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240vac Conversion

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Solderingboy, Jan 14, 2013.

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  1. Solderingboy


    Jan 14, 2013
    Hi All,

    I am new here and am needing assistance. I am located in Australia and am starting Year 12 (my last year of school). I am constructing a Tennis ball machine that spits out tennis balls. To meet the criteria, my design must not run off mains power and therefore must be transformed, converted or lowered in some way so it is safe to use. I have purchased an industrial fan that has these specifications:

    Input - 230vac-240vac
    Wattage - 280w

    The Australian power outlet reads at 240vac and 10A.

    The problem I am facing is that I have no idea how to do this while maintaining the same power that mains electricity delivers.

    Ideas are appreciated

    Thanks in Advance

  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    There is no practical safe way to do this.

    You will need to find a similar fan that operates from (say) 12V
  3. davenn

    davenn Moderator

    Sep 5, 2009
    hi there
    welcome to the forums :)

    not sure what the fan is for ... unless you were going to heavily modify it

    BUT you wasted your money buying it any way because it contravenes your construction criteria !! ...

    So I need to ask why ? ;)

    Now you also need to clarify ... this mains powered thing
    does it have to be totally non mains powered ... that is ... cant even use a plug in power pack that drops mains to lower voltage ?
    OR does it have to be battery powered ?

  4. donkey


    Feb 26, 2011
    I agree with both above posts. first and foremost playing with main power is DANGEROUS. even experienced electricians take every precautionpossible. being in yr 12 I would highly recommend DON'T.
    second the fan you have bought is the exact opposite of what your teacher has specified.
    I can lower the mains voltage very simply for you, grab your phone charger and plug it in the connection on the other end is usually about 5v. but the issue here is that the fan requires 230vac. and hence will not work
    you are trying to make a tenns ball machine and am assuming you are going to use the fan to produce a heap of wind and funeel it down a small tube pushing a ball out. have you thought about alternatives? because the fan is out but maybe you could find something else that creates pressure. as its a school assignment I won't give too much info but if you could stop a ball until the pressurebehid it is powerful enough to push it say 30meters (and at a speed you calculate) you will have the same effect. try other things like tyre pump hooked up to a car battery to create said pressure. be careful with this too as too much pressure will blow your housing if its not constructed right
  5. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

    Nov 17, 2011
    I don't think a fan is the right tool to accelerate a tennis ball anyway. A fan is suitable for generating a steady stream of air. What you need is, in my opiniion, a short burst of high energy to push the ball. A suitable setup could be a smalll compressor (pump) that continuously feeds air to a tank until the pressure is high enough (i wouldn't know how much is needed, but a few bar it will be). Then a valve would be opened (electrically controlled) and release the high-pressure air from the tank to the barrel, thus accelerating the tennis ball.
    Of course, depending on the power of the compressor you will have to wait a moment for the tank to re-fill before you can shoot the next shot.

    Which compressor/pump to use depends on the required pressure. I suggest you find out that by some experimenting beforehand. Maybe a pump for inflating air beds could be used. You may even be able to find such a pump as a battery operated model which would suit your requirement for "no mains".
  6. Solderingboy


    Jan 14, 2013
    Thank you for all of the help and ideas. First, the reason i had purchased the fan was because my teacher said if i see it, which i have and second, it can be mains powered but it cant be running directly off 240v from the wall (perhaps a transformer). I did also concider using an emergency car battery charger (the portable ones) as a psu but i don't think there is enough power in them. Also, the fan i had purchased is an oscillating fan and the reason i am using it, is to make the balls spit out at various points, not always in the same place.

    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  7. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

    Nov 17, 2011
    How's that? Why not?

    So you're using the fan to steer the ball canon into different directions. O.K., You still will need some means of accelerating the ball.
  8. Solderingboy


    Jan 14, 2013
    I am allowed to plug it into the wall but the output must not be 240v, this is the criteria. Also, to accelerate the ball, i want 2 counter-rotating wheels powered by 2 12-24vdc electric motors
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