A voltage converter is a small device that switches from one voltage level to another. For example, you can find them to convert from 110 volts to 220 volts. There are some countries that run on 110 and some that run on 220 so if you need to use electronics or appliances that use 110 but the place you’re going to uses 220, use a voltage converter to get the job done and your things running again. You’ll also find 210 to 230 volt converters as well.
Each one has a plug toward the end to plug in your device. Then it goes into the electrical socket to power it. You can also use a transformer with the voltage converter to adjust the voltage you need. Those meant for smaller electronics will have this to adjust to a lower level. There are some that contain only a transformer but this is rare, though you can find it if you need it.
You will also find voltage converters that are meant for use in cars and recreational vehicles since they have a DC of 12 volts. You need to keep in mind that all don’t come with a transformer and you may need to get one separately. You can also use a Zener diode to lower voltage levels and stop a power loss. You can also increase the voltage if you need to. In this case a transformer is needed. If you need to convert from AC to DC, you’ll need a rectifier and a conditioning circuit.
When you buy a voltage converter, keep in mind that the plug shapes and holes will vary from one country to another so you need to find one that is compatible with the voltage used in the country you’re travelling to. In most countries, the voltages are 110 or 220. Some countries like USA and Canada have 120 volts plugs and a frequency of 60HZ and other with 50 HZ. When you buy the right one, you can power and use any electronic device or appliances.
Usually the electronics we use will not automatically adjust for different voltages and this where the problem arises. The hair dryers, radios, DVD players, portable computers and TVs will not work if there is a voltage change without a voltage converter.
What type of Voltage Converter can I Find?
There are two types you will be able to find and the first one is a step up voltage converter and the second one is a step down converter.
The step up type will increase voltage and the step down converter will increase it as necessary. Which one will buy will depend on the country you are going to. This information can easily be found so you’re prepared before you go.
The step down type will decrease the voltage if you’re traveling from a country using 220 voltages to a country that uses 110 voltages. A good example would be travelling from Europe to the United States.
The wattage you need will determine the size of the voltage converter you need. Another factor is the wattage capability of the device you are using to determine if you need a transformer as well that has a higher wattage than your electronic or appliance. If you have computer, power tools or a television, you will need a heavy duty power voltage converter. By not purchasing the right one, your device may be damaged and stop working. Not just this, but the voltage converter can also be damaged.
Some devices will need a higher level voltage converter. For example, mobile phones and laptops may need a minimum of 1600 watts so you’ll need a heavy duty voltage converter. If you can’t charge your device, you won’t be able to use it. What if an emergency arises and you have no way to communicate? You’ll be in trouble and won’t be able to get help when you need it.
The back of your device will give you the wattage information. When you buy a voltage converter, you need to consider this. Also, you should take a look at quality versus price. Never go for the cheapest voltage converter or for the most expensive one. Get something that will allow you to operate your devices, especially those that are important like your mobile phone or laptop.
The word watts may be abbreviated with just the letter W. If it doesn’t have the wattage on the device, you can still figure out what it is. The formula is Volts x Amps = Wattage. For example , if you’re in a country with 110 volt and the divide is 1.5 amps, you’ll come to wattage of 165. It’s not difficult to figure this out with a calculator and basic math knowledge. You’ll need at least the number of amps for this formula to work.
Do you Need a Stabilizer with Your Voltage Converter?
In countries like India, the power and voltage vary. They can increase or decrease without any warning and this is referred to as a brownout. In some countries, this can occur very often. What happens in this situation is that the voltage goes way down below the normal level causing all lights to dim. When you have your electronics or appliances plugged in, the power surge when the levels are back to normal can destroy your device. This is very common, especially with televisions and stereo equipment in third world countries.
When you buy a voltage converter, look for one that has protection from these unexpected power fluctuations so you don’t lose your valued electronics. Some come with this feature build in already. A Type 4 or Type 5 transformer will work well with your voltage converter to stabilize voltage levels. In this case, the converter will turn off and you’re electronics and appliances will be safe and damage prevented.
Do I Need to Buy a Foreign Plug Adapter?
Since some countries have different socket and plug styles, you may need to buy an adapter to go with your voltage converter. It’s just a simple little device that can be used to plug your device into the electrical outlet. In some cases, you won’t be able to run your electronics if you bought them in a place like Canada or United States. Depending on the type of plug your voltage converter has, you may need to go one step further, especially if the one you bought doesn’t come with the adapter.
You’re best option is to buy a set with a voltage converter, a transformer and a foreign plug adapter of various types and not just one. This is standard for many countries like UK and other countries that operate with 220 volts.
You know how important some electronics are for kids. You need to have everything ready, even the electrically operated ones if you take them with you on a trip outside of your own home country.
Now that you have the information you need, you’re all set to buy a voltage converter without worrying about being without something you need. Check out our voltage converters here http://www.quick220.com/page/220-voltage-converters.html.