that case the information would look something like: "Input: 120V 60Hz 4.5A " If the label lists amps, you can figure out a rough approximation of the watts by multiplying the amps by the volts (the "V" number). Example: 120 volts x 4.5 amps = 540 watts. In this case, the 1BT-30G would not be big enough to support the appliance. Todd Systems manufactures reducer transformers that support up to 1800 watts!
Plugging the transformer into the electrical socket:
These Todd Systems transformers are wired with a standard U.S./Canadian household plug, and are designed to plug into U.S./Canadian wall sockets. If you are going to a country that uses a different type of socket, you will also need one or more plug adapters that match the outlet type(s) used in your destination country. You would plug the adapter into the socket, and then plug the transformer into the adapter.
For various reasons (usually the lack of a single standard) many countries use several different socket types. Socket types can vary from city to city, region to region or even building to building. It may be advisable for you to bring other plug adapters just to be sure you're covered if your particular building is wired with a secondary/less-common type of socket. We also have travel adapter kits for most countries. Travel adapter kits include multiple adapters for different socket types you may find in a particular destination country. If you're not sure what socket types you may find, a kit can be an easy solution.
Plugging your appliance into the transformer:
Then plug your 110-120 volt North American appliance into the standard NEMA 5-15 outlet built into the transformer's chassis.