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What Does "Universal Voltage" Mean?

What Does "Universal Voltage" Mean?

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Old Aug 6, 08, 1:59 am
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What Does "Universal Voltage" Mean?

I'm heading to Europe soon for the first time with one electronic device-a battery charger. On the back it says "Universal Voltage" in English, Spanish, and French.

Does this mean I don't have to buy an electrical converter?
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Old Aug 6, 08, 2:58 am
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Originally Posted by Delta767 View Post
I'm heading to Europe soon for the first time with one electronic device-a battery charger. On the back it says "Universal Voltage" in English, Spanish, and French.

Does this mean I don't have to buy an electrical converter?
loads of electronic items can run on 110 or 220-240 Battery chargers and powersupplies are almost always universal nowadays, you just plug most of them straight in, with items older than about 5 years there may be a switch to press to change voltage
these are the things I have that work on both
Camera battery cherger
mobile phone charger
laptop power lead
hairdryer
travel kettle
psp
mains ipod charger
as a general rule if its electronoc it doesnt need a transformer or has one built in , if it has moving parts eg sewing machine (dont ask) then it needs a transformer
Hope this helps
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Old Aug 6, 08, 3:03 am
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Unfortunately, Nintendo DS and hair trimmers/shavers will need converters. Make sure to get a good quality converter or you will end up pulling -- instead of cutting -- your hair out...
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Old Aug 6, 08, 10:09 am
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It means it will run on both 110 and 220/240 and either 50 or 60 cycles.

You will probably need an adapter, but will not need a converter to run it.
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Old Aug 6, 08, 12:39 pm
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a hair dryer is not in the list of things that can take whatever voltage you feed into it
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Old Aug 6, 08, 3:05 pm
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Originally Posted by wolfie_cr View Post
a hair dryer is not in the list of things that can take whatever voltage you feed into it
Depends on the hair dryer. We have a "travel hair dryer" with a switch on the handle. Still needs a plug adapter, of course.
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Old Aug 6, 08, 4:10 pm
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The best thing you can do is read the back of the electrical transformer. If it says 110V, then you can't use it (without a proper transformer). If it says 110~240V, then all you need is the adapter and it will work fine.

Last edited by EWR ATC Hold; Aug 7, 08 at 4:27 pm Reason: thought I'd prevent someone from starting a fire in Europe
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Old Aug 7, 08, 11:03 am
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Originally Posted by EWR ATC Hold View Post
The best thing you can do is read the back of the electrical plug. If it says 110V, then you can't use it (without a proper transformer). If it says 110~240V, then all you need is the adapter and it will work fine.
I don't think so. The plug will not have useful information if it says anything at all. (Most don't.) You can buy a plug rated 110-240v at any hardware or electrical supply store, but putting it on the end of a cord does not say anything about whatever is on the other end of the cord. You have to look at the device. If it's something like a computer or DVD player that operates on a low voltage (probably DC, but that's irrelevant) with an adapter, you have to look at the adapter.

In some cases the plug may be built into the adapter - the bane of power strip users the world over, as those adapters typically cover two or three outlets - but it's still important to understand that one is checking the adapter, not the plug.
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Old Aug 7, 08, 4:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Efrem View Post
I don't think so. The plug will not have useful information if it says anything at all. (Most don't.) You can buy a plug rated 110-240v at any hardware or electrical supply store, but putting it on the end of a cord does not say anything about whatever is on the other end of the cord. You have to look at the device. If it's something like a computer or DVD player that operates on a low voltage (probably DC, but that's irrelevant) with an adapter, you have to look at the adapter.

In some cases the plug may be built into the adapter - the bane of power strip users the world over, as those adapters typically cover two or three outlets - but it's still important to understand that one is checking the adapter, not the plug.
Sorry, my quote meant to say "adapter" or "transformer" instead of plug. I'm going to update my post. The AC adapter/transformers/whatever you want to call them always have this information on them. Then what you plug them into is irrelevant. Most modern electronics are 110~240, but certain ones (my oral B toothbrush charger and Nintendo DS come to mind) aren't. Thanks for clarifying . . . wouldn't want someone to start a fire.
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Old Aug 7, 08, 5:06 pm
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Originally Posted by EWR ATC Hold View Post
wouldn't want someone to start a fire.
wolfie to mrs wolfie 1 year ago in Scotland

wolfie "what is that smell?"

mrs wolfie "oh oh "

wolfie "eh..........your curling iron just disintegrated.......and burned a bit of the carpet"

I am glad they didnt charge us for it!
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Old Aug 8, 08, 12:27 am
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OP--
Your batt charger will be fine if it says what you said and/or it says ~110V-240V AC (the ~ stands for AC). Make sure you get a plug adapter before you leave. Don't pay more than $10 for it though. You DO NOT need a transformer.

Read this wikipedia article and you'll know more than you want about the plug adapter topic.
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