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423 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 181018 29-Sep-2015 16:59
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I'm going to be travelling to South America in several months, and am trying to figure out a solution for charging my laptop/tablet (Samsung Ativ 500T) while there. The charger uses the standard C5/C6 clover leaf connector, with a lead to a 3-prong NZ plug.

I was planning to buy either another power lead or an adapter, however it seems that there are 4 different, incompatible earther sockets in use (type B, I, L and N on http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/) and two of the countries I'm visiting don't seem to use earthed sockets at all (Bolivia and Peru).

Hence I'm thinking about using a 2-pin cable with the charger. Something like http://www.aliexpress.com/item/US-regulatory-laptop-retractable-cable-the-US-regulations-Mickey-turn-tail-C5-contraction-wire-power-cord/32337923978.html?spm=2114.031010208.3.2.2b81Tl&ws_ab_test=201556_1,201527_2_48_71_72_73_74_75,201409_2http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Short-Power-cord-EU-2Pin-Male-to-IEC-320-C5-Micky-for-Notebook-Power-supply-28CM/210048_32223641968.html or http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Hot-USA-UL-Canada-US-2pin-male-to-IEC-320-C5-Micky-Short-travel-Power-cord/210048_32223653377.html.

I'd still need adapters for US, EU and NZ type 2-prong plugs as all 3 are used, but that seems manageable.

Is there any real danger in doing so? Are there any alternative options, especially for Peru and Bolivia?

Thanks.

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  Reply # 1396729 29-Sep-2015 17:19
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2-pin laptop chargers are double insulated so they don't have to be earthed for safety.  So you should be OK to use a 2-prong charger of decent quality.  But it's not always OK to use a 2 pin socket with a 3-pin laptop adapter.



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1396734 29-Sep-2015 17:35
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ubergeeknz: 2-pin laptop chargers are double insulated so they don't have to be earthed for safety.  So you should be OK to use a 2-prong charger of decent quality.  But it's not always OK to use a 2 pin socket with a 3-pin laptop adapter.


I can't tell if it's doubly insulated. Don't see the square-in-a-square or anything else to indicate it.

I don't really see what other option I have for countries which only have 2-prong sockets though.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1396754 29-Sep-2015 18:51
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its not because it has 3 pins

2 pin ones are double insulated



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1396813 29-Sep-2015 20:15
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Jase2985: its not because it has 3 pins

2 pin ones are double insulated


Well, still don't see that I have any better options. Only alternative I can think of is an aftermarket charger, and I don't see that being any safer.

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  Reply # 1396821 29-Sep-2015 20:34
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michaelt:
Jase2985: its not because it has 3 pins

2 pin ones are double insulated


Well, still don't see that I have any better options. Only alternative I can think of is an aftermarket charger, and I don't see that being any safer.


It will be if it's double insulated.  If your charger is not double insulated, it must be earthed to be safe.  Lack of a double box indicates it is not.

Have a look here to see the different 'classes' of appliance and their applicable symbols: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appliance_classes




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1396845 29-Sep-2015 20:52
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ubergeeknz: It will be if it's double insulated.  If your charger is not double insulated, it must be earthed to be safe.  Lack of a double box indicates it is not.

Have a look here to see the different 'classes' of appliance and their applicable symbols: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appliance_classes



Any suggestions on how to find a safe charger then? The only 2-prong ones I could find were cheap chinese ones, and I doubt they're double-insulated (even if they say they are). Output is 12V, 3.33A with a very small diameter barrel plug.

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  Reply # 1396894 29-Sep-2015 21:37
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michaelt:
ubergeeknz: It will be if it's double insulated.  If your charger is not double insulated, it must be earthed to be safe.  Lack of a double box indicates it is not.

Have a look here to see the different 'classes' of appliance and their applicable symbols: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appliance_classes



Any suggestions on how to find a safe charger then? The only 2-prong ones I could find were cheap chinese ones, and I doubt they're double-insulated (even if they say they are). Output is 12V, 3.33A with a very small diameter barrel plug.


http://www.jaycar.co.nz/IT-Products/Connectivity/Power-Products/Mini-Notebook-Power-Supply/p/MP3477

Should do, 40W @ 12v is 3.33A



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1396957 29-Sep-2015 22:27
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ubergeeknz: http://www.jaycar.co.nz/IT-Products/Connectivity/Power-Products/Mini-Notebook-Power-Supply/p/MP3477

Should do, 40W @ 12v is 3.33A


Looking at the specs, the rated DC output is only 3A (although that's probably enough).

There's two reasons I probably can't use this though. The first being that it doesn't auto-select the mains voltage, so is probably 110V or 240V only (instead of the whole range). So I wouldn't want to use it with Brazil's 127V supply. Second, I've checked the datasheet and it doesn't have the connector I need (2.5mm x 0.7mm, which I think are the outside diameters of the outer and inner pins).

Also, I'm skeptical as to the quality of these. I've had similar products in the past and they've all had a high pitched whine, and I think one destroyed a laptop I was using it with (although it could've just died).

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  Reply # 1397030 30-Sep-2015 08:03
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pretty much you have 3 options

use your current one, even though it is unsafe due to a shock risk
buy a cheap Chinese one that works but potentially deal with the issues coming with the cheapness of if
find a decent one for $$ if you can actually find one, that is double insulated.

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  Reply # 1397084 30-Sep-2015 09:20
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If you know where you are staying you should be able to find out what sockets they have. 

For example, hotels often have this on their website.

Another suggestion is to call someone like laptopbattery.co.nz and speak to them. 

I found them really helpful when I needed a hard to find charger.




Mike



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1397520 30-Sep-2015 19:08
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Jase2985: pretty much you have 3 options

use your current one, even though it is unsafe due to a shock risk
buy a cheap Chinese one that works but potentially deal with the issues coming with the cheapness of if
find a decent one for $$ if you can actually find one, that is double insulated.


I highly doubt any cheap chinese one would be safer, and have completely failed to find a decent one. I guess option 1 it is.

MikeAqua: If you know where you are staying you should be able to find out what sockets they have. 

For example, hotels often have this on their website.

Another suggestion is to call someone like laptopbattery.co.nz and speak to them. 

I found them really helpful when I needed a hard to find charger.


Thanks, but that's not going to work. Travelling to 8 countries with 5 different socket types, and will be staying in cheap hostels/couchsurfing. I really need a solution I can use anywhere.

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  Reply # 1397564 30-Sep-2015 20:06
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why? look where a lot of main stream brand chargers are made.

The 3 laptops in our house from 3 different brands all of the chargers are made in china. go figure.



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1397573 30-Sep-2015 20:18
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Jase2985: why? look where a lot of main stream brand chargers are made.

The 3 laptops in our house from 3 different brands all of the chargers are made in china. go figure.


Oh, I'd trust a chinese charger that came with a brand name product. The problem is telling the good ones from the bad ones (and the fakes) when buying aftermarket ones. There's some real junk for sale on aliexpress/ebay.

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