I purchased a piece of equipment from Japan, plugged it in and it blew up! Can you help?

That depends on just how badly you’ve blown up your new piece of equipment. Inspection is needed to determine that.

This one is moderately irritating and I get around one of these enquiries a week! If you don’t know (and if you blew up your gear, I guess you didn’t…), Japan uses a mains supply rated at 100 Volts. The USA uses 120V. These supply voltages are 100% incompatible with Australian 240V mains. If you plug in a piece of hi-fi equipment that is set to run on 100V here in Australia for example, IT WILL FAIL, without exception.

Electronic equipment does not “automatically adjust” as one customer who blew up his gear suggested to me a few weeks ago. He may have been confusing cheap modern equipment with switched-mode power supplies (SMPS), but virtually none of the gear we are interested in uses SMPS.

The minimum you need to do is have new equipment checked to ensure it is configured to run on 240V. Some equipment can be configured to run on a variety of line voltages, and some cannot. You need to know whether yours can be configured for local operation and have it set to run at 240V if so. This is not something you can have a hunch about. Guessing on this point is not an option!