All your food would be overcooked*.... the clock almost certainly uses
mains frequency for reference..
*Unfortunately I can't use that excuse to explain why everything else I
cook ends up burnt, even on a regular range..
That's the reason for my dilemma, I already have a 5KVA trafo that could
drive every 110V item I have and much more. The particular microwave is a 15
G.E.- made one that has never needed repair, works great, looks great, and
is much more substantial than
the boxes being made today.Besides all that, the shipping cost would be
zero - I have lots of extra
space. Hence my indecision :-) The big question still is - would it work?
No. The transformer core will saturate when operated at a lower line
frequency. Core losses go up as the frequency goes down, while copper
losses go up as the the frequency goes up. The big old iron core power
transformers made for microwave ovens were made as cheap as possible so
you will either blow the oven's line fuse or smell the insulation
burning on the magnet wire in the transformer.
Not quite my experience with one I brought back to the UK
from the US - many years ago when you couldn't get them here
and they still cost lots there. It worked fine for many,
many years before it finally gave up.
But I had been longing for a combined microwave/fan
oven/grill - which I now have- and wouldn't swap for a
vanilla microwave now even if it had been made by Marconi
and picked up the trawler band..
15 years old GE? You would be better placed to say whether
they were quality items then, over-engineered, rather than
made as cheap as they now find that they can make them.
However, microwave ovens are now "cheap as chips" - in fact
considerably cheaper than many chips. You can buy one for
If the OPs did work here, which I think it would, but the
question would be for how long, the cooking timer would
probably be way off - which was a real pita. I ended up
painting out the old times around the dial of the rotary
analogue timers and writing in new ones. Of course, if it
did have a cheap transformer, it wouldn't last long enough
I would have suggested donating it to a local charity shop
and buying a new one on arrival. At least the OP will know
that it is still doing good somewhere. I too hate this throw
away society and generally don't throw anything away if it
still works (written whilst typing away on a 98Mhz machine...)..
And buying a combination microwave,fan oven with grill..with
a timer, so stuff in the fan oven doesn't end up as burnt
offerings because you forgot about putting them in..
I've never bought a new microwave oven, but I've owned and used them
for over 20 years. They were picked up for free and repaired, if
needed. If i couldn't find a free one, i could get one for a couple
dollars from a thrift store.
The very early commercial units could handle 50 Hz because it was a
conventional designed oversized HV transformer design that was built for
rugged service. The replacement transformers for those early ovens cost
two or three hundred dollars in the '80s. My first microwave oven was
an all stainless steel Amana Radar Range that was made for heavy duty
service in a restaurant. A new diode and HV cap and I had it running.
These ovens were built by Litton, which is a big US defense company that
does a lot of military RF contracting, so its no wonder they were built
to last for decades.
I have scrapped several newer ovens with very cheap laminated core
transformers that are made with a welded shunt that is used to regulate
the transformer. They don't like to run outside their specified
frequency because there is so little iron in the HV transformer core.
Some are marked 60 Hz only on the transformers but I don't tear them
down other than to repair or recycle them anymore.
As far as old computers, I collect and repair what I can, then pass
them on to disabled Veterans in my area who can't afford to buy a
computer. The latest count was a little over 45,000 veterans in my
county before hurricane Katrina, and I have been told that more veterans
are moving into the area after losing everything they had in hurricane
Katrina and the floods that followed.