2

I would like to share a universal socket power strip that has 3 universal sockets and 6 USB ports. This is the link: https://www.amazon.com/3-Outlet-Protector-Charging-Extension-Cord-White/dp/B07F3WV6KB/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8 (BAVIN 3-Outlet "Surge Protector" Power Strip with USB Charging 6 Ports 5.4A/27W, 5Ft Heavy Duty Extension Cord-White)

I want to know whether the power strip is multi-voltage or single voltage.

This is what is written on the back of the power strip: BAVIN PC588 ANTI-STATIC POWER SOCKET Input: AC100-240V, 50-60Hz 350mA OUTPUT:DC 5V-5.4A(MAX) 30W.

I am from the US, which uses 120V at 60Hz. I will be travelling to Europe, which uses 230V at 50Hz. Will the power strip work (auto switch to 230V 50Hz) or will I need a voltage transformer?

16
  • 2
    What are you going to be using it for?
    – Midavalo
    Jul 11, 2023 at 18:22
  • Note the comments on that listing. If you want USB charging to use in Europe there are other, listed, alternatives. Not cheap ungrounded stuff like this.
    – Jon Custer
    Jul 11, 2023 at 18:44
  • The description says "compatible with outlets in North America, United Kingdom..." which supply 120v at 60Hz and about 230v at 50 Hz respectively. You say it is labelled "AC100-240V, 50-60Hz" so what's the problem? Apart from being sold out :) Jul 11, 2023 at 19:05
  • echoing what Midalvo has already asked. It really depends on what you want to plug into it.
    – Hilmar
    Jul 12, 2023 at 2:14
  • @JonCuster: I only use the power strip to power lights with a timer.
    – Bavin Notn
    Jul 12, 2023 at 4:40

2 Answers 2

7

The powerstrip will work in Europe, including the UK. But it will give out the power that comes in.

So if you plug it into the socket in Europe it will get 230 volt in and it will give out 230 volt, frying anything you plug into it which is made for the American 120 volt.

The USB ports will give out the normal USB power, no problems there.

As indicated in a comment on the question it will be easier to bring a USB charger, there are some around with 4 or even more ports with universal plugs or series of plug which can be exchanged.

13
  • 1
    (+1) In the amazon page About this item: ... Note: Products with electrical plugs are designed for use in the US. Outlets and voltage differ internationally and this product may require an adapter or converter for use in your destination. Please check compatibility before purchasing. Jul 11, 2023 at 19:31
  • 1
    each USB port supports upto 5.4A. 2.4+1+2+0.5= 5.9A. With 230V each wall plug can support up to 3680W (or 16A=3680W/230V) at once. With 5.9A you are using 1357W (5.9A*230V) out of the allowed 3680W with 230V. Jul 13, 2023 at 7:28
  • 3
    @MarkJohnson i guess you meant 5.9A*5V, since that's usually the voltage of a USB port.
    – dunni
    Jul 13, 2023 at 9:03
  • 3
    @MarkJohnson i was referring to the following sentence in your comment: With 5.9A you are using 1357W (5.9A*230V) out of the allowed 3680W with 230V. Those 4 devices will pull 5.9A at 5 V, so the total load on the powerstrip will be 30 W (+ any loss because of efficiency), not 1357W.
    – dunni
    Jul 14, 2023 at 2:05
  • 1
    @dunni A USB will pull what it actually needs (it does not pull the maximum possible all the time). I have 3 Android devices and a lamp (all on while writing this) connected to a Voltcraft Sem6500 that measures the energy being used. It presently fluctuates between 0.08A and 0.09A (11/12W). Jul 14, 2023 at 2:35
2

That power strip is just a power strip, and does not contain any magical voltage conversion tech (except USB, of course). This is easily confirmed by contemplating: "how does it know which voltage I want?" You get the same voltage out as in, and it simply exists as a means to physically connect loads which already accept the voltage it's plugged into.

So how to work with international power?

Your first strategy should be "do not haul electrical equipment across oceans". It takes several times the item's weight in CO2, and they have hair dryers in France. Honest.

For extraordinarily valuable equipment, like computers and electronics, grab a magnifying glass and look closely at the nameplate on the device or its power supply. I bet it says something like 100-240V or 90-264V... this is typical of switching power supplies that are able to accept any voltage in that range. These do not need voltage conversion - don't bother.

Of what remains, it generally falls into two categories: very low power things like toothbrushes, and very high power things like hair dryers. These require different strategies.

For the low power items (under 25 watts), the best bet is an actual, literal transformer, as this will be sanely priced. These will be fixed voltage. Get one that has your destination country's plug and your country's socket, and is approved by local standards bodies. (CE is unreliable by mail).

For high power resistance heat appliance like coffee makers didn't I say don't bring those? they make inexpensive electronic chopper converters that use triacs to chop up the 230V sine-wave - it's not great, but it will work with a resistive heat appliance.

If the above don't fit, your last resort is a large, costly and very heavy large transformer. However this will be the wrong frequency, and loads that depend on AC frequency to run at the correct speed will not like it. (Record turntable, motor, clock etc.) Carrying one of those in baggage is even more wasteful than hauling the appliance itself. Just buy or rent an equivalent appliance domestically when you arrive.

Well if frequency is critical, the "Hail Mary" play is an online double-conversion UPS, but we're really over the moon on cost and weight at this point.

1
  • I don't know if they sell them on your side of the pond, but here in the UK you can buy "travel hairdriers" with a voltage selector switch. Sep 11, 2023 at 20:30

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .