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Power Technology

Ask Slashdot: Surge Protection For International Travel? 138

New submitter gaiageek writes: As someone who has lost a laptop power supply (and thus use of the laptop) due to a late-night power surge while traveling in a developing country, I'm acutely aware of the need for surge protection when traveling abroad. While practically all laptop and phone power adapters these days are voltage auto-sensing 100V-240V compatible, most so-called "travel" surge protectors are restricted to either 110V or 220V. Given the space and weight constraints of carry-on only travel, I'd like to avoid having to carry two separate surge protectors knowing I may go from Central America (110V) to Southeast Asia (220V). Strangely, laptop specific surge protectors typically are 100V-240V compatible, but this doesn't provide protection for a phone or tablet that requires the original power supply (can't be charged from a notebook USB port).

Is there really no solution out there short using a 110V-240V notebook surge protector with an adapter to go from a "cloverleaf" notebook plug to a 5-15R (standard US) plug receptacle?
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Ask Slashdot: Surge Protection For International Travel?

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  • by markus_baertschi ( 259069 ) <markus AT markus DOT org> on Sunday February 07, 2016 @11:49AM (#51456901)

    The problem is, 200 Volts on a 110V circuit is a surge and will fry a 110V power supply. So surge protectors need to be voltage specific or they become ineffective at lower voltages.

    I would go another route: Make sure that your have spare/alternative ways to power or charge your equipment. For example carry a 12V charger for your laptop (also works on some airplanes). Only buy equipment (phones/tablets) you can charge from an USB outlet. Carry a spare USB charger.

    This will get easier over time with the USB type C connector and USB power delivery, as modern devices get equipped with it.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Technically the surge protector could adapt to the normal voltage. Also, technically you should be fine if you use a 240V surge protector on a 110V circuit, as long as the device can handle 240V, so pack a 240V surge adapter and a wide range power supply.

    • Yes, it's true that 200 volts on a 110/120v circuit might damage a 110/120v power supply. However, the OP mentions that their power supplies are universal 110~240v. That means the supplies can actually handle up to 240v so they only need surge protection above 240v regardless.

      • by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Sunday February 07, 2016 @02:05PM (#51457557) Homepage

        A surge protector for 230-240 volts is what's needed.

        So get a power strip with surge protection for Schuko (Common style in most of Europe) connectors, replace the plug with a male connector same as power supplies as stationary computers have and then get a country specific power cable in the country visited.

        The reason to use the Shuko connector is that most devices are available in European format alternative, fewer in the UK format and the Schuko plug is smaller than the UK plugs as well. Any talk about need to identify live and neutral is just bollocks on anything manufactured after 1980.

        If all the power supplies connected are auto-ranging up to 240 volts there's no need to have a voltage specific surge protector, the power supplies can cope with it.

        • by mjwx ( 966435 )

          A surge protector for 230-240 volts is what's needed.

          Actually what is needed is a voltage converter/step down transformer, surge protectors don't downvolt 220-240v to 110v.

          Or the US could just admit that 110v is a bad idea and follow the world onto 220-240v.

          However for laptops, it usually doesn't matter as most manufacturers make one auto-switching power supply for the entire world. Check your power brick to see if it supports up to 240v, it should say something like "AC 100-240v". As for the rest of your stuff, just make sure whatever you get a step do

      • by gweihir ( 88907 )

        No. Because of the way surges, surge-protectors work and wide-range PSUs work, this is not true at all.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Multi-range PSUs, as in ones without a physical switch, simply have a combination of inductors and capacitors with a bridge diode to create a filtered DC source that can be regulated to the voltage actually needed. The filter and bridge diode need to be rated for the maximum voltage, so a surge from 120 to 240 will still be within the rating of the front end and be on par with plugging the thing in the first place.

          • by gweihir ( 88907 )

            We are talking surges here, not regular switch on. A typical surge-test uses 500...15000V. A "surge" from 110V to 240V does not even register even in most 110V equipment.

          • Not really - anyway - most of these 'surge protectors' are simple MOV blocks that get blown open after a few years of use. (They silently die in the line of duty).

            Amazing how many people here don't know anything about transients. - Common mode vs differential mode etc.

            Most power supplies have one built in - and work well above both voltages.

            The key bit is most transients are at RF frequencies - you don't have to know down all of what gets on the first cap past the rectification - and with PFC the induct

    • OP here. If surge protectors must be voltage specific, that doesn't explain how the laptop-specific surge protectors can be 100V-240V compatible.

      As for carrying a spare laptop power supply, that would be just as much weight/bulk as a 2nd surge protector, so kind of defeats the point.
      • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

        Most power supplies are auto-range or wide range 100-250V or so, so only a surge protector for the upper voltage is needed.

      • by gweihir ( 88907 )

        If you have a 100-240V "compatible" surge protector, then you have been cheated, as that is not possible to do reliably without significantly more effort than goes into these devices. These will always only offer limited protection at 110V.

    • The problem is, 200 Volts on a 110V circuit is a surge and will fry a 110V power supply. So surge protectors need to be voltage specific or they become ineffective at lower voltages.

      I would go another route: Make sure that your have spare/alternative ways to power or charge your equipment. For example carry a 12V charger for your laptop (also works on some airplanes). Only buy equipment (phones/tablets) you can charge from an USB outlet. Carry a spare USB charger.

      This will get easier over time with the USB type C connector and USB power delivery, as modern devices get equipped with it.

      This...

      Buy one or several power banks for your phone/tablet. Charge the power bank, not the device, and use the power bank to charge your portable devices.

      I use a Kensington K33117 International All-in-One Travel Plug Adapter plus a Monster MP OTG400 BK Outlets To Go Power Strip when traveling. The Kensington travel adapter has a built-in ceramic slow transition fuse rated at 250v 2.5A plus a spare in the removable end. While it will take a grounded plug (i.e. the power strip, it's a tight fit but it doe

      • "I've never had the fuse blow..."

        Fuses and circuit breakers are there to protect the wiring and prevent a fire.

        They're not there to protect devices.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Sunday February 07, 2016 @03:15PM (#51457937)

      Indeed. Even when you have a 100-240V device connected to 110V, you must use an 110V surge protector. The problem is that while a 220V surge protector would clamp at a voltage the device can survive, it can only survive reliably if it has been running at 220V because of the way these devices are designed. They have a rectifier and filter capacitor. If the filter capacitor gets charged up from 110V by a surge clamped for 220V (which clamps at around 400...500V), the inrush-current will likely blow the last-ditch fuse in the device and may well damage other components.

      So, sorry, what you want is not possible. You must get both.

      • The inrush current doesn't blow the fuse when you go directly from 0V to 230V by plugging it in. The slew rate is limited by an inductor, and the sharper the spike the harsher the limiting.

    • Aren't nearly all surge protectors made with 330 volt MOVs? Wikipedia has an article on surge protecters which includes this "A lower clamping voltage indicates better protection, but can sometimes result in a shorter life expectancy for the overall protective system. The lowest three levels of protection defined in the UL rating are 330 V, 400 V and 500 V. The standard let-through voltage for 120 V AC devices is 330 volts."

      • MOVs have to be rated higher than the expected sinusoudal _peak_ voltage.

        For most mains circuits the allowable RMS deviation is "nominal" RMS -10%+15%, which means that peaks need to be sized appropriately. If the supply isn't clean then the peak might be slightly higher still.

        This brings up an important point for a lot of cheap chinese electronics rated for "220V" or "220-240V" - Whilst the supply in the UK is a nominal 220V, my house's _normal_ line voltage is 245VAC and it can go as high as 265VAC whilst

    • The problem is, 200 Volts on a 110V circuit is a surge and will fry a 110V power supply.

      The OP specifically stated that the power supplies under discussion are rated to take 110 or 240 V. This is not an issue.

    • If you're serious, I would use a rotary converter. Failing that, at least a ferroresonant power conditioner. That should allow you to plug into just about any dodgy power source without worrying about frying things.
    • Yes, 200V on a 110V circuit is a surge, but most "typical" surges are 2kV or higher common mode (both lines going high relative to earth) due to lightning strikes.

      Sustained higher voltage surges on low voltage lines are normally a result of 11kV distribution lines falling on local feeders. The best you can hope for in such cases is that the fuses do their job before your wiring catches fire.

      My experience is that power lines don't get much in the way of surges - there are so many transformers along the way t

  • by mriya3 ( 803189 ) on Sunday February 07, 2016 @11:50AM (#51456909) Homepage
    I have a Lindy Surge Protector (model number 73311) which has a cloverleaf input, a cloverleaf output, a "universal" (Multi region power socket) output plug, and 2 usb outputs (1A maximum). It's rated for 660W max at 110V and 1380W Max at 230V.
    • OP here: thanks for this, as it's at least an interesting variation on my current solution. I was hoping to find something in a more simple cube/outlet format that plugs right into the wall (ideally with retractable plug) but this may be the next best thing.
    • I'm skeptical. Devices like that may work to protect 220V devices from surge but I highly doubt that a 110V device will be covered. Proper surge protection is not something that can handle wide input voltages without subjecting the low voltage to at least the high voltage.

      • by gweihir ( 88907 )

        A fast surge will create a huge inrush current into a device running at 110V when the surge protector is dimensioned for 220V. That has a good change to damage or kill the device. On a slow/weak surge, it will offer reasonable protection.

  • What the hell are you talking about? Buy several dollar store USB chargers. If one burns up throw it away and use one of the spares. Maybe you want to lug around a Tripp Lite power conditioner with you?

    • Not sure about you, but I'm not entirely comfortable plugging something that cost $1 into the mains.

  • by bosef1 ( 208943 ) on Sunday February 07, 2016 @11:58AM (#51456951)

    So I'm clear: you have a collection of devices with switch-mode power supplies that can handle the global 100-240V power, and you want a surge suppressor that will protect you on any voltage.

    Since your power supplies can handle up to 240V, you just need a surge suppressor that handles spikes above 240V. So buy a 240V-rated surge suppressor, and use a 120V plug adapter for countries with lower voltage. Since your devices already handle up to 240V, then they can handle minor over-voltages on 120V systems just fine. Bigger spikes, like lightning, are going to be high over-voltages regardless of the base voltage.

    I'm not sure of your solution if you have devices that have only-120V or only-240V power supplies, and you need a surge suppressor that can protect both. Buy new wide-band power supplies or build your own (it's not that hard).

    • This sounds like a good idea, however when using a 240V surge protector at 100V you need to consider the reduced power rating. The power rating is likely mostly an maximum current rating and the same amount of power at 100 V instead of 240 V uses 2.4 times the current. So if you need 150 Watt maximum power at 100 V, you should use a 240v surge protector rated at least 360 W.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      All the OP needs to do us buy a basic local surge protector for < $10. There is no need for a "global" option. If you can afford to bounce around all over the world, you can buy a cheap protector from any local consumer electronic shop, or just ask the hotel to provide one.

      The OP is really an advert in disguise. There will be a highly promoted product with the hour.

      • This is the new more moral Slashdot. They'll wait at least three hours!

      • OP here. I appreciate your theory, but sorry, this isn't an advertisement in disguise - and if you believe one can arrive in a developing country and just buy a surge protector within the hour, I would guess you haven't been to the kind of countries I'm talking about (or arrived at 3am when local shops are all closed). When my Thinkpad power supply got fried in India (as mentioned in the OP) I literally spent weeks trying to find a replacement: I'd call a local shop, they'd say they ordered it and it would
      • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

        Power strips with surge protectors worth their price aren't $10, they are closer to $100 in Europe.

        For $10 you may get the cheapest possible ordinary unprotected power strip.

    • OP here. Your assumptions are correct: both power supplies (laptop & USB power adapter) are 100V-240V compatible. Your suggestion to simply use a 240V-rated surge suppressor even when on 110V is one I hadn't considered, and your reasoning seems sound. If anyone has actually tried this with without problem, please post about it.
  • It sounds like you are traveling with only passive adapters, and so you would need to protect each and every device separately.

    So own two single-outlet surge protectors, for they are quite small and as mentioned elsewhere they must be voltage-specific and make your chain thus:

    PassivePlugAdapter:SingleOutletSurge:ThreeHeadedOutlet(s):Appliances

    This will pack quite compactly, as the N Passive Plug Adapters get replaced with N/3 Three Headed Outlets

  • If you are traveling with a laptop whose power supply is capable of handling either 110v or 240v, why do you care about a surge protector for 110v? Surely all you need is a single surge protector that is rated for the highest voltage that your laptop can handle.

    Also I wouldn't be too concerned about the 220v/240v differential. The components used in surge protectors don't suddenly cut off all spikes that just creep over their limit. In fact MOVs [wikipedia.org] limit voltage to 3 to 4 times their rated value. So a 10%

  • by Crowd Computing ( 4269575 ) on Sunday February 07, 2016 @12:05PM (#51456981)
    Rather than carry why not buy on the spot in the country you're travelling to? Every airport should have a duty-free shop of some sort. What you'll probably find are power strips with surge protection rather than something specifically marketed as a surge protector. Look for one with a fuse or a mini circuit breaker. If you're worried about the quality, then you can try daisy-chaining two of them.
    • Buying on site isn't an option when you arrive at 3am on an overseas flight.
    • by ediron2 ( 246908 )

      Because the Lindy that another poster mentioned is 10 euros. In an airport shop, it'll cost 30-60 euros, and/or be a chinese knockoff with a higher margin. Travel light, not foolishly.

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      Rather than carry why not buy on the spot in the country you're travelling to? Every airport should have a duty-free shop of some sort. What you'll probably find are power strips with surge protection rather than something specifically marketed as a surge protector. Look for one with a fuse or a mini circuit breaker. If you're worried about the quality, then you can try daisy-chaining two of them.

      Personally I carry one socket adapter and a powerboard.

      That way, I can charge all of my devices from one power point. I've also got a powerboard with universal outlets [internationalconfig.com] so that I can plug in Australian and local electronics. Useful if the only useful power point is being used by the TV or what not.

      However I dont bother with surge protection. I've never had any of my electronics fail on holiday and if the power is regularly that dirty, the hotel will have surge protection installed at the mains as they

    • Most countries where one would need such a surge protector, I wouldn't trust on having those things available - or if available, being of good quality.

    • Not in every airport can find a duty shop or any shop that sell surge protector, especially if traveling to developing country but not to the capital city.
  • Here's what I did (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    From US, but spend 90% of my time abroad for work. I bought a US power strip w/ surge protector, for my devices to plug into, and then attach a voltage adapter to the input plug on the strip. I swap adapters depending on what country I'm in--each of which is only slightly larger than the length of the plug on the power strip, so it's not a big deal to carry a half dozen of them around in my luggage. This has served me well for about 3 years now.

    • You shouldn't do that. The US power strip is likely only rated for 120v. If you use it with an adapter in a country with 240v service you may find that some of the clearances are not enough and you get arcing, thus a fire hazard. I've actually had this happen to me. A better, but similar solution is to get a 220/230/240v power strip with surge protector. You can even get one that will accept US style plugs if you'd like. As long as your power supplies are rated for up to 240v input you'll be protected from

      • You shouldn't do that. The US power strip is likely only rated for 120v. If you use it with an adapter in a country with 240v service you may find that some of the clearances are not enough and you get arcing, thus a fire hazard. I've actually had this happen to me.

        The voltage required to start an arc is around a million volts per meter. The 110V difference requires under four thousandths of an inch additional clearance given no insulation at all. If that's the issue I'm going to argue the device was so cheaply made it was already a fire hazard.

        A more likely scenario is cheap components (like capacitors for example) and overall bad design.

        • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

          Just because it works for you doesn't mean it will work well for someone else with another brand of surge protector. The safety level on the US power strips aren't as good either compared to the Euro variants.

      • Arcing is just about impossible. However the fuse and/or circuit breaker is most likely rated for less than 200 volts. Under rated circuit breakers and fuses may not disconnect higher voltages than their rating. OP will likely have no issues until an over current happens. The it will be a gamble of it may safe-fully disconnect or may catch fire. Voltage and Amp ratings are for both normal situations and what happens when things go bad. It may go very bad with wrong ratings.

      • by Teun ( 17872 )
        That's why he has a voltage adapter (AKA a transformer) in the INPUT of the strip :)
        Not a bad idea when all your kit is for US voltage. But a transformer that can handle several 100's of Watts is going to be heavy, like my Thinkpad has a 170W power supply.
        The advantage is it will to an extend suppress some high frequency spikes by virtue of it's inductance.
  • If you can afford to travel to multiple continents, then there's no reason why you can't spend a few bucks and buy the surge protectors you need when you arrive on the continent, and just donate them when you leave.
  • Well don't go to Afghanistan, Iraq, or Syria
    all three have experienced a 'surge' of troops from the US, Iran, or Russia

  • But what you really need is a UPS, It not only prevents surges, it cleans up the voltage outputting a near perfect sine wave.

    As mentioned an Isolation Transformer would also do the trick, but again weight constraints prevent their use.

    While I wouldn't put much faith in those surge arrestors, trusting a circuit breaker over one. APC has one on Newegg.com (quick search) http://www.newegg.com/Product/... [newegg.com] - for cheap but 120 volts.

    As one reviewer to the above product put it " So-called surge protectors, IMO, fi

    • But what you really need is a UPS,

      Putting a bit more thought into this, I can see rigging up an expensive GFI (not a GFCI) -one that trips instantly or faster than normal to do what you need, .

      • OP here. I see some GFCI single outlet adapters on the market, but no GFI (and I'm not sure of the difference). If it matters (I think it does), some of the places I've been have used outlets that aren't even grounded, which further complicates the whole surge protection defense of sending excess current to ground.

        Here's a question: I have a cheap international plug adapter that has "surge protection" built-in in the form of a standard user-replaceable fuse. What about using that, and maybe even putting in
        • OP here. I see some GFCI single outlet adapters on the market, but no GFI (and I'm not sure of the difference). If it matters (I think it does), some of the places I've been have used outlets that aren't even grounded, which further complicates the whole surge protection defense of sending excess current to ground.

          GFI's are required in the US in all newer homes, they are a fast tripping device, the outlet normally located in the bathroom. One outlet can protect an entire line.

          Grounding protection is required for personal protection alone. If a country is too cheap to pay for the extra wire, I'd give serious consideration of using one's incoming metal water pipes as the third wire (think of the kids).

          Here's a question: I have a cheap international plug adapter that has "surge protection" built-in in the form of a standard user-replaceable fuse. What about using that, and maybe even putting in a lower-rated fuse?

          According to others replies your power supply should be well protected, situations like yours taken into account. The f

    • by jandjmh ( 66714 )

      Most UPS's are "pass through" devices that connect the incoming power directly to the output if the input has power. When the input power drops, a relay inside the ups switches the outlets to an inverter that is powered by a battery. They provide no protection against surges, other than the same kind of limited protection that a powerstrip with surge protection has.

      There are "online" UPS's that do a full double conversation (AC->DC->AC) at all times. They are heavy and expensive, but do provide nearly

  • I don't think this is quite what you're looking for, but my wife and I have used a spare power brick with great success:

    Poweradd Pilot Pro 32000mAh External Battery Pack [amazon.com]

    Much safer than relying on a non-grid electrical supply.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "Safer" by your definition, but more batteries are not such a safe option to bring on an airplane.

  • General plug-in surge protectors just short to ground whenever the component inside triggers over X volt. According to Wikipedia the lowest trigger voltage is 330V for 110V circuits, so even a 110v-rated protector will work fine as the device MUST be able to handle such spikes without damage for certification. However note that especially in developing countries the surge protector may NOT be enough but the adequate solutions are probably far too heavy for you.
  • by itsme1234 ( 199680 ) on Sunday February 07, 2016 @01:22PM (#51457329)

    Modern good laptop power supplies aren't that easy to kill; probably many mains appliances the locals use are more sensitive to troubles on the line (not only spike but also short drops), from fridges or air-condition units (anything that's compressor-based), washing machines, etc. Sure, PSes can die out of the blue, like mostly everything else but you might not be able to prevent this with a surge protector.

    If it is critical to have the laptop available then you need to carry (at least) two power supplies AND TWO LAPTOPS! Frankly the power supply can be replaced almost everywhere for less than the cost of 2-4 beers from minibar, is just a 12-20V DC power supply (it can be also jury-rigged from basic parts - YES I know about the laptops with data pins, etc but still a basic supply will work). In fact it is more likely the laptop will die (not only from electrical problems!).

    If you don't really need a backup laptop you can plan to use the phone for most of the communication, basic browsing, etc. You can have a memory stick with the important files, bitlocker encrypted if you want, even a fully encrypted bootable linux distribution if you so desire. Heck, you can borrow a machine if absolutely needed at Everest Base Camp, I'm sure you'll be fine anywhere else.

    And why, WHY, WHY, WHY would you have in 2016 a phone "that requires the original power supply (can't be charged from a notebook USB port)" ?!?!?!?!!??! YES, we all knows somebody who still has a Nokia from 2008 with the round connector and a battery that goes for three weeks when new and even now from Monday to Friday without any sweat. But I haven't seen anybody on an intercontinental flight with something like that for a while. Even if I do see somebody I'll just assume it is a second phone, to use with a local SIM...

    • OP here. My situation isn't critical enough to warrant carrying more than a half-pound of extra gear, which rules out an extra power supply and certainly a 2nd laptop. As you mention, I can always use my phone.

      As for a "phone that requires the original power supply" - that was misleading. All my devices (save the laptop) can be charged from from USB, but the laptop USB ports tend put out the standard 500mAh, so it can be a long time charging compared to a 1000mAh USB charger. Also, I have encountered devi
      • by adolf ( 21054 )

        Questions:

        1. How do you know it was a surge that killed your PSU?

        2. What else was your laptop plugged into when it got roached?

        Surges from line-to-neutral are usually taken up by the PSU's own internal MOVs, spark gaps, and other things designed for the purpose (and far better than an average power strip of reasonable expense) of protecting the device. (Or at least this is the case with proper PSUs. No-name Ebay cruft without a UL/CSA/whatever registration is anyone's guess.)

        Contrastingly, common-mode s

        • Questions:

          1. How do you know it was a surge that killed your PSU?

          2. What else was your laptop plugged into when it got roached?

          I was in India (Goa) and was awoken in the middle of the night to the overhead fan spinning crazy-fast, like it was going to take off. Half-asleep, I tried adjusting the switch to put it on a lower level, but it had no effect so I just turned it off. During this I noticed the a light outside seeming unusually bright, but then someone stepped out and turned it off. I went back to sleep, not realizing that what just happened was a surge - and that my laptop was plugged in to the AC (and only the AC - no netw

          • GGGP here :-)

            First of all I'm surprised nothing more fried, especially from whatever other appliances the locals surely have.
            To prevent damage from a simple overload yes a replaceable fuse and some MOVs would be the ticket; the only thing is that MOVs can absorb only so much energy and they get damaged at every hit (possibly the very first one). I don't know if anybody makes a commercial light (for travel) surge protector with replaceable fuses (maybe even MOVs). Probably it would be a nice project to make

          • by adolf ( 21054 )

            Alright, first I want to thank you for participating. I meant to do this before, but forgot. So often an Ask Slashdot happens, and the asker never interacts at all.

            I can tell from your description that what you experienced was a surge from line to neutral.

            Here's what's supposed to happen in any "surge protector" in this scenario:

            The surge exceeds the breakover voltage of the MOV that is across line and neutral (which it must have, as it was the MOVs turning conductive that generated the heat that melted t

  • by aaarrrgggh ( 9205 ) on Sunday February 07, 2016 @01:34PM (#51457393)

    Persistent over/under voltage was always my challenge traveling. A surge protective device doesn't do anything when power is running at 300V for a few seconds. The old MOVs, without proper fusing, would always pop and start smoking, which was a sign to trip the main breaker before everything got fried.

    For truly sensitive electronics we always used commodity 12V chargers tied to a big battery bank with individual inverters for each piece of equipment. We might have had a custom filter to deal with ripple current off the chargers, too long ago to remember the details. The chargers lasted 2-3 months on average, but were easy to replace. Normal dual-conversion UPSs would barely last 3-4 months and were much harder to find and more expensive.

    For today, I would have two laptop power supplies and an extra battery, and only charge from USB. The bigger USB power supplies are pretty robust, worth carrying extras.

    • A surge protective device doesn't do anything when power is running at 300V for a few seconds.

      Seriously? Is that actually a problem is some parts of the world?

      • Yes. In the course of a day, mains power where I used to live would range from 100V to 300V. You get the prolonged over voltages when a large load drops off, either a circuit breaker trip, or something more random. Modern voltage regulators prevent this, but legacy units will operate for a few minutes at 30-50% over voltage.

        Even with modern voltage regulators, when the load is random they are often programmed pretty loosely. 3rd world load creates 3rd world grids.

  • Hello,

    Inline 100-240V laptop surge suppressors are readily available from online electronics retailers. Here are a few that will work for you:

    • Yes, I'm aware of most of these (the Lindy one I hadn't seen). The point of my post though was that I'd like something that plugs directly into an outlet and has outlets for plugging in to, instead of something like one of these which are specific to laptops.
  • Never had that happen to me, though I travel regularly. It must be a rare mode of failure. I have never lost a piece of equipment this way in any country. Just once I had to fix a N. American power stripe after its surge protector component smoked out in Europe. Bypassing it fixed the stripe and it run finely ever after :).

    Personally I would not bother, as a failed power supply is not a big risk comparing to other risks that something else fails or gets lost. It may be more practical to rely on replacing
  • but this doesn't provide protection for a phone or tablet that requires the original power supply (can't be charged from a notebook USB port)

    That sucks, because my suggestion was going to be to get something like this Kensington [amazon.com] charger. I have one with the standard North American plugs, it works with 100-240VACm, 50-60Hz.

    I have a strict rule ... down own anything which can't charge from stock USB. I find between my Kensington and a couple of 6600MAh USB power bricks, I can pretty much keep everything cha

  • I have multiple devices - more than a typical hotel provides sockets for. So I carry a 4-way or 6-way power extension lead for my home-country's type of wall socket. Then I have all the usual chargers (my laptop; company's laptop; client's laptop ; generic USB charger ; camera battery charger) , which plug into that. This works if I'm at work in my home country, at a clinet in my home country, at a client in their home country, or at work in any other country (e.g., where the client is operating).

    I additio

  • You need protection surge against Voltage, Current and Frequency.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utility_frequency

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