Don's Home Travel Electrical Power Conversion Contact

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North American uses 110-120 volt electricity at 60 Hz. (Cycles) Alternating Current. Most other countries use 220-240 volt electricity at 50 Hz. (Cycles).
Exceptions: Turkey 110 and 220V, Brazil - 110V, Taiwan - 110V, Japan - 100V, Australia 240/250V.

Most transformers for battery chargers and laptops adapt to either 240 V. 50Hz or 120V 60Hz. In this case you only need a plug adapter to match the plugs.

You can get International converters to convert from 240 to 120 V. but the cycles remain at 50Hz. This difference in cycles may cause the motor in your 60 Hz. North American appliance to operate slightly slower when used on 50 Hz. foreign electricity. This cycle difference will also cause analog clocks and timing circuits that use Alternating Current as a timing base to keep incorrect time. Most modern electronic equipment including battery chargers, computers, printers, stereos, tape and CD players, VCR/DVD players, etc. will not be affected by the difference in cycles. Source:>

There are two different types of converters -- one to run heating appliances (such as hair dryers, curling irons or clothes steamers) that use a lot of power, and another for motorized and electronic appliances (such as razors, laptop computers, radios and recharging camcorders) that run on less power.

Power consumption, measured in watts, is indicated on the appliance or its AC adapter unit. Appliances using more than 50 watts require high-power heating converters. Those using 50 watts or less require transformer converters.

If you travel with both types of appliances, you can carry two converters -- or one converter with a toggle switch. However, when using the toggle-type converter, make sure the switch is on the appropriate setting; otherwise your appliance -- or its AC adapter unit -- will probably burn out.

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last updated 6 July 2003