Electrical Adapter

Old May 14th, 2010, 05:27 AM
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Electrical Adapter

I'm going to Paris in a couple weeks. What is the BEST adapter/s I should get? I really do not want my stuff to be ruined. Any stores or website advice would be great.p
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Old May 14th, 2010, 05:41 AM
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You can go to this page for a complete listing of what you might possibly need--
http://www.voltagevalet.com/elec_guide.html
--but actually, for the most part, you only need an adaptor, not a converter. I've plugged in cell phones, video cameras, and computers straight into outlets with only adaptors. For hair dryers, just buy a dual voltage one (which are now very common) before you leave or when you arrive.
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Old May 14th, 2010, 05:43 AM
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...and I forgot to add, I usally take ONE grounded adaptor and a couple regular adaptors with me for the family. I haven't noticed any quality problems.
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Old May 14th, 2010, 06:52 AM
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We spend 2 months in France most years, and don't carry a converter - just an adaptor. I addition to the stuff that Alessandro mentioned, we also plug the electric toothbrush recharger and my wife's curler into the wall without a converter. The curler is dual voltage, but the toothbrush charger is not - but after about 20 re-charges - it seems to work just fine (actually, better than at home - a charge lasts longer).

Stu Dudley
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Old May 14th, 2010, 08:07 AM
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some good advice so far, but just to clarify. You have two options - plug adapters or converters. Check the devices you are bringing. Many are dual-voltage and therefor only need a plug adapter. To find out, examine the device's power supply. You are looking for something similar to this:
INPUT: AC 100V - 240V, 50/60Hz

for these devices, a simple plug adapter will do just fine, I ordered some from Amazon (less than $2.00/ea). But, if you see something like this:
INPUT: AC 120V, 60Hz
then you will need a converter. From what I've seen, cell phone chargers, notebook power bricks, things like that all seem to be dual-voltage. Higher power devices, such as a hair drier or curling iron usually are not. for devices like that, I would be tempted to leave 'em at home and buy one when you get there, would probably cost less than the converter.
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Old May 14th, 2010, 08:25 AM
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>>such as a hair drier or curling iron usually are not
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Old May 14th, 2010, 08:32 AM
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Does it have to be a grounded adapter? I bot a Northern European adapter that only has 2 prongs and the female side of the adapter only has 2 sockets. My netbook charger is a grounded 3 prong plug. Thus my adapter leaves the ground plug of the charger exposed. Is that OK? I've asked this question before and never recd a sufficient response so here it is again.
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Old May 14th, 2010, 08:37 AM
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The site http://tinyurl.com/2y9zvv has a good discussion of European electricity.

Do not use a *converter*. They are destructive. Poof goes your electronics. If you need to change the voltage from 220 to 110 use a *transformer*. No practical device can change 50 Hz to 60 Hz. As griz_fan writes most electronics are rated 110-220 volt and 50/60 Hz so they only need a plug adapter.
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Old May 14th, 2010, 08:38 AM
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My experience? TWICE I've had blow dryers blow up in Europe using converters. I now own a travel blow dryer that I bought in Europe.
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Old May 14th, 2010, 08:56 AM
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You don't have to have a grounded adaptor--I just happen to one. I'd say 9 times out of 10 I use my little cheapies in the room.

I remember lugging my CONVERTER (not a transformer--and for the difference between those two terms, please see this article: http://www.laptoptravel.com/Article.aspx?ID=339) during the Millennium in Paris so that I could charge my new digital video camera with a sense of security.

Now I just plug the battery/case of my digital camera into the wall with a cheapie adaptor--and I don't even bother with a video camera since I can do most any thing I really like on my phone.
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Old May 14th, 2010, 11:38 AM
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Thanks, spaarne! That site was really helpful.
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Old May 14th, 2010, 12:05 PM
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I found some dual voltage hair dryer and curlers on Amazon! Just type in "dual voltage" and lots of optons come up.

My other things; camera charger, ipod, etc are all 110-240.

The general consensus seems to be that even with a converter or transformer American 60Hz things will be destroyed. I'm not going to risk it.
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