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Maybe a stupid question, but I need it answered! About voltage converter...

Maybe a stupid question, but I need it answered! About voltage converter...

May 15th, 2005, 08:25 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 30
Maybe a stupid question, but I need it answered! About voltage converter...

I was going to buy a power converter so I can charge the digital camera while in Greece, (Leaving Tuesday woo-hoo!) but my mom picked one up for me bless her heart. Well, I just looked at it, and on the box it says:
"ONLY for use with 110/120 volt NON-ELECTRIC HEATING APPLIANCES rated up to 1600 watts including:
Electric curlers
Hair dryers
Irons
Heating pads
Food/bottle warmers."

It is a 1600 watt voltage converter.

So, can I use it to charge my camera?? Thank you!
athebay is offline  
May 15th, 2005, 08:27 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,000
I have to wonder what "NON-ELECTRIC HEATING APPLIANCES" might be.

But the list of items you cited all use resistance elements to produce heat. My guess would be that what's inside the converter is a resistive voltage divider, and unless you plug another resistor into it (such as an iron) it won't work. I wouldn't plug a 110v charger into it.

What voltage is your camera charger rated for?
Robespierre is offline  
May 15th, 2005, 08:34 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,124
There's something wrong here. Only for use with NON-ELECTRIC heating appliances, and then they name all the electric heating appliances in your list? It doesn't compute. Also you don't need a high-power 1600 watt converter to charge a digital camera battery.

All you need to do, assuming you have a standard 110 volt converter/charger, is to buy a voltage adapter that will change European 220 volts to 110 volts. You plug the adapter into the wall socket and your charger into the adapter. You only need to make sure that your adapter will have the plug pins that are appropriate for where you will be. For instance, British plugs are different from mainland Europe. Most voltage adapters you buy nowadays will have both types of plugs, but be sure they do. Good luck.
Wayne is offline  
May 15th, 2005, 08:45 AM
  #4  
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I know, the NON-ELECTRIC HEATING APPLIANCE thing threw me for a loop too.

<<My guess would be that what's inside the converter is a resistive voltage divider, and unless you plug another resistor into it (such as an iron) it won't work>>
Pardon my naiveté, but I don't understand this at all- care to explain more? Please? I don't have my camera charger here now, so I can't look at the voltage...

Wayne, this converter says it converts 110/120 to 220/240. Isn't that what I need?

Thanks for the help, but I'm even more confused now!
athebay is offline  
May 15th, 2005, 08:46 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Converter - steps 220v down to 110v

Adapter - allows U.S. plugs to fit European wall sockets

If your camera charger is rated at 120v-240v, then all you need is an adapter. If it's 120v only, I recommend you buy a universal charger rather than a converter.

If your converter truly says it "converts 110/120 to 220/240" then it is exactly the OPPOSITE of what you would need to use U.S. appliances in Europe. Your first step should be to look at your camera's charger and see what voltage it uses.
Robespierre is offline  
May 15th, 2005, 08:47 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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You also might want to check your digital camera charger to make sure it's not already dual voltage (if you haven't done so already). It may not actually say "dual voltage" on it. It may just have a voltage range (e.g. 110-240 or 90-240). If that's the case you don't actually need a voltage converter -- just a plug adaptor for Greece. I ran into a similar thing recently with my cell phone charger. I thought I needed a voltage converter until the salesman at the travel store told me to check for that info before buying, since most cell phone chargers and digital camera chargers are now created dual voltage.
my2cents is offline  
May 15th, 2005, 08:50 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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I'd be kinda surprised if your digital camera charger isn't able to accept current up to 220 since most of these are manufactured for worldwide use, so do take My2Cents' advice and check.
Intrepid1 is offline  
May 15th, 2005, 08:51 AM
  #8  
ira
 
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Hi a,

>this converter says it converts 110/120 to 220/240. Isn't that what I need?<

ABSOLUTELY NOT!

If your charger says 110-220 V, you do not need a converter. You need a plug adapter that allows you to insert the flat spade US plug to the round hole European socket.

If your charger is only 110V, you want a converter that changes 220-240 to 110-120 V.

>ONLY for use with 110/120 volt NON-ELECTRIC HEATING APPLIANCES..<

They mean non-electronic...

ira is offline  
May 15th, 2005, 09:16 AM
  #9  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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You MUST check the camera charger - I'm willing to bet my own 2c that it accepts voltages from 110 to 220V.

Following up on what Robespierre and Ira have said, a converter that is used for NON-ELECTRONIC HEATING APPLIANCES will NOT work with 110V low wattage device. In fact, it can actually destroy the device.

It will convert 220V to 110V ONLY when it is drawing some minimum current. 1600 Watts at 110V is ~ 15amps. That's a lot of power. 1 amp at 110V = 110 watts. That's enough power to light, for example, a 110W lightbulb. Small devices use only a fraction of that, in the single or low double digit Watt range. So, if you plug a low wattage (= low current draw) device into this type of converter, it'll still supply 220V - it won't do any converting at all.

I don't know what the threshold is, but it's likely well above 1mA (1 Watt)

Low power devices that are NOT dual voltage can be ruined this way. First hand experience on an electric tooth bruch charger. (or more specifically, an electronic charger for an electric tooth bruch). I don't know specifically if a phone or camera charger is subject to damage the same way, but the warning for use with HEATING APPLIANCES only is your caveat.

Bottom line, you MUST check the charger, and if it is not dual voltage (110 - 220V) then get a proper charger for this application.
J62 is online now  
Jun 8th, 2005, 08:00 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1
you should visit voltageconverters.com they have a slew of stuff for travel.
For the camera charger, i have a digital camera and its rated 100-240 volts on it, you just need a plug adapter. Do not use those 1600 travel converter on your baby
mase3k is offline  

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