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View Full Version : My Featherweight question... 220 voltage with converter?



RockinLou
March 22nd, 2015, 01:10 PM
... Last summer by chance a friend gave me her grandmothers featherweight, it runs well and is a cute little machine, and a friend who has a bunch of them greased her up and drooled over her, so I know she is in good shape.

I mentioned to my husband today that I should probably sell it because I live in the states six weeks all year, and surely someone else could get more use out of it than me. I was debating using the money to buy a serger for here.

He thinks I'm nuts because I was so excited to receive the featherweight. My question is this, if I have a voltage converter that allows me to use things like my sonicare toothbrush or our Nintendo Wii on the 220current, could I bring the featherweight back and use her here?? She's so small and light that I could, realistically, carry her on the flight with me... But it's not worth it if the motor gets fried!

GuitarGramma
March 22nd, 2015, 02:17 PM
When we lived in Australia, we were able to use a converter for everything except computers. the problem with computers, as I recall, was that we had to use an Australian modem to work with their phone system. That meant that the USA computer was on a converter and the attached Australian modem was not. Apparently this causes all kinds of electrical oddities which manifested themselves as operating system errors, but really weren't.

That means that I used hair dryers and cassette players (I know, but it was the 90s) and lamps into a 220 to 110 step down transformer and it worked just fine. I do remember, however, that I left my sewing machine in the States and purchased an Australian equivalent. I also remember arguing with my step-father when visiting that his tiny little converter wouldn't suffice for his blow dryer, and he blew the electricity for the whole house. So I think that if you have a high quality converter (ours cost over $100), it should be OK.

You may want to Google some electrical sites to double check this.

Hope it works out for you!

Sandy Navas
March 22nd, 2015, 02:26 PM
1) I wouldn't consider selling.
2) I'd be leery of using it with a converter.

I'm not an electrician, but do know that when I lived overseas that there was a cyclic problem with appliances made in the States - something about 50-60 cycles . . . I would imagine that the sewing machine would work but wouldn't run as fast as it should. Whether or not you'd burn up the motor? I don't think you would, I just think your performance may not be up to what you would expect.

Navy Wife
March 22nd, 2015, 03:30 PM
I used my Singer 301A on a transformer in England. She stitched right along for 3 years with no problem.

Greyjay
March 22nd, 2015, 04:05 PM
I brought my trusty Elna sewing machine with me when we came to Canada. have been using in for 20+ years with a converter with absolutely no problems at all.
When it needs a service I just take the machine + converter to the store, the owner says he works on a lot of machines from overseas that are powered like this.
You might need to buy something more powerful than a converter that just powers a toothbrush though.

RockinLou
March 22nd, 2015, 04:29 PM
1) I wouldn't consider selling.
2) I'd be leery of using it with a converter.

I'm not an electrician, but do know that when I lived overseas that there was a cyclic problem with appliances made in the States - something about 50-60 cycles . . . I would imagine that the sewing machine would work but wouldn't run as fast as it should. Whether or not you'd burn up the motor? I don't think you would, I just think your performance may not be up to what you would expect.

Well, if I don't sell it and I don't use it, what should I do with it??

I have a high quality step down converter, but so many things are universal now that we don't even need it for computers, iPads, etc. hair dryers, kitchen appliances, etc. we just bought here. Including my basic Bernina B330 which doesn't do much fancy stuff but meets my needs just fine.

Papa
March 22nd, 2015, 05:23 PM
The motor on my Featherweight says it operates from 25-75 cycles so that shouldn't be a problem. It only takes 50 watts to run it. You can get a small 200 watt transformer from Amazon for $15 and it is small enough to fit in the case with the machine. I guess it just depends on wether you want or need a second machine with you. It would cost a lot of money to replace it in the future if you decide to sell it and want another one later.

bubba
March 22nd, 2015, 06:02 PM
MM, who not only is a computer guru, is also quite knowledgeable in electronics as well. He said there would be no problem using a converter with it.