Adapters with Powerstrips?

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Aug 18th, 2014, 04:08 PM
  #1
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Adapters with Powerstrips?

In the US I typically travel with a power strip to charge all of my devices when I am at the hotel. I am off to Europe in a few weeks and I don't see the typical 110-220V markings on the back of my power strip. Do you know if power strips go that high? or just leave it at home and arm wrestle over the outlets? I have no desire to start a fire

Please advise.
Kim
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Aug 18th, 2014, 04:54 PM
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There should be a power rating somewhere on the power strip. Keep looking. If you can find a model number, you might be able to google it and find the specs online.
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Aug 18th, 2014, 05:06 PM
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The lack of the 220v marking is likely to be a marketing and not a technical issue. In order to put that marking, the supplier (should) be doing the compliance tests and be willing to cover additional liabilities. But what is in for the company for doing all this work? Probably no returns as these type of strips are predominantly for domestic use. Strips with 220v markings can command premium prices since what they are selling is an assurance.

You can buy assurance or rethink your charging strategy.

What kind of devices are you charging? Are they mostly/all USB devices? Then here are some options:

1. (current way) one power strip + one plug adapter + many USB, other chargers
2. a few multi USB plug chargers + non USB charger + plug adapters.

You can draw off many USB devices from one charger like this: http://www.amazon.com/Family-Sized-D.../dp/B00GTGETFG or if your usage is more modest and not charging power hogs, you can go super compact like this one http://www.amazon.com/Motorola-Frien.../dp/B007TO220Q It supplies two 750ma USB ports.

So what about grounding? Look at your chargers. Portable device chargers don't have grounding pins. Unless you are planning to use heavy current devices, there is no need for grounding strips. This allows you to cut down bulk at the same time.
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Aug 18th, 2014, 07:45 PM
  #4
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I disagree with Greg - I've brought a 220V rated power strip to Europe on many occasions and never had an issue. My sister brought one last year and we managed to successfully shut down the power for a bed and breakfast in Tuscany, an entire hotel in Florence and one floor of a hotel in Switzerland. We were only charging laptops/phones/cameras. No fires started, but definitely learned a lesson!
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Aug 18th, 2014, 08:42 PM
  #5
kja
 
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I've used this power strip on several trips:
http://www.amazon.com/Monster-MP-OTG...el+power+strip

Note that you may still need an adaptor to plug it in.
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Aug 18th, 2014, 08:50 PM
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I see the terminology issue here. I think what Hez is referring is a surge protector or a power strip with surge protector. Anything with a surge protector (or elements other than copper wire) need to stay within the stated voltage range.
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Aug 18th, 2014, 09:05 PM
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If you look at the "Monster MP OTG400 BK" page at Amazon, look at next to the last photo at http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-me...x=0&isremote=0, it is rated "125v!".
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Aug 18th, 2014, 09:29 PM
  #8
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@ greg - I admit that I know next to nothing about electricity. I read, before I purchase my Monster powerstrip, that I could use it with 220v -- as long as the things that I plug into it are able to handle 220v. Was that information mistaken?
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Aug 18th, 2014, 10:40 PM
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As greg points out, the actual spec says 125v. That means, the device was designed and tested to work only at that voltage, not at 220v. You don't need to know much about electricity to understand that using an electronic device outside of its design specifications could be slightly dangerous.

Does that mean your powerstrip is going to catch on fire if you use it at 220 volts? PROBABLY not...but personally, I would not leave it plugged in while you aren't in the room. There is a very small danger with ANY electronic device you use that some sort of failure could occur, but the danger would presumably be higher if you use it outside of designed specification.
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Aug 18th, 2014, 11:13 PM
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If you search the web, people rave about using the Monster Travel plug in Europe despite "125V" sticker rating. You also find that people contacting the Manufacture help desk were assured that the product can be used in Europe. Thus, so called sticker rating is not black and white after all.
I suspect that this is the case of product actually designed or happened to use components that would operate properly at 220v after all, but for some reason, the manufacture only chose to sticker rate at 125v. It claims to be a power strip, but it does not claim to be a surge suppressor.

If you read fire reports due to power strips of some kind in the US, they are usually due to overloading, unlikely with cell phone and camera battery chargers, or faulty constructions causing shorts. The latter problem can be avoided by using quality components, Monter claims 24k plated contacts, and assembly quality controls. If you look at the Monster plug pictures, the receptacle parts are separate from the housing. Professional grade products are often made this way while cheap products mold everything together.
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Aug 18th, 2014, 11:51 PM
  #11
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Thanks, Andrew and greg!
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Sep 24th, 2014, 07:20 AM
  #12
 
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Thanks kja for the link to the Monster power strip from Amazon. We are traveling in Europe and it has been a godsend. One hotel only had one outlet which the lamp was plugged into. Monster strip is a life saver for our charging of multple items.
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Sep 24th, 2014, 07:55 AM
  #13
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@ HappyTrvlr -- glad it worked for you! Thanks for letting me know.
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