How to charge a GameBoy overseas

We’re heading to France this Friday for two weeks. My son has a GameBoy Advance SP with an AC adapter that is explicitly rated only for 100VAC. I have other adapters, like for my laptop, that are explicitly rated for 110/220. I’m assuming that if this doesn’t say 220, it won’t handle 220.

I also have an adapter that is for something like 500w-1200w and it explicitly says only for heat-generating devices. The instructions make it sound dangerous to use it for anything under 500w.

Why would this adapter be usable only for heat-generating devices? And why a *minimum *wattage? I could understand why you wouldn’t want to use it on, say, an electronic clock, but why not an electric drill, or a GameBoy adapter that only draws 4w?

I may have to fall back to <gasp> reading him books.

100 VAC only? Are you sure? Most of those AC adaptors (that come with the Game Boys) should work fine anywhere between 100 and 240 VAC. All you’d need is a plug adaptor so you could fit it into the French-style receptacle.

Sounds like a step-down transformer. For some reason, these seem to only work with personal care devices you’d use in a hotel room, like hair driers, curlers, small heaters. I don’t think they recommend using these with electronic equipment, but I don’t remember why. I’ll try to dig up a cite.

NO! It’s not a step down transformer. The step down transformers are small and HEAVY and usually rated up to 50 W (there’s no minimum). That will work for the GameBoy and the last one I bought cost about $12. The 220 to 110 converter for HIGH wattage equipment is just a bunch of resistors (or diodes, I’m not sure which). It is small but LIGHTWEIGHT. You can only use it for relatively high wattage devices (e.g., hair dryers). Read the instructions! I can’t believe the GameBoy powersupply block (which is probably a combined step down transformer and rectifier) is rated for 100 V. But I can believe it is rated for 110 or 110-130 and therefore NOT usable in France. You can probably go to shop in France and get a 220 V (or 100-240 V) power supply for the Game Boy.

When CookingWithGas said

I figured they meant something like this:
To my understanding, these should not be used for extended periods of time, or with electronic equipment. Damned if I can find a cite, though.

When I lived overseas, long before the existence of Gameboys, one went to Radio Shack, showed them the electronic device, told them what country, and they pointed to the correct adapter and plug(s). I know I had at least one that could switxch back & forth, but whether that would work for a Gameboy I can’t say.

The transformers are no problem. They can be used with anything up to their maximum rated wattage. If it is called a “converter” rather than a “transformer,” watch out.

Unlike the charger for my camera battery and the adapter for my laptop, the GameBoy adapter says only 100V. The others say 100-240V.

Here is a scan of the instructions for my converter. It ain’t heavy.