Outlet Adapters

Old Feb 14, 20, 11:26 am
  #1  
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Outlet Adapters

I've always liked the idea of carrying universal outlet adapter, if only so that I don't get tempted to remove ones I don't need for a specific trip from my bag and then be unable to find them later!

I have a number of those "boxy" universal style adapters, but I've never liked them. Admittedly, I often get them for free, but I don't think it's a "you get what you pay for" issue. They are too bulky to carry, they are too bulky to insert into some sockets, their geometry can be awkward, and they often break. Most recently one that I have developed an overactive spring that likes to expel whatever I try to plug into it, except for an Australia/New Zealand style plug. I do like that they often have an integrated USB outlet or two, and that they can accept any plug - most often I need to convert my US plugs to a foreign outlet, but once or twice it's been handy to accept a universal plug.

I think this is the best universal style adapter, although it can get a little large in the UK style or US/Aus/NZ confirmations:



However, more recently I've found something even smaller, simpler and cheaper:


You may think that this only converts from US to EU, and you wouldn't be wrong, but it's not the whole story either. If you depress the ground pin of a UK-style outlet, you can insert an EU plug directly into it. (I'm sure there's a Brexit metaphor in there somewhere). You can depress the pin with a tool - the Phillips screwdriver of my 58mm Swiss Army Knife works perfectly, or with another kind of adapter:



I still carry the Kikkerland adapter because it packs so flat, the EU adapter has adjustable spacing and it can be used with the Aus/NZ plugs that are often found in China, but I find that the even simpler US to EU adapter solves 95% of my issues, enabling me to use US, EU and UK outlets with my US style plugs. They cost a dollar or two only. Note that even the Kirkland adapter can't accept a UK plug, but it can adapt to a UK outlet.
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Old Feb 17, 20, 5:31 am
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I have a few of those tiny cheap adapters. I keep losing them, but every now and then I'd find one. I've never seen them sold separately, but when I buy generic wall chargers for my camera batteries (Wasabi Power is the brand), they always come with one.
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Old Feb 18, 20, 4:21 am
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Found this one in Tokyo the other day
https://abload.de/gallery.php?key=qLYQVHpe
Should be along this one, too https://www.110220volts.com/wat-nano.html
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Old Feb 18, 20, 4:35 am
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I'm sure frequent flyers will already know this, but in case not - please be careful with cheap-o adapters and converters, particularly the "universal" type. They may not meet the standards for short-circuit protection and/or heat resistance. Probably fine for low power devices but watch out for anything above 100 W or so.

That warning doubles for cheap universal USB chargers, as these are known to have absolutely rubbish high-to-low voltage separation which can result in... energetic incidents!
not2017 and diburning like this.
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Old Feb 23, 20, 6:05 am
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What are the plastic UK outlet adapters called? I'd like to find one.

wg
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Old Feb 23, 20, 2:52 pm
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Originally Posted by wendyg View Post
What are the plastic UK outlet adapters called? I'd like to find one.

wg
The only description I can find is "Great Britain electrical adapter". Any retailer carrying travel products should have the needed adapter in stock. This particular model adapts United States plugs for UK outlets:

https://store.ricksteves.com/shop/p/uk-power-adapter
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Old Feb 23, 20, 3:26 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by wendyg View Post
What are the plastic UK outlet adapters called? I'd like to find one.

wg
If you are located in the UK here is an option:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/392360916790

If you are located in Singapore here is another:

https://shopee.sg/SG-SELLER--Random-...AaAkd0EALw_wcB

I don't know if they are just not available on Amazon or if I can't find the right keywords.
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Old Feb 24, 20, 4:54 am
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The Rick Steves one looks ok and is reasonably sturdily constructed. The EBay one looks incredibly flimsy, I suspect that it hasn't met any of the regulatory standards and, if you use it, expect to be resetting circuit breakers, or repairing your devices.
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Old Feb 24, 20, 5:16 am
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This is what I use. The grounding/earthing pin actually works, and it works wonders in aircraft outlets on US carriers where the US part of the outlet is worn out and won't retain a plug, while the UK type G socket is nice and snug.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0080R95XI/ https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0080R95XI/
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Old Feb 25, 20, 1:01 pm
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Thanks. I liked the flimsy plastic ones because the blocky ones are awkward to travel with.

wg
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Old Feb 25, 20, 6:44 pm
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Originally Posted by diburning View Post
This is what I use. The grounding/earthing pin actually works, and it works wonders in aircraft outlets on US carriers where the US part of the outlet is worn out and won't retain a plug, while the UK type G socket is nice and snug.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0080R95XI/
These are great and solid as opposed to some of the others which have "moving parts".

The only issue I have is plugging US polarized plug with one blade wider into these adapters.
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Old Mar 10, 20, 7:21 pm
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On a recent trip in Tanzania and Rwanda, I found that most hotels and safari vehicles (!) now have universal sockets that accept many plugs, including those used in US and France. Some also have USB ports, though there are some warnings that USB charging ports in hotels can be used for hacking phones.

One very useful item to bring is an old fashioned, 3-way adapter. In the shape of a + sign, you can plug in three US-plug devices (even power bricks). You still need a US-to-foreign adapter, but only one.
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Old Mar 10, 20, 9:54 pm
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This is the one I like to travel with - https://smile.amazon.com/Travel-Adap...078GNJ86V?th=1
It's not the smallest, but not overly large and in additional to adapters for most everywhere, has plenty of USB ports, including USB C powerful enough for a Gram. UK adapter is especially nice for airplanes that won't hold a US plug.
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