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power & charging

Yes- I know that there have been many questions on this topic-- but the responses are too confusing! I just need a simple answer:

We are traveling from the US to Germany/Austria/France. In our hotels/apartments-We will need power for 2 c-pap machines, as well as charging for 2 smart phones and a tablet. What should I buy so that I can power/charge all of these items at night?

Thanks for your help.

Posted by
8889 posts

You need to supply some more information.

1) Are they 2-pin or 3-pin (with earth)? The smart phone and tablet chargers almost certainly 2-pin.
The c-pap machine, may be 2 or 3-pin. This decides whether you need a 2-pin or a 3-pin adapter.
Sockets in Germany/Austria/France are similar, and you can get an adapter (2-pin or 3-pin) that works in all 3 countries.

2) What voltages do they accept? The smart phone and tablet chargers almost certainly are 110/240V 50/60Hz AC. Look on the small print on the label to be sure.
The c-pap machine, may be 110/240V, or it may be 110V 60 Hz only. If it is 110V ONLY, you need a voltage converter as well as the adapter.

Sorry if this sounds complicated, but it is the way it is. The rules are simple, you just need the info about the appliances.

Posted by
3458 posts

Well, it depends.

And that is the simple answer. The answer is going to be more complex depending on the actual devices.

What you need to know is are the devices capable of running under both US and European electrical currents. You can look at the power adapters or the devices themselves to answer that.

Does it say 110-230 v (for volts) 50-60Hz on them, or something close to that? Most cell phone chargers are and have been dual voltage forever so you can look at one of those chargers to get an idea of what you are looking for. If it does, you can get by with just a plug adapter. You can buy those right here in the RS online store for $1 each.

If the devices say 120V 60Hz (or close to that) and nothing more, you will need a converter to run them. Those are heavy, expensive, limited in how many devices are simultaneously able to be plugged in, and no fun to drag around.

Until we all know these details, we can't really recommend.

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks for your help.

Ideally, I thought I would buy 1 adapter to use with a power strip from home- then simply charge/power all devices with the power strip. But, then I am read about things blowing up in this configuration. Thus, my question.

All 5 things are 110/240V 50/60Hz AC with 2 prongs.

Maybe I need a special kind of power strip?

Please advise.

Posted by
9616 posts


Travel Power Strip


US to EU Adapter

and you will be all set.

The USB ports will charge your phones and tablet and the two Cpaps will charge via the two plugs. No need to bring all the chargers.

DO NOT use a power strip from home if it has surge protection and isn't rated for 240v. Your devices could fry as well as the electricity in the building.

Posted by
8889 posts

All 5 things are 110/240V 50/60Hz AC with 2 prongs.

Then all you need is a 2-pin/prong adapter. Like the one in this photo:
Cheap, so just get more than one of them. Your limitation will be the number of free sockets in your hotel room. Your appliances may have to take it in turns.

You could ask your hotel to borrow a power strip or an extension lead. As it is for medical use, you have a legitimate reason to ask, Your hotel room may not have a socket near the bed.
That would be a European-standard power strip, good for 240V, into which you can plug your adapters.

Posted by
31271 posts

"You could ask your hotel to borrow a power strip or an extension lead."

That may not be the best idea, as a European power strip would have European outlets, so you'd need a Plug Adaptor for each device. The solution mentioned by Frank II is the easiest one. However I'd suggest packing along at least two of the Euro Plug Adaptors, as they're small and easily misplaced.

Posted by
17930 posts

I should point out that the power strip has receptacles for grounding (3-prong) plugs, but the plug on the device is not grounding, so it really should not be used with grounding (nor polarizing) plugs.

Posted by
31271 posts


Good catch! I missed that important detail about the missing ground pin on the plug. It won't make any difference for the USB ports, but will not provide protection for appliances that require a ground connection. It's rather odd that they've provided three pin outlets, but only a two pin plug?