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12-08-2014, 02:44 AM   #16
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I travel a lot, US, Japan, rest of Asia,Middle East and Europe, since they introduced switched mode power supplies they virtually work everywhere very well.
Get good power international adapter kit and off you go, I was doing that for at least last 10 years.

12-08-2014, 02:50 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by RAART Quote
Voltage can't kill you but the current yes. Insulation in regards of voltage??? I was holding a cable with high voltage in my hands without any insulation and nothing happens but the electrical current was so low that can't due any harm... Do not worry about cable as they have enough insulation for the electrical current (Ampere or mAmp) should be the same rating in Europe or here.

Well you were obviously not touching or were well insulated from the "ground". If you were touching the ground and holding high voltage then there might be a pretty high current going through you to the ground. ... or you we in a Faraday cage with bolts of lightning arcing all around you and you're totally safe.


.... anyway I wouldn't recommend touching live conductors of any kind. Even if you "think" they're off.




Most computer power packs and battery chargers are suited to 100V up to 250V AC output giving the correct DC output to the device so a simple plug adaptor to suit the local socket will do.

If you travel a bit, a handy thing is a convertable adaptor with USA - Europe - GB and AU/NZ all in one unit and you're good to go in pretty much any country in the world except South Africa which has a massive 3 round pronged 15amp rated monster of a plug.
12-08-2014, 03:00 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by southlander Quote
The use of a plug adapter to deal with the physical plug and socket differences as well as the current throughput are not the issues here. The real technical question to be answered is whether a cord marked as 125V has robust enough insulation to operate at 240V without risk of arcing through the insulation and posing a risk of electrocution or fire. This a function of the insulation materials used and as well as thickness of insulation material and not a question that can be answered without reference to the tech data sheets of the cable manufacturer (which you are not going to find). But if it marked specifically as 125V, I think the answer is that it is not 240V grade. I would seek out a cable marked as 240V compliant. Most adapters use a generic figure eight plug input, so finding a suitable cord shouldn't be difficult (the OP may well have something lying about the house from another appliance). If it is a proprietary plug input, then that's a problem that would need another solution (like a step down transforner to 110/120V).

If buying stuff off the Internet, be cautious of mains powered appliances not properly certified by your country's electrical regulatory body. We had a recent example here in Australia of a person who died using a internet sourced charger for her mobile phone. Was faulty and let 240V pass through to her phone, with tragic consequences.
This is the correct advice.......be warned......I normaly let stuff like this go past the keeper and don't reply.....but this is potentially life threatening. Maybe only a 1 in a million++ risk......but....easily avoided.

I was once qualified to pass views on this stuff (retired now)....... I also choose to ensure an intersection is clear ... even if I have a green light.....one in a million chance again...... they are every where in our life.....some who suffer at their hands call them "accidents"

Last edited by noelpolar; 12-08-2014 at 03:15 AM.
12-08-2014, 03:01 AM   #19
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Actually voltage can kill you. Especially from AC sources. The waveform can influence the control of the heart thus leading to heart attack. This can happen hours later. No high currents needed.
Insulation has three main ratings: Temperature range and conductor size (AWG here) which determine how much current it can handle at a given installation setup. It should not be critical for this application. The third however is the voltage rating which defines the level the insulation is actually able to do what you expect from it, not harming you for example...

12-08-2014, 03:19 AM   #20
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I was talking about DC not the AC and just the voltage... I am born and raised in Europe and went to school there (also University) studied electricity and played with high Voltage AC/DC and still ok.

Anyway just for the OP sake do not worry about the cables as they are the same rating in regards of the amperage. You just need those travel adapters for the different outlets. That's it.

BTW do not try to connect your charger to the three phases outlet common in Europe but if you stay in hotel they usually do not have those just the houses. That can smoke the charger and you together...

Last edited by RAART; 12-08-2014 at 03:24 AM.
12-08-2014, 03:26 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by southlander Quote
The use of a plug adapter to deal with the physical plug and socket differences as well as the current throughput are not the issues here. The real technical question to be answered is whether a cord marked as 125V has robust enough insulation to operate at 240V without risk of arcing through the insulation and posing a risk of electrocution or fire. This a function of the insulation materials used and as well as thickness of insulation material and not a question that can be answered without reference to the tech data sheets of the cable manufacturer (which you are not going to find). But if it marked specifically as 125V, I think the answer is that it is not 240V grade. I would seek out a cable marked as 240V compliant. Most adapters use a generic figure eight plug input, so finding a suitable cord shouldn't be difficult (the OP may well have something lying about the house from another appliance). If it is a proprietary plug input, then that's a problem that would need another solution (like a step down transforner to 110/120V).

If buying stuff off the Internet, be cautious of mains powered appliances not properly certified by your country's electrical regulatory body. We had a recent example here in Australia of a person who died using a internet sourced charger for her mobile phone. Was faulty and let 240V pass through to her phone, with tragic consequences.
Point taken but in this case I believe we're talking about the OEM battery charger for a Pentax camera. I just checked and the input power for my K3 battery charger is rated at 19VA which isn't going to generate enough heat in the cord to cause a problem. I actually have a cord with a US/Japanese plug which I use in Japan. I'd be really surprised if Pentax/Ricoh sell their chargers with cords that can't be used at the specified voltage range (100-240V).

Having said that, I absolutely agree with your "buyer beware" when it comes to cheap devices from China. Many Chinese manufacturers simply want to cash in on demand and China doesn't have the same rigorous testing rules as in other countries. If you import directly from another country, you can't be guaranteed the same quality and safety which you may expect locally.
12-08-2014, 03:40 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by RAART Quote
There will be no problems at all but it is depending in which country you are traveling... Switzerland has different plug as Germany.
Get the lozenge shaped EuroPlug and it will plug into the sockets used elsewhere in most places in Europe - but not the other way around. See Europlug - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

We had a Euro adapter on our trip but that didn't work in Switzerland. The hotels lent us an adapter. As the chargers use a standard figure 8 plug, maybe just buy a new EuroPlug lead when you get there..

12-08-2014, 11:31 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by delegopa Quote
Actually voltage can kill you.
On a side note last year I was driving around at night doing 60mph and got tangled in 7,200 volts of hot current from a major line that was downed. I spent the night in the hospital but I lived.

It sounded like a gunshot when I hit it...sparks went 50 feet in the air...my truck got cooked with me in it. It looked like someone took a cutting torch to it...

Afterwards the paramedics offered to pitch in so I could buy us some lottery tickets.

Now back to the thread...
12-08-2014, 02:22 PM   #24
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There is a chance that nothing happens with the original cable or that electrocution is minor. But it is really nothing one should provoke. So these would be some bucks wisely spent on a new cable.

There were tests on dog hearts as seen here: Das Hervorrufen von Herzflimmern durch hochfrequente Wechselströme - Springer . Sadly did not find an english version. The summary already says that AC currents with a current of 1,1 mA and a frequency of 50 Hz induce ventricular fibrillation. DC needs 2 mA but the effect is instantaneous. Higher AC frequencys require way more current (1 MHZ needs 10 Ampere for example).
Extension from me: The current flow driven through contact and body resistance of a liveform depends on the voltage , here voltage to neutral for the cable. An insulation does not automatically stop all current flow. It only has a very high resistance to reduce any current flow through it to a extremely tiny amount for its max voltage rating. A higher voltage plus maybe a small scratch and the risk is there.
Those safety labels and ratings on electronics are there for a reason. If you dont know what the reason for them is, I advise not to violate them!
Playing down the dangers of electricity especially when advising someone else is irresponsible IMHO.

QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
On a side note last year I was driving around at night doing 60mph and got tangled in 7,200 volts of hot current from a major line that was downed. I spent the night in the hospital but I lived.

It sounded like a gunshot when I hit it...sparks went 50 feet in the air...my truck got cooked with me in it. It looked like someone took a cutting torch to it...

Afterwards the paramedics offered to pitch in so I could buy us some lottery tickets.

Now back to the thread...
Well that was indeed really lucky of you. There are easier ways to test whether your car is a proper faraday cage
(The first paragraph before is not because of you alamo)

12-08-2014, 03:28 PM   #25
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Well, when I went to Iceland, I only paid attention to what the charger stated for my K-5 batteries, and it stated it would work to 240. That's how I did everything. I checked that all my chargers (not just my camera battery) could handle the voltage without issue. I then bought a couple of adapters for the typical European plugs, and never had a problem on the trip. I honestly didn't think about the cables themselves.

However, I did watch closely on first trials with everything when I plugged things in the first time. I was not confident enough to just plug things in and walk away on the first trials. I did also read up on the currents beforehand to make sure I wouldn't have any problems there. Most chargers count on the current not the voltage. Of course the voltage or power directly influence the current, since our devices all have essentially a constant impedance or resistance (AC or DC) through their cords and circuits.

As for humans, well I'm not sure the voltage or power is going to matter much. We're not the same as a power cord, etc so the resistance or impedance we offer up might fry us pretty good regardless of the voltage.
12-08-2014, 05:48 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by emalvick Quote
As for humans, well I'm not sure the voltage or power is going to matter much. We're not the same as a power cord, etc so the resistance or impedance we offer up might fry us pretty good regardless of the voltage.
FWIW, I understand that the AC current which will kill you is exactly 30 mA. That's why earth leakage circuit breakers have a 30 mA trip setting. More current tends to cause burns, but obviously it can still kill. It's unfortunate that 50 Hz (AC frequency in many countries) happens to be the same as the recovery time for nerves, which is why muscles tend to freeze up and someone being electrocuted can't let go of the live circuit. Presumably 60 Hz AC is slightly safer but I believe the same issue applies. As everyone has pointed out, take care with AC.
12-08-2014, 05:58 PM   #27
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robG, i don't know about in australia, but class A ground fault circuit interrupters for personnel safety require a trip setting of no more than 6 milliamps. this is in canada so our rules may be different.


there is no absolute value for lethal currents, nor is there a magic frequency.

people here seem to think that 277 Vac is the lethal number, but really it just grabs you hard enough that you can't get off it like you would 120 and it won't blow you off like 347 would.

at the end of the day what matters most is HOW you are shocked, not what shocks you.


either way, there are only two cords that have an insulation rating below 125Vac. almost ALL flexible cords carry a 300vac rating. remember that insulation ratings for flexible cords have to work even after a cord has been in use for some time, so if your 125vac rated cord is in perfect condition i wouldn't hesitate to give it 240. remember as well that any issue with the insulation would likely be a line to line fault and you wouldn't be at risk.


i understand that you can "never be too safe" but i wouldn't worry about plugging your charger into 240.


this is all coming from a master electrician, if that counts for anything.
12-08-2014, 06:04 PM   #28
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Some of the info on this thread is a bit off on the extreme side, however we have to treat electricity with caution at all times.
The risks in a consumer/residential environment are mainly (1) Fire and (2) Electric shock

Here is a copy /paste i did on another thread about the plugs and cable between the utility outlet and a Pentax charger
-----
The cable for the D-BC 90 here is UL and CSA listed NISPT-2. 18AWG
( reading the fine print on the cable)
That means it is insulated and jacketed, 2 core, of copper cross section 0.824mm.
The cable has to be rated to reduce risk of fire or exposed live conductors in the improbable event that there is a direct short circuit in the cable or at the input of the device (D-BC 90)
In that case the cable must carry a fault current so that the upstream fuse or circuit breaker opens before the cable reaches a temperature at which its plastic insulation becomes unsafe (eg 105 Celsius)

The C7 (figure 8 connector) molded on to the cable here is stamped 125V 3Amp
However the IEC 60320-1 Appliance Couplers specification rated the C7 at 2.5 Amp with a maximum pin temperature of 70 Celsius.

The D-BC 90 is rated 0.2 Amp input current.

---------
12-16-2014, 05:45 PM   #29
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There are two real risks with battery chargers. One is that you electrocute yourself and another is that they burn.

If charger says in 100-240 AC 50-60Hz then it is just interfacing problem.

To interface right way the charger with using proper cord is good way to save life. Every shop selling anything electrical looking device has that kind of cords and they bring mains from wall to inside charger.
Adapters are nasty. I can short circuit euro -> US adapter with my finger as both blades are open and touchable.

And the burning part. Don't leave chargers unattended. I have seen Nokia, Samsung and several cheap brand less chargers melt their plastics. Old age, vibration, temperature were reasons. And burning charger might light up your battery and battery curtains and...
12-21-2014, 02:47 AM   #30
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One of the reasons that I have stuck with Pentax is the brand's ability to eat batteries from the 7-11...or a mud hut in Ethiopia.

Irrespective of how many batteries and chargers and precautions I take with me, I'll never travel without the ability to use non-proprietary batteries. Ever. Nor will I buy a camera for which that's not an option.
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