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  • Travel charger 115V only?

    I have a Pride HB8204B Portable Battery Charger that I am planning on bringing to Europe. I thought it would be fine to use without a converter because the spec label on it says "INPUT 115/230VAC". But, then I noticed a sticker next to where the power plug connects that just says "115 VAC". So, now I am not sure. If I just try it and plug it into an adapter (without a transformer) could I do major harm to it during my trip? That would be a disaster. But, I really don't want to have to plug it into a converter all the time. Anyone have any thoughts, or know this charger well enough to say whether it is configured to be 115 only?
    C-6/7 incomplete

  • #2
    Originally posted by Kulea View Post
    I have a Pride HB8204B Portable Battery Charger that I am planning on bringing to Europe. I thought it would be fine to use without a converter because the spec label on it says "INPUT 115/230VAC". But, then I noticed a sticker next to where the power plug connects that just says "115 VAC". So, now I am not sure. If I just try it and plug it into an adapter (without a transformer) could I do major harm to it during my trip? That would be a disaster. But, I really don't want to have to plug it into a converter all the time. Anyone have any thoughts, or know this charger well enough to say whether it is configured to be 115 only?
    The charger is equipped with a dual voltage switch which allows the charger to switch between 115 and 230 VAC. When used in the United States, the switch should be in the 115V position.

    (The charger can tolerate 50Hz and 60Hz mains frequencies)

    If you are in a location that has 230V mains, you need to MANUALLY slide the switch to expose the "230" indication. You'll also need a modular power cord that "fits" the local AC outlet. (I think these vary from country to country!)

    The switch is located on the end of the charger, between the power inlet and power switch. It is RECESSED -- and, perhaps covered by a label to discourage you from dicking with it. A small slotted screwdriver can help trying to move it (power off while doing this!)

    Note that you won't want to use it on US 115V mains after you've repositioned the switch -- unless you slide it back!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by automation View Post
      The charger is equipped with a dual voltage switch which allows the charger to switch between 115 and 230 VAC. When used in the United States, the switch should be in the 115V position.

      (The charger can tolerate 50Hz and 60Hz mains frequencies)

      If you are in a location that has 230V mains, you need to MANUALLY slide the switch to expose the "230" indication. You'll also need a modular power cord that "fits" the local AC outlet. (I think these vary from country to country!)

      The switch is located on the end of the charger, between the power inlet and power switch. It is RECESSED -- and, perhaps covered by a label to discourage you from dicking with it. A small slotted screwdriver can help trying to move it (power off while doing this!)

      Note that you won't want to use it on US 115V mains after you've repositioned the switch -- unless you slide it back!
      OMG - Thank you so much. The "115 VAC" sticker was covering this switch. I would never have known or guessed. I would have just tried to plug it in and been f'd. Yay, now I can proceed to Europe with one less thing to be paranoid about.
      C-6/7 incomplete

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      • #4
        You also might want to pickup a plug adapter too, if you don't already have one.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Kulea View Post
          OMG - Thank you so much. The "115 VAC" sticker was covering this switch. I would never have known or guessed.
          This is somewhat common practice -- you're not supposed to be dicking around with the switch; changing it without knowing what you're doing can toast the charger. So, "out of sight, out of mind!"

          Some manufacturers will remove the switch, later in their production runs, as a way of saving a few pennies. They just change the manufacturing instructions to effectively wire the device AS IF the switch was in one position or the other (based on whether they are selling to the US vs. European market). So, you can't be SURE there's a switch hiding under the label unless you actually look for it.

          And, some devices are built to be "autoranging" -- all you need is the proper "plug" (cord) and the device automatically adjusts to the difference in mains voltages.

          I would have just tried to plug it in and been f'd. Yay, now I can proceed to Europe with one less thing to be paranoid about.
          Remember, you can still screw yourself -- by forgetting to flip the switch to the correct position for your current location (i.e., when you return to the US!)

          Have a fun trip!

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