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You will need to check with the instruction manual of your machine what the specifications are.
Today the 120 volt mains, I am told, is almost a thing of the past and 220 volt is much more common. The UK mains electricity used to be 250 volts but it has been lowered to 240 and eventually it will be lowered to 230 volts to bring us closer to the European specification.
Because most electrical equipment is imported and we are a minority market, electrical manafacturers didn't want to produce specail goods just for us and so for 20 years or so most of our electrical goods are suitable for use in a range of mains voltages from 220 to 240. Sometimes they are marked as such and sometimes marked as 230 volts but we are told 240 won't damage them and they will still work efficiently at 220. It is only very old electrical equipment made for 250 volts that seems slightly less efficient.
Some equipment is made for universal use and will accept 120 volt mains as well as the 220 to 240 range. In this case there is usually a provision to select a different voltage by means of a switch or by changing some simple internal wiring connections. Details of how to do this is invariably printed in the manual.
Equipment produced for 110/120 volts only would become dangerous and be soon destroyed if plugged directly into a 240 volt mains but a transformer can easily be obtained to allow 120 volt equipment to be used on 220/240 volt mains. A great many professional tools are still produced to use 120 volt electricity for reasons of safety and so auto-transformers of all sizes are commonly available and not too expensive.
I have a fairly limited experience of sewing machines but I think a domestic machine has only a very small appetite for power and a supply suitable for a reading lamp will be more than adequate. The exact wattage of your machine will be found in the instruction manual.
The fact that you live in the UK is key to this. The mains voltage in the UK is normally 220 - 240 volts and your system should be set to 240 volts. If you changed the voltage switch to 120 volts and then tried to use it, you will have connected circuitry within the box designed for 120 volts to 240 volts. This will have damaged some of the circuitry for sure.
Your best bet is to return the ac switch to 240 volts and hope that the 120 volt and 240 volt sets of circuitry are completely isolated from each other within the box, so that resetting the ac switch will allow the kit to work.
I strongly suspect that the kit will need to be professionally repaired, and will be useless until it is.
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just to exclude anything faulty, start with the flash on the camera and check if it works. Also check the camera settings. On your Nikon you can chose flash off. Don't do that. If you get the flash working on the camera then you starts with the extension cord and it still should flash in the same conditions.
The only way to measure the frequency of an ac mains is to use an oscilloscope. However as a general rule the frequency of mains which have a 240 volt output is 50Hz while mains with 120 have a frequency of 60Hz.
What voltage is your mains supply?
The laptop's adapter should be a multi-voltage type 110 to 240 volts input.
If your mains is 110 volts AC then the 220 volt AC LCD projector won't work unless you connect it to a step up transformer (110 to 220 volt transformer).
If your mains supply is 220 or 240 volts then both the laptop and the LCD projector will work without any problems.
Radio Shack or a similar type of electronics store , carry a multi use power adapter 9 to 12 volt 1.5 amp with the correct fitting included for about $25.00 U.S. We bought one for our Venturer PVS 11022 and it works very well.
the nikon D80 has a 250 volts safe range and i have the same issue but readin on the internet i learned that yo can now the voltage of your flash with a voltage metter ond the hot soe.
Vivitar 283 has diferent ranges of voltages depending on the year of fabrication so older ones can achieve 300 volts and earlier have 230 volts so the best is to get a vivitar 285hv for about 75dollars or a safe sync for about 55dollars, you can find all on ebay or other brouser the safe sync converts up to 400 volts to a safe 6 volts that are yust the normal voltage for digital flashes.
if it is a Japanese 283, CAREFUL, you are working with ~300V
remove the sensor from the front. Short out the terminals at 7 o'clock and 11 o'clock with eg a paper clip, and then charge up the flash . Short the centre terminal with the one at 7 o'clock. If the flash fires, then it probably needs a replacement hot shoe from ebay. If it doesn't, it is a simple job to fix for an electronics worker. Manuals are available on ebay.
I repeat, careful with the Japanese flashes, you will have ~300 volts near you fingers, so if you are less than 100% confident that you won't blow the top of a finger (or worse), get an electronics worker to look at it.
Don't use the ebay hot shoes on a 300 volt flash, you will have the 300 volts out in the open and ready to bite you - have a look how well hidden the second contact is on the Vivitar plastic hot shoe.
the Feral Photographer
The Vivitar 283 was manufactured in China & Japan over a number of years & the specifications did change over this period.
The older Vivitar flashes had a voltage on the shoe which could reach 150 volts whilst the later ones had voltages of only 5 to 9 volts.
If you have, or can get hold of, a small voltmeter then you can measure this voltage.
Turn on your flash & let the unit charge up to 'ready' & connect the meter between the contact in the centre of the shoe & the little contact tucked away in the lip of the shoe. (DC volts not AC) There is no danger to you in doing this!
This should tell the voltage on the shoe of your unit & if it is 15 volts or less, it will be fine with your digital Nikon camera. If more than 15 volts than best not to use it.
Please check the trigger voltage. What, how do I do that, you said!!!!!!!!!?
Here they are:
1. Four fully charged or new batteries into 283. 2. You needs a DVM (Digital Volt Multimeter). 3. Set DVM: DC scale, higher than 10 scale. 4. Black Lead to black DVM and Red Lead to red DVM. 5. Turn ON the Vivitar 283 and wait until light turns Green. 6. Place Black Lead to Outside Silver Contact of the flash. 7. Place Red Lead to Center Silver Contact of the flash. 8. What is the voltage reading? Read the max. V. 9. Anything under 8VDC will be fine. 10. Some versions will be high.