Charging electronic devices overseas
February 13, 2006 6:51 PM   Subscribe

I'm traveling outside of the U.S. (to Israel) and want to know about charging my electronics. I'm only taking a few (I agree with comments in a summer 2005 posting that taking too much stuff can distract from the actual visit) namely my HP handheld (for contact numbers) and my digital camera. I may need to recharge both. I have the original charging cords, appropriate adapters and I have access to a transformer. Do I use the transformer, and is it safe to charge these devices overseas?
posted by schoenbc to Technology (7 answers total)
if the equipment has wall plugs that say something like "110-240V" on them, you don't need a transformer, you just need a plug adapter. this is usually the case for larger electronics like laptops and such. if not, you're good to go given the wattage (also listed on the wall warts) doesn't exceed the maximum output of the transformer, which I highly doubt they would in this case.

you can generally get the appropriate transformers at the local airport when you arrive if you can't find them easily at home.
posted by kcm at 6:53 PM on February 13, 2006

What kcm said --- transformers for modern electronic devices usually account for any variances in voltage and frequency (some, like Apple's, are even designed with swap-out plug tips for various plug styles).

Also, if you're flying El Al, you might want to call them to ensure that your electronics won't be considered a security risk.
posted by nathan_teske at 7:24 PM on February 13, 2006

I've used my Toshiba laptop and digital camera with a simple adapter for months at a time in Israel and never had any problems whatsoever. And if you do fly El Al, relax: they're totally fine with digital cameras and handhelds. טיסה נעימה.
posted by ori at 7:54 PM on February 13, 2006

This has nothing to do with his original question, but given your two responses about El Al, I'm curious. What is different about El Al flights than, say, Lufthansa or Air France?

Assuming you're staying somewhere where the power is constant and isn't rationed out or unreliable, the adapters are all you should need.
posted by vkxmai at 8:05 PM on February 13, 2006

Most, but not all, electronics should be able to adapt 100V-240V (Israeli uses something like 220 or 230V). It's well worth checking the manual, however: if they're not compatible, the higher voltage could be destructive. Compatible voltages are typically listed at the end of the manual, in specifications. If your devices are compatible with 230V then you can (and probably should) safely skip the transformer.
This has nothing to do with his original question, but given your two responses about El Al, I'm curious. What is different about El Al flights than, say, Lufthansa or Air France?
El Al is famous for having extraordinarily tight security. Ori is right, however, that they'll fine with you taking the same personal electronics that you might on any other carrier.
posted by kickingtheground at 8:36 PM on February 13, 2006

Remember on El AL - There will be a security "interview" before you check in. This is normal for them - they do it to everyone. They will ask you personal things about your trip or your life - they are mostly watching for body language reactions. Best advice - just answer honestly and then move on and forget about it.

Charged my camera and MP3 player all over Israel - no problems.
posted by AuntLisa at 4:31 PM on February 14, 2006

check into an iGo device at radioshack or online.
posted by Izzmeister at 4:32 PM on February 15, 2006

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