William H. Magill on Wed, 17 Sep 2003 21:54:10 -0400

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

On Wed, 17 Sep 2003, Stephen Gran wrote:
A friend of mine is going to move to scotland for a year or so, and he
is looking to pick up some adapters that will let him plug in his
American appliances into Scottish current.

As others have pointed out, most contemporary electronics have either voltage selector switches or "universal" power supplies.

An example is Sony. They have a Universal power brick which only needs the correct power cord to make the change. The brick is hard-wired to the cable which goes to the camera, and the AC cord is "plug-able." The brick senses what voltage it is getting and works appropriately. The cord has the appropriate wall plug for the locale on one end. (All Apple computers in recent years come this way, including the iPod's power adapter. They have a changeable plug on the small brick.)

I used my Sony DV camcorder with no problems in the UK (London) by merely getting a power adapter such as you were looking for. (I picked up mine at the Rand McNally store in Liberty Place.)

You can also pick them up for a bit more in any of the "gift shops" at any hotel that caters to Tourists. The identical adapter I got in the US cost the same, but in Pounds, in the UK in the local hotel.

Only one Caveat -- make certain that the adapter you get is the "modern" type... where the "neutral" slot is larger than the "hot" slot (U.S. side). Many Adapters have only two "matched" slots on the "U.S." side, and those won't work with the plugs on most contemporary electronics, but are still found on things like clock-radios that are more than about 5 years old. (When the US Code requirements changed.)

William H. Magill
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