Where in Los Angeles can I buy a travel adapter THAT WILL POWER MY LAPTOP in other countries?
December 19, 2008 2:21 PM   Subscribe

Where in Los Angeles can I buy a travel adapter THAT WILL POWER MY LAPTOP in other countries?

So as mentioned previously, I'm headed to Australia and New Zealand. and I would like to use my U.S. electronics there.

Since all of them are rated 100-240v I only need an adapter, NOT a converter. I just ordered one off Amazon, and on the label it says 'cannot be used with Class 1 devices." Class 1 includes a laptop and just about anything I want to use.

So, I'm leaving the 24th. I need to buy a real adapter than can power real devices. Is there some kind of awesome travel store in L.A. that sells them? Eastside or Westside is ok.

posted by drjimmy11 to Travel & Transportation around Los Angeles, LA (14 answers total)
Response by poster: or should I just try Radio Shack, as my co-worker just said? Even if they do have it, I would still like to know where a cool travel store is?
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:28 PM on December 19, 2008

Best answer: If you don't making the drive to Old Town Pasadena, Distant Lands will have what you're looking for.

In a pinch, any Apple Store will also have a travel kit you can use. Same with Radio Shack.
posted by arishaun at 2:38 PM on December 19, 2008

Response by poster: thanks, arishaun! I will try radio Shack since it's in the end of my street. But I may also head out to Distant Lands, just cause it sounds freaking cool!
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:42 PM on December 19, 2008

I have no idea what the heck a "Class 1 device" is, but I bet the adapter you got form Amazon will work just fine. In any case, Radio Shack will have the right adapter for you. Like this one, or this one if you need grounding.
posted by zsazsa at 2:42 PM on December 19, 2008

p.s. I use the kit I got from the Apple Store on my laptop along with a Radio Shack kit (I needed doubles of everything). Works great!
posted by arishaun at 2:42 PM on December 19, 2008

I just ran down to my hardware store and got an inline three-gang adapter and universal adapter at the hardware store, I bet yours would have similar ($4 + $10 resp.).

If you have a lot of Apple products, they not only have a generic kit there, but also a kit for the Apple bricks that include all the country adapters - nice if you want a compact solution for your iPod + Macbook.
posted by kcm at 2:48 PM on December 19, 2008

When I went shopping for converters at Radio Shack, there were three different ones:
A. The direct pass-through: foreign-plug 240V to US-plug 240V, only for use with devices (like my laptop) that can take 240V. Runs around nine bucks.
B. A low-wattage converter, up to 50W. Foreign-plug 240V to US-plug 120V, offering voltage conversion and filtering, only for use with radios and cell phone chargers. Ran around twenty bucks.
C. A high-wattage converter, multiple hundreds of watts of voltage-regulated, filtered 120VAC. Ran about seventy bucks.

Of course, the commission-earning greasy little salesman tried to sell me on choice C, even after we had ascertained my laptop PSU could take 240V (But what if I wanted to use a microwave oven, he said!) but I ended up getting choice A, and my laptop's been fine. If your devices take 240V then you should really go for the simplest US-NZ 240-240V adapter you can get.
posted by dunkadunc at 3:34 PM on December 19, 2008

Response by poster: I have no idea what the heck a "Class 1 device" is, but I bet the adapter you got form Amazon will work just fine

I was thinking the same thing, but since they put a sticker across the plug explicitly saying it would not, I don't want to take the chance.

At any rate, thanks for all the advice.
posted by drjimmy11 at 3:35 PM on December 19, 2008

Can't you just buy the appropriate [oo] type lead that plugs into the power box of your laptop?
posted by A189Nut at 4:37 PM on December 19, 2008

Magellan's Travel Supplies
1006 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90401
posted by seymour.skinner at 5:30 PM on December 19, 2008

If you have an Apple, then buy Apple's travel kit. If not, all laptop power supplies use C8 connecters, even Apple's. So you can just buy any C8 cable from any hardware store in Australia (or maybe you're laptop maker, but probably not travel stores).

How much equipment are you bringing along? I always bring European power strips back to the U.S. but I wouldn't naively trust U.S. power strips in Europe. So you might research U.S. style power strips that can handle the 240V.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:54 PM on December 19, 2008

If your laptop has the usual power brick with a figure-8 or cloverleaf socket for the mains cord to plug into, you will have no trouble finding a compatible cord in Australia or NZ. This will be much less hassle to use than a possibly bulky, probably unreliable plug adaptor.
posted by flabdablet at 8:33 PM on December 19, 2008

Btw, I think Apple's travel kit doesn't include the long cables, you need to buy another power adapter for those, or any non-apple C8 power cable.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:14 PM on December 19, 2008

At the airport. If you wait and buy it in Australia or NZ the truly crappy exchange rate will probably mean that it is cheaper than anywhere you can get it in the US.
posted by kjs4 at 2:09 AM on December 20, 2008

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