I need a UK to US transformer for a rechargeable drill.
November 28, 2004 11:41 PM   Subscribe

TransformerFilter: I've just relocated to the US and have a rechargeable drill that uses a 17V DC transformer. I need to replace the transformer, since the one I have runs on 240V power (and has the UK prongs). The problem here is that I can't find a suitable replacement at the likely suspect places: hardware stores, Radio Shack...

I know that the voltage must match precisely and that the amperage must be at least as high as the noted amperage, and that the polarity must also match. So where can I go to find a good transformer? I'm in NYC, but I prefer to shop online.
posted by yellowcandy to Shopping (9 answers total)
If you have the original transformer still you should be able to buy a 110 volt -> 220 volt transformer for about the same price as this (odd) voltage adapter you need.
posted by slashdot at 12:06 AM on November 29, 2004

If nobody here can point you to a box that you can click-and-buy, you can always get a transformer that outputs > 17V and then build yourself a box with an adjustable voltage regulator [pdf datasheet] such as the LM350. It's rated for 3A which gives about 50W; see the datasheet for directions on cascading three together for higher current output.

Also, keep in mind before you buy any products that if your 220VAC transformer draws, say, 1A from the wall, then a 110VAC transformer will have to draw twice that current in order to supply the same DC current at 17 volts. Could you post what current the drill needs at 17 VDC?
posted by fatllama at 12:23 AM on November 29, 2004

Does the transformer plug directly into the drill or the charging station? If your drill brand is sold in the U.S., you might want to check with the local rep. of the manufacturer. It appears that 17vdc transformers are rare. Radio Shack used to have a range of wall wart transformers and adapters to fit most anything. It looks like they might have gotten out of that business.

I hate to say this, but unless the drill is dear to you or was an expensive acquisition, it might be more economical to buy a new one.
posted by SteveInMaine at 12:24 AM on November 29, 2004

Actually nevermind.

Hosfelt has one that will probably fit the bill but the web site doesn't support direct page linking. So go there, click on "Adapters" on the sidebar, then "14-18 VDC" and scroll down to find the 17V @ 1.5A brick going for $8. Hope that's enough current. Without searching further, some other electronic supply houses I can recommend that do online ordering are:

posted by fatllama at 12:30 AM on November 29, 2004

I had the reverse problem, coming from Canada to Eurasia. I found that a lot of my transformers were actually "international"... check on the case, but I bet the transformer you have will be good for 110-240V, and a simple plug adapter will do the trick for you.

Most laptops and similar now have a transformer that is designed to accept different plugs for different markets, and the transformer itself is compatible everywhere.
posted by Meatbomb at 5:02 AM on November 29, 2004

I really was hoping this question had something to do with optimus prime.
posted by mfbridges at 10:27 AM on November 29, 2004

If there's a drill on the market that does not have equivalents on each side of the Atlantic, I'd be interested to know what it is.

If it the equivalent for this market does exist, (and Meatbomb's note does not hold true) I'd buy another charger.
If this is not a drill that has changeable battery packs, then all I can say is time for a new drill! :-)

If what Meatbomb suggests is true, skip the adapter and just remove and install a new plug.
posted by Dick Paris at 12:44 PM on November 29, 2004

Response by poster: Well, I'm aware of the laptop transformer compatibility feature, and I'm sorry to say that this transformer doesn't have that.

fatllama asked for the specs on the transformer, and here they are:

17V, 400mA 6.8VA
outer ring neg, inner pos

What do you think?
posted by yellowcandy at 8:51 PM on November 29, 2004

The one I found on Hosfelt's site, described above, will work for those specifications assuming the plug is the right shape. Otherwise, you can always patch the plug you already have to the clipped end of the transformer you end up buying here.
posted by fatllama at 3:08 PM on November 30, 2004

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