electrical adaptor plugs

Old May 10th, 2013, 11:27 AM
  #21  
 
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No need to be rude, vincenzo. I live in Europe, have American appliances, and would <b>never</b> use a multi-adapter — I am sitting here right now on my American MacBook Pro, plugged in through a US-UK adapter. When I travel on the continent all I need is a US-Schuko adapter, which you can buy for a couple of dollars. You wasted your money. ;-)
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Old May 10th, 2013, 11:34 AM
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I agree with greg and spaarne about Italy. We were in Italy last year and our 2-prong "continental" plugs didn't work in some hotels. Luckily I had done my homework and we had the correct plug.

We also took a similar power strip to what amy_torres_sd had with about 4 outlets so we could charge multi devices at once. That worked like a charm.

Sarastro, check out one of the link's greg referenced above. We have one of those universal adaptors which is what I believe vincenzo is talking about.
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Old May 10th, 2013, 12:11 PM
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Once again, the OP is coming from Australia! What good is a US adapter when Aussie plugs are completely different?
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Old May 10th, 2013, 12:14 PM
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If ever you are going to the UK first, they have a complete selection of all adaptors at Boots. That's where I bought my "continent to UK" adaptor, but they had all of the other configurations as well.
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Old May 10th, 2013, 12:17 PM
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And yes, you can always buy a 'universal' adaptor, but I find them very overpriced when you just need, for example, two (continent & British Isles).
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Old May 10th, 2013, 12:33 PM
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I have an all-in-one multi-adapter that fits most plugs in Europe. It's similar to this one, but I think mine is TravelSmart brand. I don't usually take it unless I'm traveling to multiple countries. I prefer to have some of the small single adapters and take several.

http://www.amazon.com/Insten-Univers...f=pd_sim_hpc_2
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Old May 10th, 2013, 01:13 PM
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Those multi-adapters are really clunky, and that's why I don't like to use them. Another point is that in the UK fuses are built into the plugs, so you need an adapter with a 3 amp fuse for small appliances, or one with a 13 amp fuse for larger ones.

I probably have a dozen or more US-UK adapters scattered around my home, and several more US-Schuko adapters put away for my next trip. These are dirt cheap, and it's useful to bring 2 or 3 with you: first, so you can charge more than one device at a time, and second, in case you accidentally leave one in the socket when you change hotels.

Aussie electrical plugs are different from anywhere else in the world, except NZ and a few south Pacific islands, so it's wise to buy an adapter before you leave that country. Likewise, if you want to use a power strip, it would have to be one for Aussie plugs.

As Peter_S_Aus wrote, "You do not need any sort of voltage converter for Australian appliances in UK or continental Europe."
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Old May 10th, 2013, 04:06 PM
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Whoa! Stirred up a bit of a hornet's nest with this question. And I thought it would be straightforward.

Sifting through all the replies, it appears I would be safer (rather be that than sorry) buying a 3-outlet power board from any hardware store or supermarket (obviously taking Australian plugs).

Then buying 4 separate adaptors for the 1 cord (that has an Australian plug): 1 for UK, 1 for France, 1 for Switzerland, 1 for Italy.

How does this sound?

Thanks everyone for your efforts with this question.
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Old May 10th, 2013, 04:14 PM
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OK, so piggybacking on smm_18 most recent question... (and by the way, the answer is YES smm_18).... Was it unnecessary for me to buy the power strip that accepts multiple input styles? Should I bring a power strip from the US to the UK and Europe and simply have the correct adapters? (My European power strip is clunky and heavy).

Thanks!!
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Old May 11th, 2013, 06:27 AM
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1. kybourbon's link shows a real jack-knife type of prong adapter with more choices than I have ever seen. However, the round, dual prong plug appearing near the middle of the adapter is most likely a French/German plug and probably will not work for Italy and I'm not sure about Switzerland. The only sure way of successfully powering your devices is to obtain a plug adapter or adapter/kit containing the appropriate plug configurations of the countries you will be visiting.

2. Power strips can offer an interesting solution as long as strips designed for 240vac circuits are not used with 120vac input sources (don't use a 240vac strip when in North America/Japan) Strips designed for 120vac inputs are fine when use on 240vac sources as long as the strip contains no on/off switch, no surge protection, or no LED. The internal wiring on 120vac strips is actually heavier than what is typically used on 240vac strips but the switches/LEDs can short or burnout if higher than designed voltages are applied.

3. Perhaps the best solution is to purchase plugs and strips designed for the purpose intended. Here is one company, there are many, which sells everything the traveller might need:

http://www.wonpro.com/
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Old May 11th, 2013, 07:47 AM
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Here is what I would do as an Australian. If you can charge your android phone from a USB outlet (and I know you can charge your iPad from a USB connection), buy a USB charger with two USB outlets, and take a USB to Apple lead, and a USB to android phone lead. A two outlet USB charger will cost you about $15, and you'd find one in say Office Works, Dick Smith or JB Hi Fi.

Buy an Australian to two pin european adapter, while you are in Australia. Available at any travel goods shop, plus some chemists. When in the UK, buy a two pin European to UK adapter. In Switzerland, maybe you will find a wall socket that accepts a two pin European, ditto for Germany. The European two pin adapter should be OK for Italy.

You don't really need a power strip (what we Australians call a power board) if you only have two devices that need charging. I bought a two pin, two USB outlet charger in Venice - and that's all we will bring on our next trip. It's a nice souvenir too.

The problem is that the Australian / NZ slanted pin configuration is not common, so it's a good idea to have an Aus to European adapter before you leave Aus.
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Old May 11th, 2013, 07:54 PM
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My head is spinning...

I have a power strip/board at home (with 4 spots for plugs) and here's what the fine print reads:

Overload protection
240V AC Max loading 10A
2400W

There's no on/off switch. Nothing else fancy on it apart from a red push button on the side.

So, Sarastro, if I did decide to take one, would this be suitable, or would I blow up the hotel room and all devices?

Thanks, Peter, for your Aussie input! My phone (Samsung Galaxy SII) won't charge with USB connection, but what a good idea if it did.

I'm not sure what you mean in para 2. Do you mean Aussie plug into Europe adaptor into UK adaptor? So plug into plug into plug into wall? Sorry if I've got the wrong end of the stick on this.

Also, just a reminder, France is the other country I'm going to...

I do think you've hit on the right notion, though. I should pay a visit to Dick Smith!

Thanks again for all your help!
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Old May 11th, 2013, 09:00 PM
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>>>1. kybourbon's link shows a real jack-knife type of prong adapter with more choices than I have ever seen. However, the round, dual prong plug appearing near the middle of the adapter is most likely a French/German plug and probably will not work for Italy and I'm not sure about Switzerland<<<

I'm sure it doesn't show all the plugs on it in the picture. They flip out with little switches so normally one the one for the country you are using is the only one out. The side where you plug in your appliance adapts to multiple countries also.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 12:15 AM
  #34  
 
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kybourbon, that adapter doesn't accept Aussie plugs, so would be of no use to smm_18.

Smm_18, your power board is designed for 240V electricity, so I seen no problem using it in Europe as long as you don't overload it with too many devices. Most chargers use less than 1 amp, so you should be okay if that's all you are plugging in. If you were using a hair dryer or other heating device that would be a different matter.

I question whether you even need your power board, though? I never bring one with me, and I usually travel with two cameras, an e-reader, a phone, and an iPad. Most of them don't need charging every day, so I seldom need to have more than one on charge at a time.

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Old May 12th, 2013, 03:24 AM
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Thanks, Heimdall – you answered my question about kybourbon's plug (thanks, anyway, kybourbon – wd be a great solution).

And I guess you're right about the power board, probably unnecessary after all. Camera doesn't need charging as often as phone, e-reader less often, iPad now and then, etc. I'd visualised one available socket and rotating devices all night...

Thanks also for clearing up Q re voltage. Won't be taking a hair dryer, curling/straightening devices, heaters, fans, toasters, so should be fine!
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Old May 12th, 2013, 04:18 AM
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Check for yourself in kbourbon's link — there are 7 different views of the adapter, two showing the face where the plugs are inserted. I could be wrong, but it didn't look to me that Aussie/NZ plugs would fit.

One point to consider: some hotels have key cards that you insert into a slot to turn the electricity on. When you leave the room and take the key card with you the electricity goes off. That means you can't leave something on charge while you are out, and will end up doing most of your charging overnight. In light of that, you may want to bring your power board anyway. It all depends upon how much you think you will need it, and how light you like to pack.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 07:31 AM
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>>>kybourbon, that adapter doesn't accept Aussie plugs, so would be of no use to smm_18.<<<

Perhaps that particular one doesn't (although I think it does - the shape of the slots can be deceiving and accept more than you think), but I was responding to someone's post that they don't make all-in-one multi adapters and they certainly do. They also make them for Australia/New Zealand. If you were to check a few online businesses in Australia similar to Radio Shack, Walmart or travel stores, you will find some. A quick Google shows this one that says can be used in 150 countries.

http://www.amazon.com/Kensington-331.../dp/B0002H4YUI

This one also does and looks very much like my link in the earlier thread. You can see it lists Aus on the side and shows the Aus type plug on the front of which type of plug it accepts. The great thing about this one it only weighs 8 ounces.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Dynex%26...&skuId=9847822
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Old May 12th, 2013, 10:07 AM
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Hi kybourbon, on closer inspection I agree that an Aussie plug may indeed fit, so my apologies. What I had in mind though is something like these which are available in Australia: http://dicksmith.com.au/product/SE4025/british-adaptor and http://dicksmith.com.au/product/SE4027/european-adaptor. Even those look overpriced to me, as I am use to paying more like US $2-3 for an adapter, so it wouldn't hurt to shop around.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 11:17 AM
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Try Kathmandu's or a similar adventure gear place, that's where we got our European adaptor. UK you'd need a different one. We're currently travelling in Europe since late Feb and found a powerboard very useful indeed so if you've got room, take one! One Aussie to another
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Old May 12th, 2013, 01:45 PM
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Thanks everyone for all the links and suggestions. Terrific help.

With the power board, what I might do is take a small one (say 2 or 3 spots for plugs), which would make charging several devices slightly easier. Thanks for tip rg12345, and reminder about hotel card Heimdall.

And it just comes down to buying a multi-adaptor or not. If I can find one in Aust. that's not 'big and clunky' maybe this will work.

As to buying individual adaptors, the question as to whether or not 1 x European and 1 x UK will be enough is disputed.

Looking back at Spaarne's comments and link - s/he's adamant that Italy and Switz will each need a different type of plug.
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