Wii U power adapters are region free!

Discussion in 'Wii U - Console, Accessories and Hardware' started by bowser, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. bowser
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    bowser Mwa ha ha ha!

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    First, some background:

    In the US and some other countries, the power supply from wall sockets is 110 volts (110V). In other countries, particularly Asia, the power supply is higher at 220 volts (220V).

    The chargers for common devices (phones, laptops, electric razors, etc.) that are generally carried by travelers internationally are made to work with both types of power supply. If you look at the power rating on the charger, you will notice that it is marked something like "110V - 240V". A charger that is not meant to work internationally will only be marked as 110V or 220V.

    If you plug a 110V device into a 220V socket, it WILL fry/smoke/burn unless it has built-in protection circuits. It's a fire hazard and the device will immediately become useless beyond repair.

    But vice versa if you plug a 220V device into a 110V socket, the device simply won't turn on. Some devices may still get damaged by the low voltage like motors, refrigerators, etc. if you leave them on too long but in most cases, nothing will happen.

    Now even if your device is dual voltage, you may not be able to use it because the shape of the pins on your plug may not match the holes in the wall socket. In such cases, you just have to get a simple plug adapter. Plug your device into the adapter and then plug the adapter into the wall socket. Plug adapters won't cost more than a few bucks.

    But if your device is not dual voltage, then you will have to buy a voltage converter/transformer that converts the voltage from the wall socket to the voltage required by your device. The type of transformer you should get depends on the wattage rating of your device. Look for a number followed by a 'W' next to the voltage rating, that will be the wattage. For example, 12W or 50W, etc. Make sure the wattage of the transformer you use is higher than that of your device. These transformers can be expensive and the cost depends on their wattage. Higher the wattage, higher the cost. They can also tend to get heavy for a higher wattage. I have a 250W transformer that weighs around 4 lbs (~2 kg).



    Now, the point of this thread:

    I bought my Zelda edition Wii U in the US last year and brought it back home. The power adapters for both the console and the gamepad clearly state that they are 110V only. But this is a lie.

    I came across this blog post on IGN where someone opened up their US adapters and discovered they were actually dual voltage! They plugged their supposedly 110V only adapters directly into 220V sockets and they worked flawlessly.

    I tried it myself and I confirm the 110V adapters work well with 220V sockets. I just needed a simple plug converter to make the pins fit into the wall socket. I wish I had found this out sooner before spending $20 on a transformer. I'm not sure if the reverse case (220V european adapters with 110V wall sockets) will also work but it should. Using a multimeter I checked the output of the adapters with both input voltages and it remained the same.

    I hope this helps people that want to import Wii U consoles from other regions. There is no need to buy transformers or new adapters for their region.



    DISCLAIMER: If you want to try this out, do it at your own risk. I took the risk and it worked for me. I will not be responsible if something goes wrong and you end up damaging your adapters/console. Doing this WILL void your warranty but I doubt Nintendo will ever find out.

    Remember, this works for the Wii U ONLY. It most probably will not work for other Nintendo products like the Wii, 3DS, etc.
     
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  2. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    How is this news? As far as I know, the back of the adapter clearly states 100-240V Input EDIT: My bad, it doesn't. That doesn't mean that it's region free, that just means there's a dual voltage inverter in there, as in most contemporary power supplies. There's no such thing as "regions of voltage", really. :P
     
  3. bowser
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    bowser Mwa ha ha ha!

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    It's not news, that's why I put it in the hardware discussion section and not the news section :)

    I said they're region free in an attempt to make it easy to understand for everyone. You're free to change the title to "Wii U power adapters are dual voltage".
     
  4. HNKii

    HNKii GBAtemp Fan

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    In China Wii U buyers will be told this first to prevent unnecessary purchases of voltage adapters :P Not to mention that adapters of poor quality can actually have more trouble than plugging in the Wii U AC directly.
     
  5. Stremon

    Stremon GBAtemp Regular

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    Many AC adapters for the first wii were actually dual voltage too.
    For instance the European 220V adapter of my Wii, which is "220V only", works perfectly on Japanese 110V.
     
  6. lazyacevw

    lazyacevw Newbie

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    Beware: Part number WUP-002 will work on 110-240 Volt but the other part number, RVL-002 will not. RVL-002 is only rated at 120v. I have opened it to verify it. Plug it in and you will blow the MOV and internal fuse. Trust me, I learned the hard way.
     
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  7. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    Well-spotted, always read the info on the back of the units, guys! ;)
     
  8. nl255

    nl255 GBAtemp Addict

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    However it is entirely possible to have power adapters that aren't region free. All that is needed is an extra chip that communicates with the device and turns off the power if the device is not the same region as the adapter. Or even just adding a GPS chip.

    I would bet there are also ways of detecting the use of a transformer by analyzing the power input, the 50/60hz difference would be the easiest way.
     
    Last edited by nl255, Mar 6, 2016
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  9. 1337f347

    1337f347 Member

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    Interesting, ty :) My first Wii U was a US model, and my countries EUR. so I bought a transformer, a huge heavy thing that used to buzz *facepalm*
    I sold the Wii U shortly after that, lol.
     
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  10. deinonychus71

    deinonychus71 GBAtemp Fan

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    Everytime I went to the US Ive been able to use my euro power adapter without issue. Now that i live here Ive been using it for months, no issue at all.
     
  11. 1r0ns

    1r0ns Newbie

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    I bit the bullet and tried this with my US Wii U in the UK. It seemed to work but after a few minutes the console shut down suddenly. I tried it once more and the same happened. With any luck the console is not damaged but I will be buying a UK adapter now. I would strongly recommend against plugging your US Wii U into a UK power supply!
     
  12. EarlAB

    EarlAB hon hon titty croissants

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    Yeah, what's even odder is that my mom's car (hybrid) has a 110V plug in the back and for long road trips I bring the Wii U. It works perfectly, but I am wondering if it is dangerous to use since there are still 10V missing?

    (Wii U is 120V)
     
  13. TotalInsanity4

    TotalInsanity4 GBAtemp Supreme Overlord

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    It wouldn't be dangerous to be short voltage, the worst that could happen is the Wii U unexpectantly shutting down. What IS dangerous is giving something TOO MUCH voltage, in which case usually something blows up (ok, that's an exaggeration, but it will definitely overheat and potentially damage the component in question)
     
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  14. WiiUBricker

    WiiUBricker Fake News Reporter

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    Isn't RVL-002 the power unit of the Wii though?
     
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