Jeffrey J. Nonken on Wed, 17 Sep 2003 16:47:05 -0400

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RE: [PLUG] [OT] Where to get adapters for British outlets?

On Wed, 17 Sep 2003 16:13:39 -0400, Mattison, Jacob wrote:
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: Stephen Gran []
>>A friend of mine is going to move to scotland for a year or so, and
>>is looking to pick up some adapters that will let him plug in his
>>American appliances into Scottish current.  It's my understanding
>>they use plugs with little round pins instead of our bar
>>pins, and that
>>they also use a different current supply, so that he would
>>need not only
>>an interface change, but a real voltage converter.  Is this
>>accurate, to
>>the best of anyone's knowledge?  If so, does anyone know
>>where to pick a
>>bunch of these up?
>That is correct; in Scotland they use 220 Volts (as opposed to 120V
>and the plug type is known as "B1/B3".  Most travel stores sell
>try for example the Rand McNally store in Liberty Place (16th and
>St) if you're in Center City.  Also luggage stores.  Also Radio
>Shack; see
>for example
>LG%5F009%5F001%5F004%5F000&product%5Fid=273%2D1413 (if that URL
>work, go to, click on "batteries and power",
>strips, surge", "foreign travel adapters".

As I recall from my years as a Radio Shack salesman, there are two kinds of adaptors.

The first kind is inexpensive and light, gives you a lot of power, but does not work for inductive loads.

The second kind is basically a transformer, is a lot more expensive, and works just fine for inductive loads, but doesn't give you much power.

Hair driers are a big pain in the neck because they represent an inductive load (motor) and high power (heating coil) in one package. I think we sent more customers away pissed off for that than anything else. Most of 'em seemed to blame us.

Well, that plus the fact that we said they had to buy two separate adaptors to cover all their appliances, etc. and so on.

Anyway, I don't know if things have changed, but that's the way it was at Radio Shack back around 1976.

Jeffrey J. Nonken

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