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10-2-2022 11:20:28  #1

Always Remember To Ask...

Always remember to ask the seller of an electric to provide you with a photo like this one...

I was 2-3 minutes away from hitting the "Buy" button on this Olympia SGE-60 and then took the time to ask the seller for an additional photo.

This is what he sent and the reason I put away my wallet.


10-2-2022 13:32:39  #2

Re: Always Remember To Ask...

A seller's location with respect to your own should be the first flag; however, I suppose the low possibility exists that someone in your own country could be trying to pass on an electrical device that was imported by them and required a different power supply.

There are at least four different domestic power supply standards around the world (220-240v 50 and 60hz; 100-125v 50 and 60hz) and the 240v 50hz required by that Olympia is probably the most common system in the world.

Considering all of this I wouldn't be immediately dissuaded from buying an electric typewriter designed for use on a different power system. Ultimately it would depend on how badly I wanted a specific model and its availability - and of course what I was willing to spend to adapt it. In this case the SGE60 has a modest power requirement and a transformer to power it wouldn't be that expensive - if the frequency was the same. Frequency converters are another matter. I've never priced one, but they're available and it's all doable. In the case of this SGE where it's only a motor that's involved, replacing it would also be an option, as would possibly having the original one rewound.


The pronoun has always been capitalized in the English language for more than 700 years.

11-2-2022 05:22:13  #3

Re: Always Remember To Ask...

I have had a number of enquiries from potential customers who have bought an electric or electronic typewriter from a well-known internet auction site in America, had it sent to the UK, taken that funny American plug off the end of the lead and put a British one on - then plugged it into the 240 volt mains !  After the smoke and burning smell has cleared, then contacted me to ask if it is an easy repair !  One chap with a Smith-Corona electric wanted the machine so badly that he bought a British-market model and sent it to me together with his 'fried' USA one for a motor transplant.  No as easy as you might think because due to the different 60 cycles frequency the motor runs faster than a UK model.  I had to change the entire power train over.  Yes, do check the voltage  before buying 


11-2-2022 13:40:43  #4

Re: Always Remember To Ask...


As Tom says, even if one gets a step up or step down transformer so the voltage is correct, the motor RPM will not be correct. A typical 2 pole induction motor will run at 3,000 rpm* on UK electricity and 3,600 rpm* on US electricity. Sewing machines are different beasts as they have variable speed repulsion motors with commutators and brushes. It's not uncommon to see a British family who have moved to North America bring their sewing machine with them and buy a voltage converter once they get here. All the best,


*Actual RPM on a normal induction motor will be a little slower due to the inerrant slip speed. Synchronous motors as used in electric clocks run at the exact RPM stated.

We humans go through many computers in our lives, but in their lives, typewriters go through many of us.
In that way, they’re like violins, like ancestral swords. So I use mine with honor and treat them with respect.
I try to leave them in better condition than I met them. I am not their first user, nor will I be their last.
Frederic S. Durbin. (Typewriter mania and the modern writer)

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