Ken Reindel, November 12, 2018
A few times we’ve been approached by customers after they had plugged the U-Turn turntable into 230V AC 50Hz. You can guess the result…the AC adapter gets intensely hot, smokes, melts, and the main breakers in the home trip off.
This is a very bad idea! First, it can cause a fire! Second, it can fill the room with smoke. But, all that said, does it damage the turntable itself?
We set up an experiment to find out. We powered a U-Turn system with Hercules set to 230V AC 50Hz and plugged a U-Turn AC adapter into it, and monitored the result. The output voltage from the wall adapter never exceeded 36 V AC, although the U-Turn Orbit AC adapter became intensely hot in a matter of seconds.
Based our testing, there is a chance that the U-Turn turntable itself would survive.
We have also had a few customers confirm it. This is absolutely no guarantee, but the likelihood is that your turntable would survive.
Now, please, please, don’t try this at home! NEVER plug a U-Turn AC Adapter directly into 230V AC mains without one of our converters. But if you already did, chances are your turntable is ok. The AC wall adapter will be severely damaged, of course.
The reason the AC adapter is severely damaged is that the transformer internal to it saturates and becomes almost like a short circuit. This seems to limit the maximum output voltage, and with this, the potential damage to the turntable itself is minimized. To be clear, we did not test a turntable with a built-in preamp. So, we don’t know for sure what would happen there.
You will need Apollo or one of our other voltage and frequency converters (yes, they all do both voltage and frequency conversion) before you can operate your U-Turn turntable in countries with 230V AC 50Hz.
Oh, and don’t worry about that melted Orbit AC adapter. You won’t need it with Apollo!
Even if you were to convert that 230V AC mains voltage to 115V AC, you will still need to convert frequency, which our products do, in order for the turntable to operate at the proper pitch.