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American electrical gadgets

Old Apr 20th, 2014, 02:45 PM
  #1  
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American electrical gadgets

The last time we went to Europe we needed to bring a transformer to convert gadgets that use American wattage to those that use European wattage. It seems that now the newer cell phones and computers and ebooks (which are pretty much all we would use) accommodate multiple voltages. Is this accurate or do we still need to bring the heavy transformer box. We do have the converter plugs. Any reason our GPS wouldn't work? Thanks
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Old Apr 20th, 2014, 02:56 PM
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I don't know about your GPS, but you are right about the rest. I've never used a converter for any battery charging for phone, laptop, tablet.

A heat producing item like hair dryer, iron, heating coil needs to have a switch for higher voltage or be specifically designated as being dual voltage.
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Old Apr 20th, 2014, 03:00 PM
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Continuing...I've never used a converter for any battery charging...including my camera.
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Old Apr 20th, 2014, 03:01 PM
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"A heat producing item like hair dryer, iron, heating coil needs to have a switch for higher voltage or be specifically designated as being dual voltage."

That won't even be sufficient from what I have read here and elsewhere. For hair appliances, best to buy in Europe. The US ones, even with 220 don't work right and can cause issues with electrical.
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Old Apr 20th, 2014, 03:09 PM
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It depends on what your plug label says. It is "likely" to say 110-240v, then all you need is an adapter.

You don't need converter. It looks like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Samsonite-SA11.../dp/B000MN80RU

You need an adapter. They look like this depending on where in Europe you are heading.
http://travelstore.ricksteves.com/ca...ntId=126&id=24

GPS would not work if you don't have European map loaded.
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Old Apr 20th, 2014, 03:14 PM
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great, we do have the adapters already (and I will return the converter). I hadn't thought about camera's but yes, I will want to charge the battery. (merci Mme Perdu) Since I'm a "wash and go" kinda girl I think we will leave the hairdryers home. as always so helpful. thanks
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Old Apr 20th, 2014, 03:47 PM
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DebitNM, I speak only from experience, not from assumptions or heresay. When I've used hairdryers and heating coils designed for 220 as well as 110, I've NEVER had a problem. I don't quite see the point of contradicting someone's advice unless you've personally had difficulties. In that case, I'd understand.
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Old Apr 20th, 2014, 04:00 PM
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Dual voltage hair blowers I have known will not operate on "high" when in the 220 volt position. Some others probably do but that is speculation. However, everywhere I've stayed in Europe for the past ten years has had a hair blower in the room. You don't need to carry one. As for converters, see http://tinyurl.com/luva2b3. Not all camera and phone battery chargers have the 110-220 volt 50/60 Hz capability. Check the electrical nameplate of yours. You'll probably need a magnifying glass to read it.
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Old Apr 20th, 2014, 04:00 PM
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My dual voltage travel hairdryer has worked well all over Europe and in the US. Never used a converter, only plug adaptors.
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Old Apr 20th, 2014, 04:05 PM
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Heresay? I didn't realize this was a legal preceeding. I don't have to be hit by a car to know that crossing against the light is dangerous. So, I think other people's experiences do count.

These are old threads, but have recent comments regarding the efficiency of using US hair appliances in Europe.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-in-europe.cfm

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...hair-dryer.cfm

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...raightener.cfm

Many others report similar experiences.
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Old Apr 20th, 2014, 04:10 PM
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>>. I don't quite see the point of contradicting someone's advice unless you've personally had difficulties. In that case, I'd understand.
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Old Apr 20th, 2014, 04:17 PM
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Now, that's good information.

As it happens, I don't use hair dryers anymore either but I always have a heating coil for hot drinks and instant soup in places that don't provide kettles. I never leave home without it. Dual voltage versions are available from travel outfitters, and having used a dual model in the US, I now believe they're actually made for 220, not 110, as they take forever to heat the water without 220.
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Old Apr 20th, 2014, 04:18 PM
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the battery charges for the cameras that I have used only require that you have a converter plug. The only place I had to buy a separate converter was for a flat in London where I needed a three prong plug. My dual voltage hair dryer worked fine there,, but I dont bother with the hair dryer when staying at hotels.. all other electronics are universal now.. phone chargers ipods/ipads etc.
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Old Apr 20th, 2014, 04:31 PM
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Maybe in hairdryers, as in everything, we get what we pay for. I think so.
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Old Apr 20th, 2014, 05:33 PM
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You only need adapters for plugs. No need for a heavy and expensive transformer. Your GPS will work but you'll need to buy and install European maps.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 05:20 AM
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Ditto for the GPS tip, and be sure to load up your European maps before you leave. It can take a really long time. Depending on your GPS memory you may also have to uninstall your current maps. A real pain, but ultimately worth it.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 05:24 AM
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Gah I forgot to say that if you have a tom-tom GPS, check the amount of memory you have before you purchase your maps. They have different size packages for various amounts of memory on the different tom-tom devices. Of course that also means making sure that you end up having maps for every country you visit.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 05:32 AM
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Re: GPS/Satnav, I was prepared to download Europe maps to my Garmin until I discovered the memory requirement, much more than I had available. So I had them ship me a mini-card with the maps. Worked like a charm.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 05:45 AM
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Electronics - (Chargers/lap tops/GPS etc) are not an issue -- they do not generate heat and don't have motors.

What? They most certainly do.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 06:16 AM
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>>They most certainly do.
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