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Taking US Rancilio Silvia/Rocky to Japan
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dhe18
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Mar 2013
Posts: 2
Location: NYC
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Mar 7, 2013, 12:04pm
Subject: Taking US Rancilio Silvia/Rocky to Japan
 

Hello all,

Long time lurker, first post here.

So, I may have to move from NYC to Tokyo for my job, and I was wondering if anyone had experience in using step up/step down transformers with Rancilio products.

I contacted them directly but their rep told me that transformers would cost more than a new machine (an obvious lie), so that was of zero help.

Any input, advice, or stories you have would be very welcome! Thank you in advance.
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PJK
Senior Member
PJK
Joined: 21 Jan 2002
Posts: 2,319
Location: Shingle Springs CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancillo Silvia, Tonic...
Grinder: Modified Rocky, Elma side...
Vac Pot: Old Silex
Drip: Melitta BCM 4  +Some old...
Roaster: Hottop, Modified Z&D,...
Posted Thu Mar 7, 2013, 5:16pm
Subject: Re: Taking US Rancilio Silvia/Rocky to Japan
 

In Japan they have 100 Volts. They have 60 Hz in some areas and 50 Hz in others. A transformer for the Rocky should not be too bad but The Silvia heater draws 800 Watts.  That is going to be a big transformer. The saving grace is that you only need to boast the voltage by ~18 Volts so an auto-transformer won't be a big as one you would need for Europe. Check with places which sell travel stuff to see if they have transformers for Japan.  For the Silvia ask for one which handles 1000 VA. If the price is prohibitive you can make one with a 20 Volt 10 Amp. transformer. It is similar in concept to Mike McCoffee's coffee roasting Frankenformer.

Let us know what you decide.

Phil



dhe18 Said:

Hello all,

Long time lurker, first post here.

So, I may have to move from NYC to Tokyo for my job, and I was wondering if anyone had experience in using step up/step down transformers with Rancilio products.

I contacted them directly but their rep told me that transformers would cost more than a new machine (an obvious lie), so that was of zero help.

Any input, advice, or stories you have would be very welcome! Thank you in advance.

Posted March 7, 2013 link


 
Philip J. Keleshian
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,947
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri Mar 8, 2013, 3:42am
Subject: Re: Taking US Rancilio Silvia/Rocky to Japan
 

An obvious lie, I don't think so. Depending on  what you look for, it could be true. Just because you get an answer you don't like, it need not be a lie.

Edit, the post I was referencing was deleted so this one looks odd:-)

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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dhe18
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Mar 2013
Posts: 2
Location: NYC
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Mar 8, 2013, 3:53am
Subject: Re: Taking US Rancilio Silvia/Rocky to Japan
 

Phil: Thanks very much for your reply. I have also looked up the voltage info on Rancilio's site as well as Silvia's user manual, and it was rated at 950v. In the interest of not burning it I was thinking it might be better to get something rated higher, say 2000v. I know that this is likely overkill, but it's better than a burnt out machine.

Calblacksmith: A step-up transformer rated at 1000v costs $60 on Amazon.com, whereas a Silvia purchased locally in Tokyo is at least 160,000 yen, or nearly $1,800. That is a helluva lot more than a $60 transformer.
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SStones
Senior Member
SStones
Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 506
Location: Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Giga 5, ECM Giotto, Rocket...
Grinder: Anfim Milano-Best
Vac Pot: No  :(
Drip: Some $30 thing from Walmart
Roaster: I buy pre-roasted.
Posted Fri Mar 8, 2013, 4:08am
Subject: Re: Taking US Rancilio Silvia/Rocky to Japan
 

I have used many Lite Fuze transformers to test or run 220V on 120VAC.
For example, on Amazon
I used to use the Power Brite brand, but changed to Lite Fuze over perceived quality levels. I have not in any way proven that Litefuze is better, but they seem to last in my opinion. YMMV.  Anyway, you should choose a model rated for well over twice your wattage. ie. for a 1200 watt espresso machine, I would say you want a 2500W stepup transformer.  I always just buy 3000W transformers as they can deal with a bit of abuse from machines with shorted elements or other surprises.
Anyhow, back on topic, 3000W would be fine for both your Silvia and Rocky to share. More often that not, you'd be grinding once the machine is finished heating and the element is only on for a few seconds out of every two minutes.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,947
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri Mar 8, 2013, 5:54am
Subject: Re: Taking US Rancilio Silvia/Rocky to Japan
 

dhe18 Said:

Phil: Thanks very much for your reply. I have also looked up the voltage info on Rancilio's site as well as Silvia's user manual, and it was rated at 950v. In the interest of not burning it I was thinking it might be better to get something rated higher, say 2000v. I know that this is likely overkill, but it's better than a burnt out machine.

Calblacksmith: A step-up transformer rated at 1000v costs $60 on Amazon.com, whereas a Silvia purchased locally in Tokyo is at least 160,000 yen, or nearly $1,800. That is a helluva lot more than a $60 transformer.

Posted March 8, 2013 link

1000V wow, I wish I could find deals like that, you are seriously into commercial industrial voltage here, a transformer rated for 1000V is some serious coin!

Perhaps you mean 1000W, now, that would be a LOT less money, not to mention that it is much easier to get. :D

1000W will not get close to powering your gear. I also tend to look for better retailers than Amazon has but then YMMV.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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DaninMaryland
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Jan 2013
Posts: 79
Location: US
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: V2 Silvia
Grinder: Vario-W
Posted Fri Mar 8, 2013, 6:23am
Subject: Re: Taking US Rancilio Silvia/Rocky to Japan
 

dhe18 Said:

whereas a Silvia purchased locally in Tokyo is at least 160,000 yen, or nearly $1,800.

Posted March 8, 2013 link

um, sounds like you need to bring 2-3 Silvias with you for resale!
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PJK
Senior Member
PJK
Joined: 21 Jan 2002
Posts: 2,319
Location: Shingle Springs CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancillo Silvia, Tonic...
Grinder: Modified Rocky, Elma side...
Vac Pot: Old Silex
Drip: Melitta BCM 4  +Some old...
Roaster: Hottop, Modified Z&D,...
Posted Fri Mar 8, 2013, 10:39am
Subject: Re: Taking US Rancilio Silvia/Rocky to Japan
 

Hi Dhe18,

I think you have a typo. I think you meant 950 W (Watts) as opposed to 950 v.   The 950 Watts vs. the 800 Watts for the heater in mine could be the difference in version of machine plus the power of the pump (~50 Watts). My machine is a 1st generation Silvia.

I don't think Rancillio was flat out lying, but they did not think your request through.  A 1000 VA auto transformer to go from 120 Volts to 240 Volts is going to be sizey and expensive.  To go from 100 Volt to 117 Volts in an auto-transformer is not near as bad.  I think a 2000 VA auto-transformer will have comfortable margin for both the Silvia and Rocky.

OK, this is going to be a bit like telling you how to build a clock when asked the time but to lend credibility to the notion that a 100 to 117 volt autotransformer is not as big a deal as a 120 to 240 volt auto-transformer some explanation is probably in order.  A regular transformer has two windings both of which have to handle the entire power the transformer is capabile of.  An auto transformer on the other hand has a good bit of the winding in common. Only the portion of the winding which is between the input and output carries the full current. For smaller voltage changes an auto-transformer offers a huge size and cost advantage.  Of coarse auto-transformers do not offer the isolation which a two winding transformer offers.

Phil    

dhe18 Said:

Phil: Thanks very much for your reply. I have also looked up the voltage info on Rancilio's site as well as Silvia's user manual, and it was rated at 950v. In the interest of not burning it I was thinking it might be better to get something rated higher, say 2000v. I know that this is likely overkill, but it's better than a burnt out machine.

Calblacksmith: A step-up transformer rated at 1000v costs $60 on Amazon.com, whereas a Silvia purchased locally in Tokyo is at least 160,000 yen, or nearly $1,800. That is a helluva lot more than a $60 transformer.

Posted March 8, 2013 link


 
Philip J. Keleshian
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mogur00
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Sep 2013
Posts: 5
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Sep 26, 2013, 5:42pm
Subject: Re: Taking US Rancilio Silvia/Rocky to Japan
 

Sorry guys, can i just clarify that what is suggested by this thread is that the Silvia won't work using the standard Japanese power ports because they do not provide enough power? I've just spent $1,000 on a silvia and a grinder and i *reaaaaally* hope this isnt the case....

if it is and i need a transformer... can anyone provide an example of something i might be looking at getting?

cheers
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mogur00
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Sep 2013
Posts: 5
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Sep 26, 2013, 8:28pm
Subject: Re: Taking US Rancilio Silvia/Rocky to Japan
 

also... should the machine produce steam and water even when the machine isnt heated enough? ie, if i turn on the power and immediately (or within 5 minutes) open the steam valve thing and press the steam button.. should steam come out??? Mine gives a little spurt of water/steam (half a second) and then goes dead...
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