Technology bleg

So I’m off to the US for the first time in a long time.

A question for regular travellers – I’m taking my Samsung tablet with me (one doesn’t use Apple products, although the offspring do) and I’m wondering about the 110V as opposed to our 240V. Will I be able to recharge by simply plugging it in or will I have to buy a transformer?

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51 Responses to Technology bleg

  1. AP

    Check the fineprint on the big bulky plug thingy. If it says 110-220V you will be fine with an adaptor plug only.

  2. Marko

    Should only need an adaptor to the US 2 flat-pin plug. The power supply should have a type of transformer that can detect and use variable voltage 100-240v, whilst supplying a steady 12 or 18v DC to the device. If you’re worried take a look at the small print on the power supply and it should say 100-240v.

  3. Cato the Elder

    I think it’s a Seff Effican blog

  4. Harry Buttle

    As AP said, check the voltage marking on your charger, in most cases they make the charger to accept 110 – 220v and you just clip on the appropriate national standard plug – you can, assuming the voltage is OK, just use an adaptor for US plugs.

    You, if you have time, could also pick up a cheap US charger from ebay.

  5. candy

    I still clueless, Cato. Never mind.

  6. Grigory M

    Ha – To bleg is to write a blog entry or comment for the sole purpose of asking for something.

  7. candy

    Ha – To bleg is to write a blog entry or comment for the sole purpose of asking for something

    I see. How sort of interesting.

  8. Gab

    Sinclair get one of your minions to toddle off to Officeworks and pick up a Korjo travel adapter for AUS to USA. Or spend a bit more to get a Korjo international adapter.

  9. Grigory M

    Sinc – forget that Neil Diamond Coming to America stuff – they should be welcoming you with The Year of the Cat.

  10. The ones ‘one doesn’t use’ are good with 110-230. The newest variants are remarkably small.

  11. Woolfe

    Just need plug adaptor, your normal charger should be 110 / 240 v (Apple is anyway :-) ) will work.

  12. Dan

    Ha- i have been there several times in the past few years and never even thought about it! Nothing blew up. Many devices come with one power source and two interchangeable plugs for the US and Australia, I guess it often doesn’t matter.

  13. Infidel Tiger

    Tobacco conference?

  14. Amused

    Don’t even bother checking. I guarantee you that the AC adapter for your tablet is a switching supply that will work just fine with 110V. You just need a travel adapter to fit the bastard in their God awful socket.

  15. James of the Glen

    As Amused has said, the AC adapter is a switch mode power supply, so all is OK. Recently been over there and all is fine with the iPad and camera Li-ion charger (for the same reason).

  16. Sinclair Davidson

    Thanks for that.

    No. Not a tobacco conference. Taking the ‘kids’ to Disney Land and NYC.

  17. Andrew

    I want to see you plug your AUS charger into a 110 to 240V transformer which is plugged into a plug adapter which is plugged into the wall.

    But yes, the charger IS a transformer, which is why it’s safe to handle the plus and not electrocute yourself.

    I plugged my iPad into the 110V shaver socket in a KL bathroom because it was the only thing shaped like a proper AUS diagonal 2-prong device and saved my powerpoint adaptor for the more useful laptop.

  18. Grigory M

    I want to see you plug your AUS charger into a 110 to 240V transformer which is plugged into a plug adapter which is plugged into the wall.

    Sinc – put a 4-5 outlet power board in your luggage. Plug the power board into the AUStoUSA adapter into the USA wall socket (some can be upside down). Then you can charge multiple devices/cameras.

  19. ar

    My Samsung charger even states it is a “travel adapter” and takes 100-240V… just the pins are different…

  20. Frederic

    NOT a double adapter though.

  21. Megan

    Same suggestion as Grigory M. A power board plugged into an adaptor has saved many fights over whose phone/camera/ipad/fit band/torch gets charged up first. I pack one even when I travel alone as the multitude of devices all seem to die at once.

  22. Sinclair Davidson

    Yes – I have to powerboard for international travel and the country adaptors too. Being doing that for some time – have a separate one for the offspring.

  23. entropy

    Neil diamond? Do your kids even know who he is?

    They need to know what it is to be the kids in America!

  24. Andrew

    Powerboard idea has merit although I tend to plug all into USB and just charge laptop. Even used my laptop to charge OTHER peoples fones at airport, while pursuing my hobby.

    But with multiple travellers, yes. A must.

    Be warned about advice that says “read the voltage on your charger.” It’s written in 0.2 point type. I’m the only person on earth who CAN read the print, and I don’t have a Samsung. You’ll just have to go on faith.

  25. Baldrick

    … Disney Land and NYC.

    Aren’t they one in the same?

  26. AP

    Now, whilst most (if not all) modern phone and laptop chargers are fine with 110V due to the fancy electronics contained within, don’t be tempted to buy any other appliances over there. Some things are definately only suitable for 110V at 60Hz.

    For example anything with a mains powered motor. The copper windings are different to handle the different supply voltage.

  27. nerblnob

    Transformer not needed. The whole point of laptops, netbooks, tablets, mobile phones etc is that you can travel with them. Doh.

    It can be worth buying local chargers just for neatness, but not unless you go there frequently.

    US power sockets are not very “grippy” so you don’t want a heavy chain of adaptors and double adaptors hanging from a wall socket.

    USB off a laptop is more of a dripfeed and will not usually charge a flat battery in anything like normal time.

  28. Grigory M

    US power sockets are not very “grippy” so you don’t want a heavy chain of adaptors and double adaptors hanging from a wall socket.

    Hence the recommended power board (or power strip, as the Americans like to call them) – we always take one overseas with us in the checked bag – plus 2 double adapters (one left, one right) in one of our carry-on bags.

    USB off a laptop is more of a dripfeed and will not usually charge a flat battery in anything like normal time.

    Correct.

  29. Sinclair Davidson

    I also have double adaptors with usb ports built in and each child has a bag with cords and stuff for their own toys.

  30. entropy

    USB off a laptop is more of a dripfeed and will not usually charge a flat battery in anything like normal time.

    depends on the quality of your laptop. Some of the more commodity oriented models at best pump out 5W, which is enough for a phone, but not a tablet. Properly specced laptops pump out at least 10w through each USB port.

    I hope you aren’t going to do something stupid like buy an MS Surface while you are over there, Sinc. Get a real laptop, or a real tablet, not that lump of confusion.

  31. Sinclair Davidson

    Im not planning on buying electronics in the US. I have been looking at the MS surfaces though. The 3rd model looks like an improvement.

  32. Infidel Tiger

    Taking the ‘kids’ to Disney Land and NYC.

    The kids will love Disney Land. For you it will be the fattest place on earth.

  33. entropy

    Well it is lighter than an ultrabook. But so were netbooks. And it is heavier than an iPad. If you already have a Samsung tablet, the new one coming out next month looks quite good and syncs up with your Samsung phone like Apple ones do with its new OS. So you can Dial your phone and make calls while it stays in your pocket and you can annoy everyone in earshot. Fun!

    “Hello? Is that the golden hands massage parlour?”

  34. JohnA

    Gab #1352963, posted on June 19, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Sinclair get one of your minions to toddle off to Officeworks and pick up a Korjo travel adapter for AUS to USA. Or spend a bit more to get a Korjo international adapter.

    Lots of advice, but has anyone asked what you have now?

    Some charger kits are actually a 3-pin plug /adapter with a built-in transformer (“country” specific) and a standard USB Type A(?) outlet. Thus you actually connect it to your device with a USB cable (it is thus for my Samsung Galaxy Tab2, with a high-output transformer for fast charging).

    Do you have that type, or is your charging cable hard-wired to your transformer at the plug end?

  35. Talleyrand

    Veilige Reis . If you are worried about voltage change, a good rule of thumb is you can place a higher voltage unit into a lower voltage wall socket, the worst is that the unit will not work as the voltage is too low.

    If you try to place a lower voltage unit into a higher wall socket voltage, then you may blow the unit up.

    Yes it’s obvious but ….

  36. richard

    I just came back from Japan. Switching mode power supplies work against all voltages as long as you have a plug converter (metal, no transformer). Nexus 4 and IPhone5 work fine

    If you feel paranoid. Remember also that, if it’s a USB charger, the switching mode power supply converts it to 5V DC anyway. You may need a 2Amp charger for your tablet (small phone chargers are typically 1.1Amp) , but you can easily buy one in the US, then use you standard charging cable.

  37. Ant

    Is it Disney in Orlando? I’m highly recommending the Atlantis Shuttle and Saturn V museums at the Kennedy Space Centre which is about an hour away.

    Even my wife loved it.

  38. Gab

    Saturn V

    Most beautiful rocket ever built, imho.

  39. nerblnob

    The main difference you need to know between Disneyland California and Disney World Florida is that you can’t get a drink in the former.

    Or so I was told . However at least California is on the route between Aus & NYC.

  40. Steve D

    I would have suggested just bending the pins on the power board to fit a US socket, but that may get me in trouble. twisted :twisted:

    Andrew #1353013, posted on June 19, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    But yes, the charger IS a transformer, which is why it’s safe to handle the plus and not electrocute yourself.

    NOT AUTOMATICALLY SO, although I can’t recall the last time I saw a non-adaptiing model for anything remotely portable. The technology is so cheap now it’s probably easier to just stock one design that handles everything.

    Even if it was the wrong voltage, plugging a 240V device into 110V would likely just mean no go. The other way around (US > AUS) is more likely to cause all the smoke to leak out.since

  41. nerblnob

    the charger IS a transformer

    Yes.

    That is all you need to know these days, but ask this question on any travel forum and you get loads of very complicated replies about electricity.

    OK, it wasn’t always so.
    But it changed long before the current generation of tablets and netbooks came out.

    Take plug adaptors and/or buy local chargers.

  42. Steve

    Get a cheapy charger at the airport. Micro USB chargers are all standard on Android phones and tablets, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding one

  43. Antipodean

    Sinc, I have had no problem in charging my Samsung tablet in the US, straight through a plug adaptor. No muss no fuss.

  44. Phillip

    Charging my Australian purchased iPad in the US works OK using an electrical conversion plug, but it seems to take longer, possibly because of the voltage difference. I travel with just the one charger to charge both iPad and iPhone (although the chargers are technically slightly different).

  45. Matthew

    Sinc, if you’re in L.A., check this place out http://www.wendemuseum.org/

  46. Grumbles

    Tablets Charge at 5V anyway via USB so u need either a USB adapter or a computer anywhere

  47. Antipodean

    grumbles, usb doesnt have the ampage needed for a tablet to re charge

  48. Combine_Dave

    grumbles, usb doesnt have the ampage needed for a tablet to re charge

    Doesnt that depend on the usb port you’re plugging into?

    I’ve charged both my phablet and tablet from a usb, however my tablets usb ports cant in turn charge other devices.

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