Friday, August 31, 2007

A Question of World Power

This just shouldn't be so confusing!

I want to operate all these gizmos in Germany. I want to plug them in (with an adapter, of course) and I want them to work. I hate the idea of frying any of these do-dads, but I especially hate the idea of frying my laptop!

You'd think there's be a simple appliance that would let me run everything safely and effectively. But nooooo. Apparently my laptop doesn't need any power converter at all; apparently the little box in the German wall will just know it's a laptop and whir merrily along. We shall see... it will definitely be a blood pressure moment, though!

I bought a dual voltage hair dryer, so no problem there (I hope).

But what about my straightener, curler, battery charger and cell phone charger? Is a 50-watt converter enough? Or do I need a 1600 (or a 2000?) watt converter? And should I get the kind that recognize the correct wattage and self-adjust (expensive) or should I trust myself to switch them -- and even to know to do so?!

Do I really need to buy a new dual voltage straightener (and curling iron?) because "no converter will work," as the guy at Bergman's Travel told me, or is he full of it, and power is power is power?!

Help Mr. Travel Wizard!

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9 comments:

Jen said...

Assume he's wrong? Or would it be horrible if your straightener blew a gasket?

Have a wonderful trip!

Farfallina - Roam 2 Rome said...

Oh this post reminds me of the time I bought an adapter and connected my curling iron and went to the kitchen... when I returned the curling iron had completely melted!!

The melted plastic was all over the counter!

Hmmm.. that explains why my mp3 player made a hissing sound!

There's something to regulate the power for laptops and next time I'll take that instead!

Maria said...

I had no problems using an adapter for my laptop in Turkey, France or Germany (for extended periods of time). I also used the same for my recharger, but mine said in the directions that it was safe to do that. It had its own little converter box I think.

I also used my straightener in France with a converter without a problem.

Maria said...

You know what. When do you leave? I have an excellent European power hair dryer and flat iron that I could lend you for your trip if you'd like to use them...and you can stick your tongue out at the guy from Bergmans. LOL! :-)

Anonymous said...

http://deutschlandfuerdummies.blogspot.com/

Read the newest post on the above blog for more information.

Juanita said...

As for the curling iron, I just bought one over there. It wasn't all that expensive and I keep it at my brother's house.

Rositta said...

I'm having the same problems..I'm told the laptop will work no problem, as for the rest I have tried a power converter previously and it seemed to be fine. I will also have a heart stopping moment when I plug that laptop in for sure...ciao

vailian said...

OK, take these one at a time:
The laptop power supply is dual voltage with automatic switchover (you can check that on the label), you just need a (physical) plug adapter.

Hair dryer: probably has a switch on it somewhere. Dont forget to switch this or it will fry. (if it does, no panic cause you can pick one up at the shop for about $10)

Battery charger: may be dual voltage but check the label. If it isn't, you are better off getting one in Germany. I would think this is a better solution than a power converter.

Cell phone: my charger is (automatic) dual voltage, and the chances are yours is too. Again, have Tom look at the label if you are anxious.

Straightener/curler: These are more problematic (have higher consumption) so you have to check the wattage and compare it to the wattage on your converter (if you have one).

Anyhow: if you already have a converter, and it can take the hair implements, you are OK.

If you don't have a converter, I recommend not bothering to get one and just borrow the straightener/curler thingys from your German Female Network.

Goofball said...

help, you make me nervous. I am going the opposite direction in 3 days and have not prepared anything like that. We just have one plug adapter (and planning to buy an additional one).

I want to take my curler too...should I worry? or will it simply not heat because of lower voltage?

damn. I have no more time for shopping.

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