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08-16-2013, 02:30 PM   #1
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Travel Battery Chargers

I'm heading to Asia (Thailand) at the end of the month.

I would like to know if my battery chargers will work with a simple plug adapter, or if I will need some special sort of special adapter/transformer to safely charge the batteries.

I will be bringing the stock Pentax K30 charger, stock Pentax Q charger, and a stock Eneloop charger for charging AA Eneloops.

Searching some old threads I came across some Pearstone chargers from B&H that are supposed to work worldwide, but I don't think those would arrive here in Vancouver in time for my trip.

08-16-2013, 03:12 PM   #2
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Pentax chargers will work fine. Voltage in Thailand is 240V. If your Eneloop charger says "Auto AC100-240" or something like that it should be ok. The important thing is to have the correct plug and it must be of good quality Donīt skimp on the adapters!
08-16-2013, 04:57 PM   #3
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Most electronic chargers with a 'brick' transformer will work fine with a simple plug adapter. Check that they say "120v/240v" on them, if so then they can handle either voltage and will only need the pin adapter. I just checked and even my Wasabi charger for k-5 says "100v-240v 50/60hz" so should work fine. These work because the transformer takes AC current "input" and outputs DC current at 5-12 volts depending on the charger.

However, anything that uses AC current directly (hair dryer, shaver, light bulb, motor, etc) will NOT work and will cause anything from fire/smoke to circuit breakers popping to actual destruction of the device. My mother in law recently went to Ireland and despite explicit instructions on what would work and what not, her room mate plugged in a US voltage hair dryer with predictable results. The hair dryer caught on fire and produced considerable smoke and shut off power to a whole block of rooms.
08-16-2013, 05:34 PM   #4
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As stated above but a couple additional tips - I shoot strictly AA batteries. I have ONE Sanyo charger that charges up to 4 batteries and as few as 1 battery at a time. Each battery has its own circuit for optimum charge. LiON batteries save no space if you will be carrying a extra charger.

Next, so long as the device is good for worldwide voltage (100/240VAC 50/60 Hz - just look at the fine print on your device) I purchase a plug style adapter (not a voltage adapter) for my destination and attach it to a short extension cord. I can then plug my devices with the North American blade style plug into the extension cord and plug the cord into the local wall outlet. And as many hotel rooms have a limited number of outlets, this solves another problem.

So long as the total power consumption of your plugged in devices (in watts) does not exceed the rated capacity (in watts) of the extension cord, you are good to go.

Having traveled three continents, the game plan is to eliminate as much packing space and weight as possible. Ounces and grams count. They add up quickly. Aside from the extravagant overweight charges by the airlines, your body will soon complain with every set of stairs you encounter. Be brutal. We thought we were packing lightly our first trip to Europe. My wife and I had one slightly bigger than carry-on roller bag, a carry-on roller bag for each of us, and a day pack. For a repeat trip of the same duration a couple years ago, we had our two carry-on roller bags and a day pack. (we put a small collapsible duffel bag in one roller bag - we filled it with our used laundry and put our souvenirs in our roller bags). Did I mention, be brutal? I meant REALLY brutal.

08-17-2013, 01:31 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Most electronic chargers with a 'brick' transformer will work fine with a simple plug adapter. Check that they say "120v/240v" on them, if so then they can handle either voltage and will only need the pin adapter. I just checked and even my Wasabi charger for k-5 says "100v-240v 50/60hz" so should work fine. These work because the transformer takes AC current "input" and outputs DC current at 5-12 volts depending on the charger.

However, anything that uses AC current directly (hair dryer, shaver, light bulb, motor, etc) will NOT work and will cause anything from fire/smoke to circuit breakers popping to actual destruction of the device. My mother in law recently went to Ireland and despite explicit instructions on what would work and what not, her room mate plugged in a US voltage hair dryer with predictable results. The hair dryer caught on fire and produced considerable smoke and shut off power to a whole block of rooms.
QuoteOriginally posted by carrrlangas Quote
Pentax chargers will work fine. Voltage in Thailand is 240V. If your Eneloop charger says "Auto AC100-240" or something like that it should be ok. The important thing is to have the correct plug and it must be of good quality Donīt skimp on the adapters!
Thanks for the responses all. I checked all the adapters that would be plugged into outlets. Every one of them mentions 240V somewhere on the back, so I take it to mean that it will be okay in Thailand. One of my cords isn't rated past 125V, but that's only a couple of bucks to upgrade.

QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
Having traveled three continents, the game plan is to eliminate as much packing space and weight as possible. Ounces and grams count. They add up quickly. Aside from the extravagant overweight charges by the airlines, your body will soon complain with every set of stairs you encounter. Be brutal. We thought we were packing lightly our first trip to Europe. My wife and I had one slightly bigger than carry-on roller bag, a carry-on roller bag for each of us, and a day pack. For a repeat trip of the same duration a couple years ago, we had our two carry-on roller bags and a day pack. (we put a small collapsible duffel bag in one roller bag - we filled it with our used laundry and put our souvenirs in our roller bags). Did I mention, be brutal? I meant REALLY brutal.
I think I will have to be brutal with the Eneloops. Bringing 8 AA's and a charger, just for what? I already have two of the brick batteries. I might just rush ship another one from Amazon and be good with that.

Thanks again all.
08-17-2013, 05:22 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by EarlVonTapia Quote
Thanks for the responses all. I checked all the adapters that would be plugged into outlets. Every one of them mentions 240V somewhere on the back, so I take it to mean that it will be okay in Thailand. One of my cords isn't rated past 125V, but that's only a couple of bucks to upgrade.

I think I will have to be brutal with the Eneloops. Bringing 8 AA's and a charger, just for what? I already have two of the brick batteries. I might just rush ship another one from Amazon and be good with that.

Thanks again all.
I would have gone the other direction as I would have a flash unit with me that also uses AA batteries, plus my AA charger has no separate cord to unpack and repack - but the point is, you started tossing stuff out of the luggage you don't need. Good for you.

Copper wire isn't as voltage sensitive as other electronic components. Although the one cord says "125V", the real issue is how much power it can safely carry; there should also be an amperage rating on that cord. Multiply volts by amps and you get watts; at double the voltage you get half the amperage capacity (sounds a lot like shutter and aperture, right? Other than some mass, there is not much difference between photons and electrons.). V X A = W (like any algebraic equation, knowing any two values will get you the third)

So long as the device will handle 240vac, convert all your power measurements to watts and it is easier to make sure you are safe. Many devices include their input wattage requirements on the label so no conversion math is even needed.
08-17-2013, 07:54 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by EarlVonTapia Quote
One of my cords isn't rated past 125V, but that's only a couple of bucks to upgrade.
Donīt pay attention to this, it will work just fine. The voltage rating is related to the current rating but they are only relevant for high comsumption devices.

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