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    Using a US Computer in the UK

    A friend of mine messaged me this question over Facebook about using a US computer over in the UK. I'm not 100% sure how to answer it since I am still learning about how US-UK power adapting works. Can someone provide me with an answer to this question? I'd really appreciate it. I'm looking at doing some studying in the UK myself, so I had better learn the answer to it myself as well. :-)

    I saw on a forum something about USA built computers will run on the 220 volt currents in UK -- but they said something about flipping a red switch on the computer? do you have any idea what they are talking about and where such a switch is to be found?

    Thanks!
    Nathan Parker
    President/CEO
    Mallard Computer, Inc.

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    WS Lounge VIP Browni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Parker View Post
    A friend of mine messaged me this question over Facebook about using a US computer over in the UK. I'm not 100% sure how to answer it since I am still learning about how US-UK power adapting works. Can someone provide me with an answer to this question? I'd really appreciate it. I'm looking at doing some studying in the UK myself, so I had better learn the answer to it myself as well. :-)

    I saw on a forum something about USA built computers will run on the 220 volt currents in UK -- but they said something about flipping a red switch on the computer? do you have any idea what they are talking about and where such a switch is to be found?

    Thanks!
    That switch is in most power supplies in Desktop computers, on the back near the power cord socket. Don't have it on my Notebook power supplies [the 'brick' in the middle of the cord], may have to find a Universal power supply for them. I have a Rosewill on hand that has a 100-240 Volt AC input at 50/60Hz, output is 15V through 19.5V and fits many Notebooks by use of interchangeable tips. Country-specific adapters would have to be used as with a lot of things when traveling.

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    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Most modern PSUs for desktops probably don't have that switch anymore.

    Some US-specific models might be 120v only, others are more likely to auto-range 120-230, voltage range(s) should be on the reverse of the PSU near the power socket, if the sticker is missing, you'll need to open the case and read the details from the main PSU case sticker.

    Obviously, if there is a switch it's not auto-sensing, so set the correct voltage range before powering it up.

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    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Your friend will also need a US-plug to UK-plug adapter, as suggested above by Berton.
    (Amazon UK example purely to indicate clearly the difference between the two systems - note that NO VOLTAGE CHANGE takes place!)
    Last edited by BATcher; 2016-09-22 at 03:00.
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    Nathan - you and your friend should find very few problems, as long as you keep right on voltages, as the wrong voltage could lead to a meltdown. However, without exception, in my experience, notebook/laptop chargers are auto-sensing over a wide voltage range, and function equally well on either side of the Atlantic.

    You will have the advantage of using a US keyboard, though you will not have pound sterling or euro currency signs. I use a US keyboard, from preference, and have both of these set as auto-corrects in my version of Office.

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    US computers won't work in the UK, the metric system confuses them, as it does the English.

    cheers, Paul

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    Oh, come now, Paul!

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    Only in England would you drive in Miles, fill your car with fuel in Litres and then attempt to calculate fuel consumption in Miles Per Gallon.

    cheers, Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    Only in England would you drive in Miles, fill your car with fuel in Litres and then attempt to calculate fuel consumption in Miles Per Gallon.

    cheers, Paul
    Maybe not for much longer...

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    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    Only in England would you drive in Miles, fill your car with fuel in Litres and then attempt to calculate fuel consumption in Miles Per Gallon.

    cheers, Paul
    Probably some resident of the UK would best respond, but as an Aussie I don't see the confusion Paul T implies. We (Aussies) have had the metric system for many years, long enough that we have for many years stopped thinking in terms of "gallons" and rather we think in terms of "litres".

    Surely it is not too hard to translate between "miles-per-gallon" and "kilometres-per-litre"?
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    Except that it's litres per 100 kilometres.

    cheers, Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coochin View Post
    Probably some resident of the UK would best respond, but as an Aussie I don't see the confusion Paul T implies. We (Aussies) have had the metric system for many years, long enough that we have for many years stopped thinking in terms of "gallons" and rather we think in terms of "litres".

    Surely it is not too hard to translate between "miles-per-gallon" and "kilometres-per-litre"?
    The confusion arises because the EU allowed us to keep miles for distances. We weren't forced to change to kilometres. However, the sale of fuel (and everything else, in fact) had to be in metric measures, by EU law. So there's a mixture of terms.

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    We've strayed a bit from Nathan's original post, but I have always blamed the blessed Margaret for leaving us with a system of half-executed metric conversion.

    In round numbers, 28 mpg (imperial, a fresh complication) is 10 liters per 100 km. The important thing to remember is the inverse connection, that low mpg is less desirable, while low liters per 100 km is more desirable.

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    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    That's why if we British ever become completely metricated, the unit "kilometres per litre" would make so much more sense than the ugly "litres per 100 kilometres".

    50 miles per (UK) gallon is 17.7 kilometres per litre
    We'd soon get used to comparisons...
    BATcher

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