G Scale Model Train Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
691 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm usually not one to do this, but I want to warn you all about an online dealer called HobbyTron.com. I got an email from them a couple weeks ago where they had a great deal on this micro helicopter:
http://www.hobbytron.com/MicroMosquito3CHRTFElectricRCHelicopter.html

So I bought one. Now, the problem is, the charger appears to be intended for 220-240V input:


Of course, after calling customer service, and submitting a request for an RMA, I was denied. So I'm stuck with something I can't use.

And there's no way to tell from either their ad, webpage, or the product's package that it won't charge on a standard US wall socket. As you can see from the photo I posted, it's not even UL-listed (which I'm not sure is even legal?).

I suspect HobbyTron bought a shipment of these, realized they couldn't sell them at regular price, and had a fire sale to get rid of them. I guess the moral of the story is, when a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. I hope no one else falls for this. I know I certainly won't do business with this company again, nor will I recommend them to anyone else.

Burl Rice
Monterey, TN
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
283 Posts
You can buy an adapter for 110 volts. I received a Santa Claus that had the higher voltage rating (from Australia) and bought the adapter. If interested, I can dig through the Christmas "stuff" until I find it and I'll let you know.
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
3,317 Posts
Burl..... looking at the label, I see what might be a typo in the voltage rating.... 220-240 50/60 hz..... I wondering if the 220 should have been printed as a 120... That's only a guess but if you're not going to use it, and if it has the 2 bladed plug like we use in the US, you might plug it in and check the output voltage.... If it smokes, you haven't lost anything. If it works, you're OK.... Some of those adaptors are good Worldwide for 120 to 240 volts.

Just a thought.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
691 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
It is a 2-bladed plug, but if I plug it into a 120V socket, the charge light does not come on.

Where do I find one of these adapters you're talking about?

I'm puzzled by this thing, because if it's intended for 220-240V, why does it have 2 blades like a 120V device? I thought the 220V plugs were different for a reason?

At any rate, HobbyTron's customer service has been terrible. When I talked to them on the phone, they claimed the product they're selling states 100V on the charger. Even after me sending them the photo you see above, they still refuse to replace it, nor will they offer me a refund.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,525 Posts
Hong Kong once had two bladed plugs like the USA but used 240 volts.
I know because I bought an R/C Tx/Rx charger when I was there during the Gulf War.
When I got home I twisted the pins around to fit the Australian wall sockets and still use it successfully.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
113 Posts
Most converters sold here, like at Best Buy convert 220 down to 110, useful when going to Europe or Asia. They're not set up to make 220 out of 110.

Laptops and some cameras have a brick that can take either 110 or 220 and convert it to the DC that the end product uses.

This old laptop (2003) uses that type of thing and outputs 20v DC. Even my cellphone charger can be plugged into 110 or 220 and still outputs 5.1v at 0.7A .

You won't 'usually' have a fire by plugging a 220 volt power unit into a lower voltage. You might have a camera, cell phone, etc. that will have 110/220 v input with a DC output close to what you need.

Art
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,883 Posts
I have several 220 outlets in my garage. I would just change the plug and use it as is. No, not a dryer outlet, but a 20 amp heater outlet.

220 -240 is simiilair to our power which is 110-120.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,908 Posts
if I plug it into a 120V socket, the charge light does not come on


Burl,

Sounds like it really is 220V. Many parts of the old British Empire use 220/240V, and the plug types are all different.

Radio Shack sells a "reverse voltage convertor" that up-converts 110V to 22V. Unfortunately it costs more than your original purchase, and I doubt you'll need it again!
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062421&cp=&sr=1&kw=voltage&origkw=voltage&parentPage=search

Any 2:1 would transformer will probably work for you if your willing to take the case off and re-wire it. All-Electronics sells a up/down convertor which would be worth checking out - at least you could re-use it for other applications!
http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/TC-100/100W-UP/DOWN-TRANSFORMER/-/1.html

When I emigrated (immigrated?) to the U.S. I brought various 220V devices, including a pencil soldering iron and a large drill. The soldering iron was converted using a small transformer designed to convert 220 to 110, for shavers, etc., when travelling abroad. I pulled it apart and swapped the wiring so now it converts 110 to 220. The drill used a 1500W transformer, like the All-Electronics models, and worked for years. It finally ended up in my kitchen after daughter came home from France with a Raclette.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,746 Posts
220V 50/60Hz with a US style plug is the standard in China now. I bet they sent a "domestic" product out of China to the US by accident.

What is the plug on the toy/battery end like? If you can figure out what kind it is, and the polarity from the product (should be some lines, circle and +/- there), and have another "wall wart" with approx 3.7 VDC 350ma output, you should be fine. I have had to source things like this before for other crap from China. I think I got the last one for one of the girls' toys from RadioShack.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,746 Posts
In most cases in the US, UL and other NRTL lab certification and markings of meeting standards are not a legal "requirement".

The lack of CCC marking is interesting, as a China Compulsory Certification mark is legally required for electrical equipment made for use in and imported into China, so maybe it was intended for some form of export......or they really blew US electrical system specifications!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
691 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I actually got lucky and found a cell phone charger has the same output, so I hacked it.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top