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Author Topic: Electronics question  (Read 2527 times)


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Electronics question
« on: November 20, 2013, 10:28:45 AM »
Ok... I will be bringing a laptop for sure.  Also, I will have a camera that needs to be plugged in to charge a battery.  What sort of things will I need in the way of adapters or converters, power strips, surge protectors and the like?  Not sure I will even have electricity, so maybe this is a dumb question.   :-[

Offline jlmanzak

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Re: Electronics question
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2013, 11:12:16 AM »
Adapters will depend on what country you are in. A great idea that I read is to bring an American powerstrip to plug most of your electronics into. That way you need fewer AC adapters!

Offline shawn

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Re: Electronics question
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2013, 01:20:07 PM »
I would pick up one of the multi-adapters that works in a bunch of places, just in case (and for when you travel).

A decent American power strip is a really good idea, but check to make sure it can handle the voltage in your country. In the States, we run off 110 volts, but a lot of places in the world run off 220/240 volts. Look up your country's details and make sure your power strip can handle a higher voltage. If it can't, it'll fry the strip.
PCVL - Rwanda 2010-2013
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Offline chebeler

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Re: Electronics question
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2013, 09:50:36 AM »
There are two issues here - one is the shape of the plug (called adapter) - the other is the type of power (many countries have 220, instead of the 120 used in the US). For power, you need a converter, than makes sure your American electrics don't burn out. Luckily, you can usually get both in one gizmo. I recommend taking two if you are also taking your laptop, Ipod, electric toothbrush (some of us oldies have to take careful care of teeth), etc. They are available on the web, just read the specs carefully.

Offline Marion

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Re: Electronics question
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2013, 10:49:42 AM »
You will need an "adapter" as Charlie said.  So the plugs can work in the wall.  However, regarding converters... you may not need one for most of your electronics.  Most laptops, camera chargers etc usually say somewhere on the charger that they are good for 110-240, meaning they will handle both types of current.  Check the device carefully. 

Things like hair dryers and irons, which probably are not ok with other types of electricity, you are better off buying in-country.  We did bring a converter but never needed it.
RPCV, Botswana (2011-2013)

Offline Branden Ryan

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Re: Electronics question
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2013, 05:42:42 AM »
I recommend a small solar charger that can charge things via USB. I didn't bring one, but the volunteer closest to me did, and his works awesome to keep things charged. PCTZ also provided us with D-Lights, which can charge things using solar power.

A mini-speaker to play music is a good bring. Mine just died the other day and I'm a bit devastated. Be weary with what you bring to your site. Africa, in general, is the graveyard of electronics.

Branden Ryan
PCV, Tanzania, 2013-2015