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wizzie2
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:06 am    Post subject: Using Vonage in Argentina (or Other 220v System Country) Reply with quote Back to top

Hi. I hope someone out there can advise me. I'm going from the US to Argentina for a 6-month work project and I'd like to set up my Vonage equipment there (so that I can stay in touch with my family and customers in the United States). I plan to take my laptop, my telephone, my router and my Vonage adapter/box.

My question is about using the 110v Vonage adapter/box in a country with a 220v electrical system. Can those of you who are using a 110v Vonage adapter/box in a country with a 220v electrical system advise me? What will I need to bring along to adapt to the electrical system? Voltage converters? Power adapters? Transformers?

Thanks!
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wizzie2
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:31 pm    Post subject: Using Vonage in Argentina Reply with quote Back to top

Since I posted this morning, I've received messages from bosterman--thanks!--and others who have used Vonage in countries with 220v power systems and I've learned that I should bring from the US (or buy in Argentina which I might or might not be able to do):

- A power adapter (for grounded German Shucko- or grounded Australian-type sockets);
- A step-down transformer with the appropriate wattage rating; and
- A power strip for US 110v devices.

I'll plug the power adapter into the Argentine outlet, the transformer into the power adapter and the power strip into the transformer. I'll then be able to plug my laptop, my telephone, my router and my Vonage adapter/box into the power strip.

Other information:
- Many 110v devices have built-in transformers so you can safely plug them into an appropriate plug adapter. (Obviously, you have to determine if that's true for whatever device you want to connect.) As far as I can tell, though, my Vonage box--a Motorola VT2442--does not have a built-in transformer. Hence the need for a separate step-down transformer.
- You'll need to calculate the wattage of the devices that will be connected to the step-down transformer. Transformers are designed for a range of wattage capacities so you'll want one that supports all of your devices. However, transformers get larger, heavier and more expensive as you go up the "capacity scale" so you should get one that's just big enough for your needs. (Transformers seem to range in size from about 3 pounds to 100 pounds and cost anywhere from US$20 to US$500.)
- A power strip isn't strictly necessary, but it seems like a good idea if you're trying to do what I'm going to do, i.e., set up all of my phone and Internet devices in one place near a single outlet. Just make sure that you can use a power strip with whatever transformer you buy.

I'm still looking for confirmation that what I've learned today is correct. If you have experience with a Vonage device in a 220v country, please pass along your comments (especially if I've missed something).

Thanks.
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grandtotal
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

All that I can add to what you have written is this.

Your laptop can probably cope with 220V so don't include it as it is relatively power hungry.

Don't buy a transformer that is just adequate for your anticipated load, but the next size larger.

Be careful not to plug anything directly into the adapter. I know it sounds unlikely that you will do this but I speak from personal experience. In my case I ruined my Vonage router - not good.
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wizzie2
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:33 am    Post subject: Using Vonage in Argentina Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks, grandtotal. That's good advice. A friend of mine who knows about these things recommended that I calculate the wattage of the devices that I'll plug into the transformer and then double the total wattage to determine what size transformer I'll need.

As you pointed out, it's not usually necessary to include your laptop in calculating the wattage since most--most, but I don't know if that means all!--laptops have built-in transformers and can simply be plugged into an appropriate adapter.

For me, it made sense to include my laptop in the total because the space I'll have to set up all of the devices (including my telephone) is limited and I want to set everything up in one place, on one outlet. I calculated my total wattage for all the devices at around 250 watts. So . . . I bought a 500-watt step-down transformer. It cost $25, measures 6"x6"x5" and weighs 8 pounds.

Questions for you, grandtotal: how did you replace your Vonage device? Did Vonage ship it to a non-US address? If not, how long did it take you to get the new Vonage router?
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grandtotal
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Fortunately I destroyed my router at the very end of a 5 month stay in the UK. I considered buying a Vonage VTA in the UK, but in the end I managed with some Vonage Alpha software that allowed me to use my laptop.

I now carry two VTAs with me when travelling, just in case.
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