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I'm from USA and I'm traveling to Iceland soon. I read that Iceland power outlets are:

 a) Iceland sockets are Type F. USA sockets are Type A or B.

 b) Voltage in Iceland are 220V. Voltage in USA is 110V.

So, that means I need a voltage converter to convert Iceland's standard 220V down to 110V. And to have an adapter from Type A/B to Type F.

I found a device that supports both: http://a.co/hS8XZ1E

It supports 4 usb ports, two 2A ports and two 1A ports. It's also got 3 outlets I can plug devices with Type A/B sockets. And it steps the 220V down to 110V.

I have the following I need to power:

  • GoPro Hero 3+ battery

  • ANKER battery Powercore II 20000 mAh (charging through USB only)

  • iPhone SE/6/6s/8 and some Androids for friends


My questions are:

  • Can I power all of them safely without burning the devices out?

  • Do I need a surge protector in addition to the voltage converter? Can I do without one?

  • Can I use the USB ports safely for charging on all the devices mentioned? I am a bit confused because Apple says:

Apple's iPhone power adapter takes AC input that is between 100 Volt (The U.S. is typically 110 Volt) and 240 (Europe is typically 220 Volt) and lets out a nice regular stream of 5 or 10-volt power for the iPhone

But if I don't use the power adapter and plug straight into the USB ports on the voltage converter, will that damage the phones? Same concern applies to the other devices/batteries I need to charge, potentially only through the USB ports.

Or is it going to underpower things, because the phones and other devices expect more than 2A or 1A from the usb ports?

My understanding of electrical things is pretty much layman. Can someone with electrical knowledge chime in on whether the converter will be okay for my use case? Or if you have a recommendation for a quality converter, I'd like to know!

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    I am not sure but as I read your question, I think you either use USB to charge or charge batteries. Can you read on the battery charging unit to see what their imput is? LIkely you do not need a converter but that does depend on the charger. (Or you may want a different charger rather than the heavy and expensive converter.) – Willeke Nov 16 '17 at 17:47
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    Answering the question title alone, I'd say you'd need 1000s of miles of wire to power a device in Iceland, all the way from USA! – insanity Nov 17 '17 at 9:03
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It looks like all your devices can be charged via USB. In this case you should already have voltage switching chargers for all of them. In fact, these chargers are interchangeable, except for the cable part to connect the iPhone.

Should this be the case all you need is a plug adapter such as this one. You buy several and they are sold in packs sometimes. To verify this is all you need check your existing chargers. If it says Input voltage 100-240V or something similar, you are good to go.

Now if you do not have chargers for your existing devices, you can buy a voltage-switching one that has some USB ports and various types of plugs. The one I use is no longer available but it looks somewhat like this one. This also acts as a pass-through device but it does not convert voltage so do not plug anything from the US in there.

There are very few reasons that you would need a voltage converter unless you were bringing an A/C device such as humidifier, iron, etc since USB chargers convert from A/C to D/C, the majority handle various voltages.

When in Iceland I only brought two plug adapters and used my existing chargers as per the first option above. USB ports supply the right D/C current, so they will not fry your devices. Lower amps just take longer but with the Travel Converters I now use, my devices charge faster than with the original charger.

  • Ah, I think I understand. Which Travel Converter are you using now that allows fast charging? – tempomax Nov 16 '17 at 19:58
  • Mine are Kensington Power Cubes with 2 USB ports. Unfortunately they do not seem available now but there are some similar products if you search Amazon for travel power adapter usb. Look at the amps rating, some have 2.5A or 3.5A. – Itai Nov 16 '17 at 20:38
  • @tempomax - Found it. New Egg still has some. – Itai Nov 16 '17 at 21:08
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    Someone will no doubt post a counterexample, but the last electronic device I owned that did not have dual-voltage capability (charger, or computer plug into device) was bought in the late 1990s. – Andrew Lazarus Nov 17 '17 at 0:39
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    @AndrewLazarus Last series of PS2 (90001, iirc) bought via eBay from the US only takes 110 V (according to label and Sony customer suppoert) because of a cheap and small internal PSU. There’s your counterexample ;) – Jan Nov 17 '17 at 8:07
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When I went to Iceland, Germany, and the Netherlands last year (they all use the same plugs), I only needed the plug adapters. I plugged my USB chargers and Macbook Air power supplies into the plug adapter and they did just fine. I also bought a USB charger brick from Amazon with six USB ports, so that I could charge many devices at once. That was nice to have.

Most electronics will adapt to the different voltage and frequency just fine. When in doubt, look at the charger/power supply. It almost always says what sort of voltage it will accept. It's usually 110-230, or something similar.

Hairdryers and other appliances don't usually adapt to different electricity standards, so pay attention.

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    ‘Most electronics will adapt to the different voltage just fine’ — actually, that is a very dangerous sentence since it sends the message ‘when in doubt it should work’. While many do indeed work (being in Japan from Europe I am regularly amazed) you should always check the rating before plugging something in at a different voltage, especially if it is higher (as in Europe). – Jan Nov 17 '17 at 8:06
  • I agree with you. One should always check. It was not my intention to discourage checking. – Kevin Peter Nov 17 '17 at 17:04

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