Can I safely use a powerstrip with a voltage converter in Spain?
October 22, 2006 4:49 PM   Subscribe

Can I safely use a powerstrip with a voltage converter to charge multiple electronic doohickeys in Spain?

My wife and I will be travelling in Spain. We've got a voltage converter for our electronics, but we've got a lot of them. We'll need to charge a couple of phones, two mp3 players, a DVD player, a camera, and just a bunch of random gadgets. What I'd like to do is carry a powerstrip, plug that into the voltage converter, and charge everything up at once.

Is this even remotely a good idea? I don't want to blow out a circuit or fry our gadgets.
posted by stet to Travel & Transportation around Spain (8 answers total)
Chargers use very little power, so, yes, it's fine.

Having said that: Almost every AC/DC adapter ever made in the last five years runs on anything from 100 to 240V. You can almost certainly plug them right in (using a plug adapter) without converting the voltage.
posted by Mwongozi at 5:01 PM on October 22, 2006

First up, check to see which devices can accept a 220volt supply without converting, just about every laptop can, and heaps of phones and cameras (on the plug it will say input 110v - 240v if it can). Any of these can just use a plug adaper.
If any are left, you should be fine using a transformer to output 110v. You will need to match tthe total power drawn to the size of transformer, but all the devices you mentioned are pretty low power (i.e. no hair dryers etc.)
Total the wattage of all the devices you want to charge simultaneously and choose a transformer that outputs a little more (10% or so is plenty).
It will have a rating, and provided it is below, say 2000watts, you will not be likely to blow any Spanish fuses.
I expect you will probably only need a 200watt transformer to comfortaby handle all your chargers.
posted by bystander at 5:02 PM on October 22, 2006

Great. Thanks all, I've got fewer pre-travel jitters now.
posted by stet at 5:15 PM on October 22, 2006

This was the best product I ever purchased. If all of your electronic devices have transformers like bystander explained, then all you'll need is this universal power strip. Then if you need to plug in anything domestic, it's guaranteed to fit.
posted by awesomebrad at 10:33 PM on October 22, 2006

Uh, awesomebrad, that has a US plug. How's that going to plug into a Spanish outlet?
posted by kindall at 11:01 PM on October 22, 2006

I'm using a step down transformer (in Ireland) with a power bar right this very second. It is being used to power my VOIP box and my cordless phone from home. As already stated, make sure that the wattage you are pulling with all your plugs does not exceed the wattage for which your transformer is rated. Although, even in the short term, they are generally pretty hardy. The 100W one I'm using, I was originally plugging all my devices into it (even the ones that could handle it, like my laptop and external hard drive), and it still lasted like 4-5 months with about 300W+ plugged into it. Of course, this is not a wise thing to do. Now, it just powers the few things I need it for while the rest have 5 euro adapters.
posted by antifuse at 4:24 AM on October 23, 2006

Heh. Time for a report. After we brought a radio shack transformer, we were dismayed to find that the freakin' thing wouldn't plug into the recessed socket on the wall, which we both knew and conveniently forgot. Cuz we're smart.

So we scared up a transformer that fit at El Corte Ingles, and gleefully hooked up our gadgets to the powerstrip and turned it on. It went *POP* and died. This was sad. Now we're sticking with charging one device at a time.

(Marking my own answer as best because it'll be useful to whomever might read the question later.)
posted by stet at 6:30 AM on October 27, 2006

(Heh, turns out I can't mark my own best anymore.)
posted by stet at 6:32 AM on October 27, 2006

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