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Ashleigh

What to bring with?

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Ashleigh

We only put our papers in late last year, so have some time in hand to dot all the 'i's' and cross all the 't's', even though already the wait seems like forever.

We have heard from friends that have left for New Zealand that they were not allowed to take anything wooden with them there - does the same apply for Canada? Also in terms of electronics we have heard some mixed reports about taking electronic goods over to Canada. On one hand we have been told that you can buy special adapters that convert your power from 220V to Canadian standards (for TV's, DVD's etc), but on the other hand we have also been told that items such as washing machines and microwaves - basically anything with a 220V motor will not work in Canada.

I would appreciate some help from people who have moved and shipped goods over about what works and doesn't work and what should probably be left behind.

Thanks

Ash

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Traveller
We only put our papers in late last year, so have some time in hand to dot all the 'i's' and cross all the 't's', even though already the wait seems like forever.

We have heard from friends that have left for New Zealand that they were not allowed to take anything wooden with them there - does the same apply for Canada? Also in terms of electronics we have heard some mixed reports about taking electronic goods over to Canada. On one hand we have been told that you can buy special adapters that convert your power from 220V to Canadian standards (for TV's, DVD's etc), but on the other hand we have also been told that items such as washing machines and microwaves - basically anything with a 220V motor will not work in Canada.

I would appreciate some help from people who have moved and shipped goods over about what works and doesn't work and what should probably be left behind.

Thanks

Ash

A quick answer from someone who moves between continents often - i.e. me :(

You can buy converters, (called step-up & step-down transformers), but they are quite expensive. And the more wattage you need, the more they cost, and the bigger and heavier they are. You only find them in specialist shops, and there is a limit on wattage capacity. My biggest one is only 800w, it hums and weighs a ton, and you cannot run a high wattage appliance on it, e.g no hairdryer, kettle, heater, clothesdryer.

Large appliances are so cheap here (and shipping so expensive), I wouldn't bring those. If you miss this week's "bargain sale", don't worry, there will be another one next week. Or buy second-hand. Check your existing appliances. Some (like computers, some hi-fis) are switchable between 110 & 220. TVs and DVDs are useful. Why? The ones you buy here cannot play PAL system media (ie you cannot play/send videos, DVDs from/to your family in SA). In short, small appliances with low wattage will me more usable. Lamps etc? Forget it.

Some things won't work properly, particularly things that use the current for timing. Power is 60Hz here, 50Hz in SA. So a microwave's or VCR's clock may not be accurate. In theory, computer monitors (old style) from the southern hemisphere won't work in the northern hemisphere due to magnetic fields or something, but it worked fine for me.

Many new appliances are multi-voltage (100-240) these days. If you have to buy before, make sure you get multi voltage. Then you can just change/adapt the plug when you get here.

Good luck

Christo

(Btw I am no electrician, so don't quote me :) )

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Guest Karin Nell

We've moved from SA to Europe 6 years ago and took a vow never to move with anything more than the bare necessities again. This time around we have one box each and our suitcases. The rest will be sold/given away.

I think, besides whether or not the stuff will work, it is a personal choice whether you want to bring your stuff over and have it feel "home" quicker or, as we feel, completely start a new life.

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Ashleigh

Thanks for the advice it helps to to hear what has worked for other people. I am very sentimental so the chance is that if allowed by Canada, I will bring as much of the sentimental stuff with as I can. With our families having made the big move from Zim to SA some 20 something years ago we tend to hang onto things after having given so much away before. :(

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boeg

I think there has been quite a bit of discussion about this in the "settling in" thread. As I recall, wood, leather, skins are all okay. I remember being unimpressed with the Ozzies anal-ity in that regard, and impressed with the Canucks common sense. Canuks are way more laid back about animals still walking around in their skins too.

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Cathy K

Bring everything, including the kitchen sink. (I hate Canadian kitchen sinks! :( )

Seriously though, leave all your electrical appliances, you can buy better ones much cheaper over here, and you won't have to worry about transformers, etc.

In the end you might have to choose between cost and sentiment.

Cathy K.

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Traveller
Thanks for the advice it helps to to hear what has worked for other people. I am very sentimental so the chance is that if allowed by Canada, I will bring as much of the sentimental stuff with as I can. With our families having made the big move from Zim to SA some 20 something years ago we tend to hang onto things after having given so much away before. :(

Something important I forgot to mention. Most rental places come with appliances. Our rental condo has six major appliances, plus two types of heat. If you bring your own and rent, you may have to throw away or store ($$$) your old stuff, they'll be worthless. Move to Australia, and you can reuse your existing appliances :)

I think there has been quite a bit of discussion about this in the "settling in" thread. As I recall, wood, leather, skins are all okay. I remember being unimpressed with the Ozzies anal-ity in that regard, and impressed with the Canucks common sense. Canuks are way more laid back about animals still walking around in their skins too.

As someone who've spent many years in OZ & NZ, I can tell you that there is a good reason for quarantine in Australia. No problems with rabies, mad cows disease (both present in Canada), minimal plant diseases. Of course some pests still get in, but a small problem compared to many other countries. In Oz, it is even illegal to carry plant material between different states in some cases, so they don't discriminate. NZ apples are banned. Now if they could only get rid of all the foreign animals and plants imported in the 19th century. Some of those have taken on pest proportions ...

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Cathy K

Many appliances are sometimes included when you buy your own place: refrigerator, stove, washer and dryer, dishwasher, even built-in vacuum cleaner.

Cathy K.

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boeg
As someone who've spent many years in OZ & NZ, I can tell you that there is a good reason for quarantine in Australia. No problems with rabies, mad cows disease (both present in Canada), minimal plant diseases.

I have yet to hear a logical reason why pets from SA have to spend 6 months in quarantine while pets from Canada spend one month in quarantine. As you point out, rabies is present in Canada too. It breaks my heart to see so many pets up for "adoption" because of Australia's draconian and completely illogical quarantine restrictions :(

Mad cow disease is a result of disgusting factory farming practices where cows are fed other cows, even their own dead calves. The disease does not have to be introduced to develop. If Australian feedlots are practising such techniques, quarantine is not going to help a damn.

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Harry

Basically, leave the big white goods (kitchen and laundry appliances) and bring the rest.

It is easy to say that lots of stuff is cheap here, but the fact is that one does not have Canadian money to start off with. I regretted bitterly leaving stuff in SA. Bring whatever you can fit into your container and decide here, but go easy on curtains. Every ex-SA family here has a huge heap of old curtains stuck in cupboard somewhere. In Vancouver, in particular, many houses have zero curtains on windows..the battle for light is too intense too keep any light out.

The other fact is that there is 240 volts available* in every house in Canada....it is merely a question of whether there is a 240V SOCKET wired up and ready to go. All the kitchens and laundries I have seen have had a 240V socket. The thing is, your house or apartment is 99% likely to have all the appliances built in and waiting for you anyway.

That 240V socket is most useful for your ex-SA PAL TV into which you want to play your ex-SA VCR with your PAL format tapes. Those tapes will NOT play right on any regular VCR you buy here...or, at least, they might rotate, but the signal will be wrong for the NTSC-based North American TVs...and multi-function TVs are very expensive. North Americans are locked into their inferior NTSC system.

If you still have a record turntable, it will rotate too fast at 33-1/2 rpm because the line frequency is different here. Go look in the original box of the machine for its 60cps capstan (a little soft metal cylinder typically about 3/4 inch long and a few millimeters in cross-section). This is where you'll finally need it after all those years.

Note : * The circuit breaker board (fuse box) alternates between +120V and -120V at consecutive breakers as you go down the board. So you get 240V by ganging them. Your friendly electrician can wire up a socket legally for you, but will charge you a bucket of money (they charge $75 to breathe in).

--------------------------

P.S. Boeg has a point. "Mad Cow"/BSE is a variant of the Creuzfeld-Jakob disease among humans. Humans get the disease in areas that practise ritual cannibalism, like Papua New-Guinea.

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Traveller

Maybe I should ask the landlord in my condo complex to show me where I can find the 220/240V outlet Harry, cause I haven't noticed one in my last few rental homes/apartments :( Bring it on!

I will agree about bringing non-electrical things, but you have to work out the economics. If you have enough stuff to fill a container, or 1/2 size container, (FCL) by all means stack it as full as possible, because you are going to pay for the space anyway. FCL is more economical if you have heaps.

However, if you are sharing a container with others (LCL), you will pay by volume (sometimes weight). So you have to calculate if the freight is worth the item's value. Hey, if you feel sentimental about it, pack it, even if your spouse complains (mine did). No point selling your family heirlooms, and no point being living with regret for years like Harry. Personally I am in the habit of buying furniture that can be disassembled, because we move around often. Take a few screws out, and you are ready to go. Personally I packed a lot of books, CDs and wine (I mean a lot), cause those are the things that I enjoy. My wife managed to pack some practical household items as well, and most of those came in handy.

Clothes you have to consider carefully. No point bringing a container load of SA summer clothes if you are planning to settle in Ottawa. But there is enough info available about all this elsewhere.

As for Australia's quarantine laws. I think we all get the science of Mad Cow Disease. Okay, bad example. The point is, as far as I can tell, quarantine laws are working, so keep them. Hey, I don't make the laws, and I myself have been caught out by them, having to hand over prized items I bought in South Africa to customs. But it is not really all that relevant in this context, so I am not going to argue about it.

Good luck

Christo

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boeg

Are South African DVDs compatible with North American DVD players?

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Guest Karin Nell
Are South African DVDs compatible with North American DVD players?

Nope, except if you get a multi-region DVD player (which I personally have issues with).

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Traveller
Nope, except if you get a multi-region DVD player (which I personally have issues with).

We moved here from Australia. In Oz many TVs and DVDs are multi-region, multi-voltage legally off the shelf. I am thankful I brought mine. We use it every day. In North America, they are hard to find and expensive (but not impossible). However, you can always watch DVD's from other regions on your computer - but I guess it is not the same experience.

But even if you bring you SA DVD player (region 2?), keep in mind they use the NTSC system in North America, as opposed to PAL in SA and most of elsewhere. So even if your DVD is multi-region, the TV you buy here will be still be incompatible.

One other thing to keep in mind. They are telling us that you won't be able to use old-style analog TVs in Canada after early 2009 (unless you buy some decoder box) because the signals are being discontinued in favour of HD. (I think). So watching DVDs from SA may be all you get to do with that old TV. I think an old-style NTSC compatible TV may still work if you have cable, but I am a bit fuzzy on the details.

Edited by Montxsuz

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Blueskies

South African DVD's are in a PAL format and are a different region so they will not work on a regular Canadian DVD player or TV.

However there are new DVD players on the market that are inexpensive and are compatible with NTSC, PAL and even DivX. They will also play all regions. I purchased a Samsung player at Futureshop for around $60 and it plays Canadian and SA DVD's as well as movies that I download. It also works with a NTSC TV.

You can also play PAL DVD's on a PC with some simple software.

If however you have VHS videos you will need a multi-function VCR which is quite expensive. If you have valuable memories that you do not want to lose I would recommend converting your PAL VHS to NTSC DVD as VHS only has a life of about 10 years before it rapidly deteriorates.

If you need assistance with this msg me.

Nope, except if you get a multi-region DVD player (which I personally have issues with).

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Ashleigh
We moved here from Australia. In Oz many TVs and DVDs are multi-region, multi-voltage legally off the shelf. I am thankful I brought mine. We use it every day. In North America, they are hard to find and expensive (but not impossible). However, you can always watch DVD's from other regions on your computer - but I guess it is not the same experience.

But even if you bring you SA DVD player (region 2?), keep in mind they use the NTSC system in North America, as opposed to PAL in SA and most of elsewhere. So even if your DVD is multi-region, the TV you buy here will be still be incompatible.

One other thing to keep in mind. They are telling us that you won't be able to use old-style analog TVs in Canada after early 2009 (unless you buy some decoder box) because the signals are being discontinued in favour of HD. (I think). So watching DVDs from SA may be all you get to do with that old TV. I think an old-style NTSC compatible TV may still work if you have cable, but I am a bit fuzzy on the details.

Seen as you lived in Australia, what is your take on Oz, verse Canada, we personally have fallen in love with Canada, but have some family going to Oz. I would really be interested to have an opinion from someone who has lived in both countries.

The pets issue is something that seriously puts me off Oz, while I understand their reasoning, it just doesn't work as our animals are the 'other' children.

Ashleigh

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Traveller
Seen as you lived in Australia, what is your take on Oz, verse Canada, we personally have fallen in love with Canada, but have some family going to Oz. I would really be interested to have an opinion from someone who has lived in both countries.

The pets issue is something that seriously puts me off Oz, while I understand their reasoning, it just doesn't work as our animals are the 'other' children.

Ashleigh

Hi Ashleigh

I have written about that before, maybe 12-18 months ago, you should be able to search for that forum. Nothing much has changed since, except Australia now has a labor govt. Really it is different strokes for different folks. You can't go wrong with either, I know which one I like better, but it is about what YOU want (and about where you can get PR).

Christo

Edited by Montxsuz

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Ashleigh
Hi Ashleigh

I have written about that before, maybe 12-18 months ago, you should be able to search for that forum. Nothing much has changed since, except Australia now has a labor govt. Really it is different strokes for different folks. You can't go wrong with either, I know which one I like better, but it is about what YOU want (and about where you can get PR).

Christo

Thanks Christo I will do a search and read up.

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Island Life
Maybe I should ask the landlord in my condo complex to show me where I can find the 220/240V outlet Harry, cause I haven't noticed one in my last few rental homes/apartments wink.gif Bring it on!

Look behind your washing machine / dryer, or behind your stove, that plug is 240V. I think what Harry was saying is that you need to get an electrician to come and wire up a separate socket that you can use for household apparatus that work off 220V. The hertz cycle is different though.

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Merv
Look behind your washing machine / dryer, or behind your stove, that plug is 240V. I think what Harry was saying is that you need to get an electrician to come and wire up a separate socket that you can use for household apparatus that work off 220V. The hertz cycle is different though.

I have a gas dryer, can I still plug appliances into that outlet :) Sorry, bad joke, long week yesterday

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Rolé

You can unlock your DVD player to play DVD's from other regions. Just look for your make of DVD on the internet. Not hard to find the codes. We have a few DVD's from SA and I looked up the code for my machine, did the unlock thing and now I can watch DVD's from any region on there.

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Traveller
Look behind your washing machine / dryer, or behind your stove, that plug is 240V. I think what Harry was saying is that you need to get an electrician to come and wire up a separate socket that you can use for household apparatus that work off 220V. The hertz cycle is different though.

I did not know that, and I'll take your and Harry's word for that. It does sound good. The issue is though that most new immigrants will live in rental properties. Landlords may not look kindly upon tenants getting electricians in to change the wiring. My condo block is owned by a Corporation, and I don't like my chances. I guess I can unplug the stove in the mean time?

But tell me, if I was to go back to Australia, can I find a 110V wire in my laundry room? Cause I sure would like to take some of my Canadian appliances back if I was going to return to Oz. :)

Christo

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Harry

MontXsuz,

1. Go get your nickel and dime ac voltmeter

2. Make sure the family is not around

3. Run a single wire from the "live" of a socket ( and don't shock)

4. Take the other end to near the "live" of another socket that is on an adjacent breaker in the basement

5. Measure the voltage between the two "lives"...

6. Come back and tell us what you found. ( If you have not shocked to death , that is)

If you get between 220 and 240 Volts you owe me a copy of SAG volume 16 :)

ALTERNATIVELY...look behind your stove for a heavy-looking socket that has peculiarly arranged holes for the plug. That is the 240V socket in North America. I just went to check mine again...and it is still there. Here's the [badly out of focus] picture (and now I can sommer see where the cat's yellow spring toy went):

plug.jpg

All I'm saying, is that it would be nice to have one in the lounge. For that you need an electrician. I run my 240V ex-SA TV and VCR from such a socket in the lounge.

No luck on Oz, I'm afraid. North America does it because, when you DO need heavy duty power, you have to go to higher voltage. If you try to draw too much current to get that power at 120V, you can cause a fire. That's partly because the heat generated goes up as the square of the current...twice as much current means four times as much heat. Essentially that is their confession that the Brits were right in the first place. When the chips are down, they go to 240V anyway! Shaun (if I remember correctly) can tell you guys more about this. Unlike the Brits and SA folks, North America allows properly protected 120V sockets in a bathroom. I consider that nuts.

As for the breaker board...here's my old one in the basement. Look at how breakers 1&3, 5&7 and 4&6 are ganged to give me three 240 volt points in the house. Those have to trip together, otherwise you still have a live 120V dangling around, making things dangerous. So they gang them together..."one for both and both for one", so to speak.

board.jpg

Don't mess there...get an electrician. Shaun will tell you the same. What I HAVE done , is to label every single tripswitch/breaker on a map that sits behind the basement door. The neighbours think I'm nuts. They just switch everything till things work again.

I do suggest folks go look under "Settling In", just as boeg says. It has all been discussed before in detail.

I repeat, your old vinyl record player will not run correctly here because of the 20% higher line frequency. The record player engines basically synchronise to that frequency. You'll need another capstan...or you have to grind the old one down like I did. It was crazy, but it worked.

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