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Guide to Electrical Converters & Adapters
[Special to the Travelite.FAQ]
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If you are travelling to a country with an unreliable power source and
some very expensive equipment, it might be a good idea to take along a
surge protector. This offers extra insurance against equipment damage
in the event of a power surge. Remember that your surge protector is a
110v product and MUST be plugged directly into the transformer (on the
110v side) NOT directly into the wall. Using a North American grounded
adapter, the transformer is then plugged into the 250v surge protector,
protecting your transformer as well as your equipment. If your equipment
is dual voltage, then you will not need the transformer and your equipment
can be plugged directly into the 220v surge protector. You will probably
need an adapter plug for this.
All computers are electronic devices and should ONLY be used with a
transformer. The good news is that most laptop battery rechargers are
dual voltage and can be used overseas with just a grounded adapter plug.
It will be dual voltage if the plate on the back of the recharger reads
100v/250v 50/60 cycles. If the recharger (or full size computer) is not
dual voltage, the plate will read 100-125v/50/60 cycles and you will need
a transformer. The wattage of the transformer will depend upon the wattage
of the battery recharger or computer. If the recharger is 90 watts, then
the 1-100 watt transformer (or 1-200 or 1-500) should be used.
If you are travelling with an external modem, you should check to see
if the AC adapter is dual voltage. External modems are usually low wattage
and a 1-50 watt mini-transformer will be sufficient. Internal modems do
not require any such equipment.
Since computers convert internally from alternating current (AC) to
direct current (DC), the cycle difference between North America at 60
cycles and foreign countries at 50 cycles is irrelevant. Non-laptop computer
users however should check with the manufacturer to see if the fan runs
on DC. The 50 cycles overseas may not dissipate heat as efficiently as
at 60 cycles and a periodic shut down may be required as a cooling off
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