Power strip in Europe?

About to spend a semester abroad, I was planning on bringing a power strip and plug adaptor to use with my electrical devices that have transformers compatible with both U.S. and European current (ipod and computer). I was planning on just using one adaptor and plugging the power strip into the wall and then using U.S. plugs to attach the devices that can automatically use 220V, 50 Hz power. The power strip says it is rated for 120V only, but since it is a passive device it seemed like it would work anyway the way I had planned. Am I correct or will the fuse blow or the power surge device trip?

Why take risks? You can pick up a decent power strip for $US10 in Europe, so it’s better just to leave yours at home and buy one here.


The fuse won’t blow - it’s current dependent, not voltage dependent.

A properly designed surge protector might trip on the overvoltage, just depends what type it is.

But the setup you want to use is a bit dodgy because the insulation rating of the 120 V gear isn’t suitable for 220 V operation.

There’s another danger: you or a visiting American friend might plug in a 100-V appliance into the power strip by mistake. I say get a separate adapter for every 220v-compatible appliance.

Yeah, what scr4 said. A power strip costs what, 5 bucks? Get a new one in Europe, and use the plug adapters.

Yeah, what I was trying to do was save a little money on the U.S. to European plug adaptors, but the general consensus seems to be bring a bunch of adaptors and use them on each device, plugged into a European power strip for convenience. I have two transformers for stuff that doesn’t work on 220V. The big problem with those is that the seem designed to overheat and are only good for about 45 minutes. But since I have two, I can switch off and let them cool for continuous operation. They are essentially only for my powered speakers. What irks me is that I can’t find just the European plug adaptors, I have to buy a set of four that will convert essentially worldwide. Unfortunately, I have procrastinated too long to buy them over the net, I leave on Wednesday.

You can buy plug adapters in Europe also, so it’s not worth missing the plane over. The power strip will be fine, an American friend of mine uses one coupled to a hefty 110-220V transformer to power his bass combo and various other bits of equipment that he somehow managed to bring with him on the plane, which needs a bit more juice than your powered speakers. Are the speakers really expensive ones, or wouldn’t it be better to buy them over here as well?

By the way, I notice you’ve been preparing for this trip pretty thoroughly and for quite some time. Take, for example, this
previous thread about European electricity, and this one.

But oddly enough, in this thread and this one it is not you but your son who is going to Prague.

I’m wondering if you have some weird split-personality disorder, like Anthony Perkins in Psycho, that the Czech’s should be warned about before you arrive in the country… :smiley:

If not, maybe you should get Dad his own username as a Christmas present…

Nah, it’s just that sometimes I’m lazy and don’t want to go into the whole history thing. It is indeed my son who is going, but this morning I was tired so I just put I, as I occasionaly have previously. I was wondering if anyone would notice.

Also, I had heard that you could absolutely NOT buy a current transformer in the Czech Republic so I assumed you could not buy the plug adaptors as well.

Also, the powered speakers are good but not fabulous (JBL creature speakers–check them out they look really cool). I personally thought he should have just bought a useable inexpensive pair over there, but he has his heart set on bringing them with him.

You can almost certainly buy the plug adapter and the transformer over there, but not in any old shop. A specialist electronics store is bound to stock such items. You can probably also buy them in the departure lounge of the airport (for a bit more than over the internet), or even purchase them over the internet and have them shipped to his Prague address.

Another alternative is for him to cut the American plug off the powerstrip when he gets to Prague and fit it with a European one.

But I still think the best advice is to leave the speakers at home (they are cool looking, by the way, I had a peek at them). In my experience when travelling, the less flashy gear you have the better, and they seem to be causing you hassle already, even before he’s left…

Forgive me if this is intrusive, but I do wonder if all this worrying about plug sockets and mobile phones is just a nervous reaction on your part to him going away…

If so, my advice is to stop worrying so much, he’ll be fine. :slight_smile: