French arptor for lights bought in N.A.
September 30, 2012 7:46 AM   Subscribe

What (European) plug adaptor do I need for this plug (attached to a set of fairy/Christmas lights)?

I brought a set of "Christmas" lights with me to France from Canada. I love them, they look like yellow flowers attached to brown branches which you can twist into different configurations. However, when I tried to plug the adaptor into the European adaptor and then into the wall, it made a loud buzzing sound before exploding and smoking for a long time. Yes, I know, I should have realized that that chunky brick of a thing would probably cause some problems. I don't think the little plug that plugs INTO the adaptor was damaged, though. It looks llike this. What adaptor do I need to buy?

I hope you've followed me, I'm not sure exactly what to call it besides an "adaptor".

Thank you!
posted by kansakwens to Technology (6 answers total)
Wow, it says "arptor". Derp. Adaptor.
posted by kansakwens at 7:47 AM on September 30, 2012

That's a DC barrel connector. Once the adaptor stops smoking, can you read the rating it has? You need to match the connector size (there are several), the polarity (whether the centre bit is positive or negative), the output voltage (ideally identical), and rated current (okay if you get an adaptor with a higher current).
posted by scruss at 7:55 AM on September 30, 2012

I did this last year with dog clippers (used a 110V appliance in a 240V country). The answers might be useful to you.
posted by superfish at 8:47 AM on September 30, 2012

Oh dear, I threw away the adaptor a few weeks ago (after it stopped smoking). If I recall vorrectly it said 110 and I think positive.
posted by kansakwens at 4:18 PM on September 30, 2012

There is a white tag on the wire here that says "PO 105/QC 15", and on the back, "LOG 0113178/RECORDS OK"
posted by kansakwens at 4:19 PM on September 30, 2012

You just need a new power supply (brick) that will work with type of electricity coming from the socket in the wall. For example US has 120 V AC at 60 Hz, and China has 220 V AC at 50 Hz. The new power brick has to say it will work with the voltage the country you are in uses.

Usually the device and the power supply say what they take / output such as:

12V DC + C --- -
"C" being the outside contacts, "---" the center contacts, it shows you which one is positive/negative, and for example 12 Volts DC.

The most common area is on the top of the brick, or on the sticker on it. On the device itself it could be right next to the receptacle, or on the sticker with model number and serial number.

The most common set ups are with center positive, and 5 or 12 volts DC.
The white tag I think is useless.
The crucial parts are polarity and voltage.

Did you try looking up these lights online or calling manufacturer about its power supply requirements?

You can try this but you have to stop if more magic smoke escapes:
Try power supply with center being positive at 5V DC. These set ups are most common. Then maybe a higher voltage if the lights are dim. 5 and 12 volts devices are most common with center of the plug being positive.
posted by AdamG8GXP at 1:37 PM on October 1, 2012

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