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Power Outlet Shape Adapter Advice

Old Feb 10, 2016, 12:36 pm
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Last edit by: chx1975
First decide whether you need two or three prongs. Even if your current adapter is three prongs take a long hard look at the laptop charger market for a replacement non-grounded adapter. You will save weight and a ton of hassle by not needing a three prong cable and/or adapter. We have a USB C charger wiki which includes the Innergie 60C, a 60W two prong tiny charger for USB C and with an optional cable legacy laptops as well.

Also consider whether your chargers have replaceable AC cords, the so called "figure eight" and "mickey mouse" cords are replaceable; they are readily available on eBay for any nation and it might be a better solution than the original cord + a shape adapter.

Now for plug shape adapters. The current best choices are: MOGICS Bagel/Donut because it's a powerstrip/USB charger/adapter combo and still small enough. Also ran: Gocon Alpha because it's flat. The Wonpro Nano would be good because it's two plugs and very small but it is becoming less and less usable in Europe.

In detail:
  1. MOGICS has a donut shaped travel power strip, it comes in two variants, one for US plugs only (Donut) one for universal plugs (Bagel). The Donut is pointless, the weight gain is minimal, and it's only marginally thinner, just get a Bagel. Both has two USB ports. Also, their travel adapter while much less universal (US to UK/EU/AU only) is really small, together with the Bagel universal enough and fits inside a grounded Schuko outlet. Bagel weight with case and MA-1 adapter: 6.15 oz. MA-1 alone: 0.92oz. If two USB sockets is enough this is your best choice. Bonus: they have the smallest MicroUSB cord you'll ever see. They licensed their unique shape to the Mara and Masa Kickstarter, once it arrives I will add it to this wiki, until then it's in the USB C wiki.
  2. The often mentioned Kikkerland is again a totally pointless product. It's a knockoff of an older version of this Japanese product. Either buy the real one or purchase a Chinese knockoff for even less money. There are many knockoffs on Amazon.com for even more money. Note: the original had some problems with the UK now this has been addressed with an added switch. The knockoffs don't have this switch. Knockoff weight: 1.82oz.
  3. The Wonpro Nano was very good but less so now, read on. Yes it's not flat but it's small enough to be pardoned for it especially because you can plug two devices in. It's quite probably a Nissyo NP-10 knockoff but since the Nissyo is unavailable outside of Japan I can't be bothered. I had more success with this in the UK than the one above but that was before they added the switch so they are now probably even. The way the plug unscrews for the EU plugs allows for a very small physical size. For a while this was a favorite but a fatal flaw has been disovered: some grounded Schuko sockets have child-proof socket shutters built in (and this is now widespread) and these screwed out legs can't unlock the shutters. Some countries, including Portugal, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, require these which causes almost all power strips now to include them further decreasing the utility of this converter.
  4. Another useful powerstrip is the Road Warrior 47. Weight: 4.14oz. Especially with this weight the only advantage is being flatter than the Bagel.
  5. If you need a three pole travel power strip try the Voltage Valet PS2 Travel Power Strip.
  6. Any unwieldy big brick style plug adapter with sliding out plugs is for the kettles. Exception is the Skross World Adapter PRO because it's an absolutely unique three poles adapter (not counting Chinese knockoffs). Yes, Tumi also sells an adapter like that but if you look closely you'll find the Skross logo on it Weight: 6.56oz but if you need to convert something with three prongs you have no choice.
  7. Finally, boycott Monster. They are a tax evading patent troll, don't fund them.
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Power Outlet Shape Adapter Advice

Old Feb 6, 2016, 5:08 pm
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Power Outlet Shape Adapter Advice

I'm from the US and I'll be traveling to Europe for the first time this summer, and would like a recommendation for a power adapter. I know that if my devices don't accept dual voltage input, then I'd need a step down transformer.

I'll be bringing a travel power strip that is 3-prong type B, so whichever adapter I will be using will need to accept it, but grounding is not very important as I'll be using two-prong plugs in the power strip.

I'll be in the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands. I'll probably need one that works for the UK, and one that works with the Europlug, or a two-in-one. I see a bunch for sale on Amazon, but none of them really have very many reviews, and I'm a bit wary of those "I received a discount in return for an honest review" reviews from people who never left the US to actually try it abroad.

What do FTers use, and/or what can you recommend?
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Old Feb 6, 2016, 6:22 pm
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I've been using the
Universal World Wide Travel Charger Adapter Plug Universal World Wide Travel Charger Adapter Plug
for the past couple of years. eBay (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Insten-Universal-World-Wide-Travel-Charger-Adapter-Plug-2-PACK-White-/390640334039) has a two pack for about the same price that one costs on Amazon.
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Old Feb 6, 2016, 8:14 pm
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Few modern devices require voltage converters (i.e., transformers). Anything portable and electronic is almost certainly voltage- and frequency-agnostic.

The most common travel-related devices that care what voltage you connect them to are those with heating elements or motors: irons, hair dryers and curling irons. If you have a single-voltage version of one of those, you're far better off buying a dual-voltage one before your trip or buying a cheap 240 volt one in Europe.

Once you've avoided the voltage issue, all you need is a couple of good-quality adapters.
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Old Feb 7, 2016, 8:52 am
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Although I go generally still travel with my Kingston multi-country adaptor (this one), I find that a rarely use it. It ends up being too big for some sockets, a bad fit in others, and is just generally "big". I now normally only carry it as a backup, and in case I end up routing via somewhere that I wasn't planning to.

For day-to-day I travel with 2 of the much smaller plug-specific adapters for the country(s) I'm travelling to, and a power board. You can pick these adapters up on Amazon or a site like Deal Xtreme for a few dollars each, and although there's the occasional bad quality ones out there, the vast majority are good. Many of these even support multiple things plugged into them, like this one.

For a power board I used the Monster OTG400. These used to go for about $10, but looks like they are closer to $20 now. At the end of the day most any powerboard will work fine, but keep in mind that if it's not completely passive (eg, it's got a circuit breaker, or USB ports) then unless it's specifically made to support 100-240 volts then you might have problems in other countries!)
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Old Feb 8, 2016, 8:40 pm
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We've been through this before. The absolute best products in this space are all japanese, all of them expensive and hard to get. But there are knockoffs which are cheap, easy to get and not too bad. In detail:
  1. First of all, boycott Monster. They are a tax evading patent troll, don't fund them. If you need a three pole travel power strip try the Voltage Valet PS2 Travel Power Strip.
  2. Any unwieldy big brick style plug adapter with sliding out plugs is for the kettles. Exception is the Skross World Adapter PRO because it's an absolutely unique three poles adapter. Yes, Tumi also sells an adapter like that but if you look closely you'll find the Skross logo on it OK, that's about three prongs, let's move on to two prongs.
  3. The
    Kirkland Kirkland
    is a knockoff of this
    Japanese product Japanese product
    , not bad but there's better now. If you prefer this one, http://www.dx.com/p/mini-worldwide-power-plug-adapter-2238 is even cheaper.
  4. The Wonpro Nano is win. Yes it's not flat but it's small enough to be pardoned for it. It's quite probably a Nissyo NP-10 knockoff but since the Nissyo is unavailable outside of Japan I can't be bothered. I had more success with this in the UK than the one above. The one above sometimes failed me with UK sockets but this one didn't. The way the plug unscrews for the EU plugs is just ingenious.
  5. If you need to plug in more than two devices, then add a
    Road Warrior 47 Road Warrior 47
    .

Last edited by chx1975; Feb 9, 2016 at 2:21 am
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Old Feb 9, 2016, 4:40 pm
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Awesome! I'm going with the Wonpro. Unfortunately, I've seen the Monster OTG400 recommended in many places and actually bought one before I found out about the tax evasion and patent trolling, so I'll be using one of those.

Thanks for the advice!
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Old Feb 9, 2016, 4:47 pm
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Very few modern electronics are not universal. About the only common item I can think of is the Nintendo DS/3DS charger... at least they're cheap? I have no idea why Nintendo made this decision. I found out the hard way when I moved to the UK...
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Old Feb 10, 2016, 6:34 am
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Originally Posted by diburning
Awesome! I'm going with the Wonpro. Unfortunately, I've seen the Monster OTG400 recommended in many place
Glad you like the Nano. Can't remember whether it comes with instructions or not but the plastic tip of the EU round plug unscrews and that's absolutely not intuitive. If this makes no sense, I'll do a video. As for recommendations of products from tax evading patent trolls, meh, have you seen how many people buy Apple products?
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Old Feb 10, 2016, 6:59 am
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This is the one I have and is the smallest I've ever seen:
iconcepts Mobility UNIVERSAL INTERNATIONAL PLUG ADAPTER - - Amazon.com iconcepts Mobility UNIVERSAL INTERNATIONAL PLUG ADAPTER - - Amazon.com
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Old Feb 10, 2016, 12:34 pm
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That's 3. from above. Creating a wiki.
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Old Jun 9, 2016, 8:18 pm
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I second the Road Warrior as an alternative to a Monster product. It's very light, with the wrap around cord making most sockets reasonably near a desk or nightstand usable. Another consideration might be this Asium three grounded outlet model, although it costs double now than when I bought it: https://www.amazon.com/Asium-Compact...s=asium+travel. The two sockets on the same side aren't as crowded together as they appear. The cord is fairly short, so unless your outlet is very close, a short extension cord may be helpful.

In addition to the Kikkerland "toy" mentioned above, there's also the Neo brand in three cool colors: https://www.amazon.com/NEO-Universal...travel+adapter. I have both that one (red) and the Kikkerland, with the latter perhaps seeming a tad "flimisier" than the Neo; tradeoff is that the Kikkerland has the necessary fake grounding pin to open Chinese sockets, which the Neo does not.
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Old Oct 18, 2016, 9:37 pm
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I am interested in the #3 Kikkerland / Road Warrior GoCon adapter.

However, from the pictures, it looks like it does not really have an way to support the British style plugs. It looks like they are just shoving the round Europlug style pins into the british style outlet.

If I recall, the British plug was specifically designed to avoid insertion of a Europlug 2pin and this adapter just seems to be circumventing it.

I think the main reason is the lower current rating of the europlug. This isnt really a concern for me since I'm using a converter and I'm not using anything that draws much current, however, I don't know if a British plug will really mate very well with a europlug pin.

I'd appreciate hearing any experiences people have had.
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Old Oct 19, 2016, 2:31 am
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As I understand it, many British plugs for devices that don't need a ground (earth) feature have a plastic third pin to open the shutters, just as the Kikkerland adapter does.

Even though American laptop standards have a third pin, unless one is traveling in an area with unstable electricity, it's not really necessary for it to be connected.
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Old Oct 19, 2016, 2:56 am
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Originally Posted by eng3
I am interested in the #3 Kikkerland / Road Warrior GoCon adapter.

However, from the pictures, it looks like it does not really have an way to support the British style plugs. It looks like they are just shoving the round Europlug style pins into the british style outlet.

If I recall, the British plug was specifically designed to avoid insertion of a Europlug 2pin and this adapter just seems to be circumventing it.

I think the main reason is the lower current rating of the europlug. This isnt really a concern for me since I'm using a converter and I'm not using anything that draws much current, however, I don't know if a British plug will really mate very well with a europlug pin.

I'd appreciate hearing any experiences people have had.
I'm currently in Singapore, which uses the UK style plug, and typing this comment on a laptop which is plugged into the Kikkerland and into the wall.

All I can tell you is that it works, I have two of them, they ride around with me because they are ridiculously flat and light and take up no space, and they work better than a few of my huge, bulky "dedicated" adapters I have floating around at home.

As you were. (Edited to add - I don't actually have the Kikkerland, I have the dx.com version, which is the same thing with different colours.)
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Old Oct 19, 2016, 7:34 am
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I'm heading Buenos Aries next month. I see that they have plugs matching European continental power and also plugs matching what looks like Australia. Are they both regularly in use? Is it like the guides that show a South African style adapter as a secondary outlet for the UK because you might find such a plug in the basement of some farmhouse in the Devon?
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