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Plug conversion overseas
Old 08-15-2007, 03:36 AM   #1
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Plug conversion overseas

I am about to embark on a trip to China and several Southeast Asia countries. The electrical information I found at this site was very useful:

Help for World Travelers

I have purchased a Universal Plug Converter for about $16, which basically just adapts the shape of the plug in whatever country that you are in to the American style plug:

APC Universal Plug Adapter

I don't need a voltage converter, because all of the electronic items I am bringing are good to go from 110 up to 240 Volts and 50-60 Hz. So all my electrical items can run off the native electricity, as long as the plug shape is correct.

But I would like to also bring a short extension cord and a standard one to 3 plug converter. This extension cord would plug into the US side of the universal plug converter. But US extension cords are generally rated at 110 V, etc. Everywhere I am visiting is ~220V. Do I need to get one of those thick 220 Volt rated extension cords (which I would rather not carry)? Anyone with experience in this? The plugs are quite different in many of the countries that I am visiting, so I can't really get an extension cord over there with the local plug type in each place.

Kramer
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Old 08-15-2007, 07:03 AM   #2
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Have you found a good place to buy wrinkle free travel clothes? I'm looking for something a step up from the usual jeans.
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Old 08-15-2007, 10:03 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kramer View Post
But I would like to also bring a short extension cord and a standard one to 3 plug converter. This extension cord would plug into the US side of the universal plug converter. But US extension cords are generally rated at 110 V, etc. Everywhere I am visiting is ~220V. Do I need to get one of those thick 220 Volt rated extension cords (which I would rather not carry)?
Kramer
The standard insulation rating for wire available in US is 250V or 600V.
Some extensions cords would have insulation markings stamped on the wire. For peace of mind you might want a cord which has the wire rated high enough (if you can find it), but from practical standpoint there is not much difference in insulation in extension cords between 110 and 220 due to need for mechanical (like abrasion, sheer resistance) vs. di-electrical (insulating) properties.

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Old 08-15-2007, 12:02 PM   #4
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The standard insulation rating for wire available in US is 250V or 600V.
Some extensions cords would have insulation markings stamped on the wire. For peace of mind you might want a cord which has the wire rated high enough (if you can find it), but from practical standpoint there is not much difference in insulation in extension cords between 110 and 220 due to need for mechanical (like abrasion, sheer resistance) vs. di-electrical (insulating) properties.

sailor
Thanks, Sailor. So I guess I can go with a standard 110V, 60 Hz rated cord then -- I actually couldn't find anything rated differently except for a specialized, short heavy duty 220 V cord like for a clothes dryer. I thought to myself -- are extension cords in all these countries that thick? I just don't want to get electrocuted or to damage my plug converter (in that order ;-0 )

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Old 08-15-2007, 12:15 PM   #5
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Have you found a good place to buy wrinkle free travel clothes? I'm looking for something a step up from the usual jeans.
dex, I ended getting most of my clothes at REI or various sporting goods stores like Big 5 (the latter is a sporting goods chain). I also bought some at Any Mountain, an REI-like chain in California. Most of the things that I bought were on sale. Generally, I try to buy as much gear as possible at Walmart. But Walmart does not have any of the specialty clothing.

I have a couple of pairs of travel pants that are convertible into shorts, and a pair of nylon slacks. They all look real nice -- you can't tell that the slacks are not Dockers or something like that. Also, the travel pants convert to shorts that are knee length -- most others I have seen convert into higher shorts, which are less respectful outside of the US. I have three wrinkle-resistant collared shirts, two short sleeve, one long sleeve. I have three wrinkle-resistant T-shirts, all different styles with no writing or advertisements on them. Everything matches everything else.

I bought synthetic underwear and socks at Walmart and Target. They work great and were about one-third the price of REI. I can actually wash my undies in the shower, dry them in my towel, and immediately put them on. The socks take longer to dry.

I am bringing three pairs of shoes: Flip-flops, Teva Wraptor Sandals (my primary footwear in SE Asia), and some nice looking tennis-shoes that are brown and black and don't look like tennis shoes. So the latter are dressy when I need them and match everything and I can also run in them if I want to go running once in a while. I just got them on sale for $30.

I plan to make a blog entry with pictures of the equipment and clothes that I will be carrying. I'll be sure to give you a link.

Kramer
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Old 08-15-2007, 05:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by kramer View Post
Thanks, Sailor. So I guess I can go with a standard 110V, 60 Hz rated cord then -- I actually couldn't find anything rated differently except for a specialized, short heavy duty 220 V cord like for a clothes dryer. I thought to myself -- are extension cords in all these countries that thick? I just don't want to get electrocuted or to damage my plug converter (in that order ;-0 )

Kramer
Those cords are huge because the wire is huge, and that is because of the amps being carried to an appliance like a range or dryer. With normal small appliances your amperage draw will actually be only a bit more than half of what it is at 120v.

ha
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Old 08-16-2007, 08:36 AM   #7
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Kramer,
Thanks for the info - I would appreciate seeing what you are carrying. I'm thinking of Europe later this year and I want to dress a little better than blue jeans - I think you get a better reception from the locals if you don't look like a backpacker.
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Old 08-16-2007, 09:17 AM   #8
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I don't need a voltage converter, because all of the electronic items I am bringing are good to go from 110 up to 240 Volts and 50-60 Hz. So all my electrical items can run off the native electricity, as long as the plug shape is correct.
My son blew out his 110-240V 50-60Hz HP laptop in a hotel room in England when he plugged it straight into the plug with the correct plug shape. He got reimbursed from HP, but just a warning.
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Old 08-19-2007, 05:21 PM   #9
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Just a SWAG, but if you go from 120v to 240v, the current should be halved, so you shouldn't need a bigger conductor (or whar, as we say in Texas...).
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Old 08-22-2007, 02:06 AM   #10
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I visited China this past Winter and as far as I can remember I was able to plug in my electronics in some of the nicer hotels without an adapter.
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