Voltage conversion for dummies
May 10, 2011 5:09 AM   Subscribe

Please help me not blow up my Nintendo DS.

I'm going to be travelling to the US in a bit, and I plan on picking up a DS Lite. Only problem is that the US uses 110v and where I'm from uses 240v.

I've been googling like mad trying to figure out how to make this work, but everything I can find online only confuses me further. It doesn't help that I don't know whether the DS is 110v only or 110-240, like my old Game Boy Color.

So help me, hive mind! Do I need a transformer? An adaptor? Both? Or should I just pick up the darn thing locally?
posted by Tamanna to Technology (6 answers total)
Buy it in the US and then buy a local charger off eBay when you get home (they are £2.95 on UK eBay for example).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:24 AM on May 10, 2011

EndsOfInvention is right. You don't need an adapter or transformer - just buy a local charger at home. I have a North American NDS Lite and didn't blow mine up when I bought a local charger in Asia. The charger itself will adapt the voltage, much like a laptop or cell phone charger. (If you want to double check there should be a sticker or printing on the side of the charger that lists a range of suitable voltages.)
posted by droolshark at 6:36 AM on May 10, 2011

Best answer: As a bit of background, just in case it's needed:

The DS Lite takes in power at 5 volts. Connecting it straight to a high-voltage supply like a power outlet (110V, 240V, etc) probably would lead to an unpleasantly spectacular afternoon. So the job of the charger is to take in power from the socket in your wall (240V, 110V, whatever) and step the voltage down to the 5V that the DS wants. So the voltage of the mains supply wherever you are is the charger's problem, not the DS Lite's.

So you can either:

a) Check your charger, which should be clearly marked with the input voltages that it's set up to deal with; or, if in doubt
b) Just buy a new charger when in the US, for next to nothing.

This applies to any consumer electronics that have a separate charger: the charger needs to suit the local mains supply but the device itself never sees the mains voltage, so it doesn't care.
posted by metaBugs at 6:56 AM on May 10, 2011

Best answer: Swap out the US 110V AC adapter with a Nintendo licensed 240V AC adapter for the DS Lite in your country.
posted by plokent at 11:11 AM on May 10, 2011

Response by poster: /facepalm/ D'oh, plokent, why didn't I think of that? And metaBugs, thanks for the explanation.

Marking this one resolved. Thanks, folks!
posted by Tamanna at 1:04 PM on May 10, 2011

Nintendo's US page on this is pretty unhelpful, but both the US and Australian manuals specify 5.2V input so the advice given should be sound.
posted by BrotherCaine at 7:58 AM on May 11, 2011

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