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The Travel Forum
Planning a trip or have a great travel story? Need travel tips or want to share your experiences (and photos)? Whether you are travelling for business or pleasure, the Bimmerfest Travel Forum is your best resource on the Web.

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  #1  
Old 07-03-2012, 05:32 PM
southpole12 southpole12 is offline
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Power for my electronics while on my ED

Hey, I am not the best with electronics so my question is... What do I need to charge my laptop, iPhone, and camera while on my trip. I was looking at the plug converters while in europe. Anyone have a suggestion on this? Also I was told I can get an adapter to use in my car to charge my phone and use my iPhone plug to charge my camera through USB. What kind of adapter do I need for this? What do I need to charge my macbook at a hotel or is it possible to charge it in my car with an adapter? Thanks in advance! p.s I am getting a 2013 Audi TT RS.
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Last edited by southpole12; 07-03-2012 at 05:34 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-03-2012, 10:38 PM
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For the first, re power adapters...look at each adapter and see if it says "input 110-220 V" or anything close. (Europe uses 220-240 V for domestic service. Outputs are often in the 15 V range.) If so, all you need are plug adapters. You can get these at Brookstone or Magellan or possibly at a local travel supply or electric supply store.

You really should have your own set, but if you have trouble finding them, send me a PM. I can always lend you a set.

Also, it sounds like you have lots of small electronics. If so, do NOT take a US power strip. Most have overload protection that will blow up in Europe and the Middle East. ( I saw an engineer accidentally start a hotel room fire this way.) I bought a power strip in Jerusalem that I use now on every trip.
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Recent ED: 25 June 10, 328xiT in Red. Then headed SW to Italy & France. Flew home via Rome. Hoegh Kobe departed 22 July; unloaded at PH 17 Aug. Redelivery 11 Sept. (Re-redelivery 14 Sept....read the details here.)
Previous ED: 7 June 08, X3 3.0si in rosso corsa (*), then off to Italy, Austria, Slovenia. (*Note: A61 Crimson Red north of the Alps.)
Back-up vehicle (while waiting for re-deliveries): 1999 M Roadster in Estoril Blue.

Last edited by b-y; 07-03-2012 at 10:46 PM.
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  #3  
Old 07-04-2012, 07:09 AM
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I highly recommend a set of Apple World Plug adapters. The interchangeable plugs are more secure and safer than generic plug adapters. All Apple chargers are dual voltage and use the same system of interchangeable plugs.

If you have one of the fixed plug chargers for your iPhone, the Apple iPad charger can double as universal USB charger. If your camera charges by USB, get the iPad charger and a plug kit. You can use it to charge both your iPhone and the camera.


Apple also make a AA battery charger that uses the same interchangeable plug system.

Of course this won't cover all your needs but it can greatly simplify what you need to carry.

We have a couple complete sets of plugs along with extra UK and US plugs and cords.





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  #4  
Old 07-04-2012, 07:20 AM
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Essentially all electronics these days are dual voltage since it is cheaper to do that than make separate versions for North America and Europe etc. Just look at the "brick" or "Wall Wart" and make sure it says 110-220.

You can get plug adapters almost anywhere these days, including Radio Shack and others mentioned by b-y.

If you are thinking about taking a Hair Drier or any other high current draw device DON'T as it will either a) blow up, b) melt or c) short the plug.

I have used a US power strip many times in the UK with no problem charging an iPhone, iPod and Android phone at the same time since I can use just one plug adapter. I also used it with my netbook before I got an iPad. My iPad has a higher draw so I charge it separately just as a precaution. Buying a local power strip is a good idea but I never found it necessary since it would require another set or three of adapters.

This question comes up frequently on Trip Advisor and Flyer Talk travel forums and there are many good references there.

Cheers
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Last edited by X3 Skier; 07-04-2012 at 07:21 AM.
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  #5  
Old 07-04-2012, 07:42 AM
aherman535 aherman535 is online now
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Power while Traveling

Hi,

Just got back from a 15 day European delivery, traveling in Germany and Holland. I took one power plug adapter and then plugged a 4 outlet Monster portable power strip. Worked like a charm.

The iphone, ipad and camera chargers that I have are all 110-220 so no actual converter needed. I'm glad I had the power strip as some of the hotel outlets were hard to get to and in many cases only had one outlet.

Hope that helps.
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  #6  
Old 07-04-2012, 08:11 AM
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If you're caught without enough converters ask your hotel if they can supply loaners. Not all will have them but some do and it's worth asking.
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  #7  
Old 07-04-2012, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X3 Skier View Post
...

If you are thinking about taking a Hair Drier or any other high current draw device DON'T as it will either a) blow up, b) melt or c) short the plug.

...
There is a solution to the hair dryer problem. Ms. b-y is addicted to her dryer, so we found a dual-voltage small travel model at CVS. It has a small switch to change between 110 and 220 V. Possibly Target is another source.
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Recent ED: 25 June 10, 328xiT in Red. Then headed SW to Italy & France. Flew home via Rome. Hoegh Kobe departed 22 July; unloaded at PH 17 Aug. Redelivery 11 Sept. (Re-redelivery 14 Sept....read the details here.)
Previous ED: 7 June 08, X3 3.0si in rosso corsa (*), then off to Italy, Austria, Slovenia. (*Note: A61 Crimson Red north of the Alps.)
Back-up vehicle (while waiting for re-deliveries): 1999 M Roadster in Estoril Blue.
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  #8  
Old 07-04-2012, 11:09 PM
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It is a fantastically bad idea to use a US power strip on 240v. Sure some of them work but the components inside are rated for half the voltage.
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The models and equipment (standard and optional) illustrated in this post reflect my misunderstanding of vehicles supplied by BMW AG to the German market. In other EU member states, the truthyness of my posts may vary. Please ignore this post. Subject to change.

Last edited by Andrew*Debbie; 07-04-2012 at 11:12 PM.
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  #9  
Old 07-04-2012, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b-y View Post
There is a solution to the hair dryer problem. Ms. b-y is addicted to her dryer, so we found a dual-voltage small travel model at CVS. It has a small switch to change between 110 and 220 V. Possibly Target is another source.
+1 on the dual voltage hair dryer.

Debbie also has a dual voltage travel iron.
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The models and equipment (standard and optional) illustrated in this post reflect my misunderstanding of vehicles supplied by BMW AG to the German market. In other EU member states, the truthyness of my posts may vary. Please ignore this post. Subject to change.
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  #10  
Old 07-05-2012, 01:47 AM
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Just checked my power strip and it is dual voltage. Never even noticed before.

Cheers
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  #11  
Old 07-05-2012, 04:14 PM
southpole12 southpole12 is offline
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Wow thanks for all the responses!! I was also wondering about GPS there any ideas on which one I should use? The car is set to US as you already know.
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  #12  
Old 07-05-2012, 04:17 PM
southpole12 southpole12 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b-y View Post
For the first, re power adapters...look at each adapter and see if it says "input 110-220 V" or anything close. (Europe uses 220-240 V for domestic service. Outputs are often in the 15 V range.) If so, all you need are plug adapters. You can get these at Brookstone or Magellan or possibly at a local travel supply or electric supply store.

You really should have your own set, but if you have trouble finding them, send me a PM. I can always lend you a set.

Also, it sounds like you have lots of small electronics. If so, do NOT take a US power strip. Most have overload protection that will blow up in Europe and the Middle East. ( I saw an engineer accidentally start a hotel room fire this way.) I bought a power strip in Jerusalem that I use now on every trip.
Thanks I appreciate that, I will get my own set though. I will take a look on amazon.
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  #13  
Old 07-05-2012, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southpole12 View Post
Thanks I appreciate that, I will get my own set though. I will take a look on amazon.
I used to take a bag of individual adapters, both grounded and ungrounded. Some I inherited from my father (an importer), and some I had acquired as needed. But now I rely mostly on a univeral adapter, something like this one.
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Recent ED: 25 June 10, 328xiT in Red. Then headed SW to Italy & France. Flew home via Rome. Hoegh Kobe departed 22 July; unloaded at PH 17 Aug. Redelivery 11 Sept. (Re-redelivery 14 Sept....read the details here.)
Previous ED: 7 June 08, X3 3.0si in rosso corsa (*), then off to Italy, Austria, Slovenia. (*Note: A61 Crimson Red north of the Alps.)
Back-up vehicle (while waiting for re-deliveries): 1999 M Roadster in Estoril Blue.

Last edited by b-y; 07-05-2012 at 07:57 PM.
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  #14  
Old 07-05-2012, 05:28 PM
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I have read elsewhere that a plain extension cord will work fine as the wire gage is sufficient for use on 220V but then there is no surge protection.

Cheers
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  #15  
Old 07-05-2012, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X3 Skier View Post
I have read elsewhere that a plain extension cord will work fine as the wire gage is sufficient for use on 220V but then there is no surge protection.

Cheers
Yes...twice the voltage equals half the current for the same wattage. But with a US extension cord, you are still stuck with the wrong plug at at least one end.
__________________
Recent ED: 25 June 10, 328xiT in Red. Then headed SW to Italy & France. Flew home via Rome. Hoegh Kobe departed 22 July; unloaded at PH 17 Aug. Redelivery 11 Sept. (Re-redelivery 14 Sept....read the details here.)
Previous ED: 7 June 08, X3 3.0si in rosso corsa (*), then off to Italy, Austria, Slovenia. (*Note: A61 Crimson Red north of the Alps.)
Back-up vehicle (while waiting for re-deliveries): 1999 M Roadster in Estoril Blue.
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  #16  
Old 07-05-2012, 11:04 PM
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Rick Steves has Euro and UK style plug adapters on sale for a buck a piece. 5 for $5 is a good deal provided your room has enough outlets.

Cheers
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  #17  
Old 07-05-2012, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b-y View Post
Yes...twice the voltage equals half the current for the same wattage. But with a US extension cord, you are still stuck with the wrong plug at at least one end.
It isn't the thickness of the wire that matters but the insulation rating. US plugs and sockets are normally rated for 120V and so is the insulation on the wire. 240V insulation is more expensive.

Voltage and current ratings are often printed somewhere on the extension cord and components. If it says 120V, don't use it on 240V.
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