Gone are the days when you had to have a lot of adapters in your bag in order to charge your phone, torch or laptop. Nowadays, all you need is a universal travel adapter. Most of the adapters come in two parts that can be used separately or in different combinations in order to accommodate power sources in different countries.
Choosing the right adapter
When buying the adapter, you should ensure that voltage matches that of the device that you want to charge. For example, if you want to charge your laptop, you should ensure that the voltage is ideal. If the voltage is low, the laptop will not charge adequately. On the other hand if the voltage is high, it might overload the laptop’s circuits.
You also need to consider the connector and ensure that it will fit the laptop’s power port. The most common connectors are: cylindrical, snap and lock, USB, and Molex.
Cylindrical units are usually insulated, hollow cylinders that connect to your device’s power port. Snap and lock units are also known as Kycon 3-pin and 4-pin DC power plugs and they are characterized by three or four pins that are surrounded by a thin metal cylinder.
USB units consist of hollow, rectangular metal tips. The inside of the tips comes with two or more flat metal pins. A molex connector is characterized by a number of several insulated electrical wires that are encased by a flat, plastic case. In most cases the case comes with 3, 4, or 6 terminals.
Troubleshooting the devices
While the units don’t require a lot of maintenance, they tend to stop working from time to time. If your adapter stops working, it’s a good idea that you buy another because it will be expensive to repair it. Since the units deal with high voltages, you should not open them.
You should note that it’s normal for the units to get hot when working; however, if your adapter gets too hot to touch, you should consider replacing it in order to prevent future problems.
Where to buy
The good side with the units is that they are available in almost every electronic shop that you enter. You can also find them in computer stores. When buying the adapters, you should avoid the cheap ones as they tend to stop working within a very short time.
If you are buying the units online, you should note that you have to pay additional money to cater for the shipping costs.