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Will I need a converter for this?

Hi everyone,

I'm not sure if anyone can answer this but I'd thought I'd give it a try.

We have a Soundcue Power Bank for our iphones. It's a portable charger. We're going on a European river cruise and I know I need an adaptor but can't figure out if I need a converter for it. The only thing it says on the box and the unit are:

Input: DC 5V (2.0A MAX)
Output: DC 5V (1.0A (Lightning)
DC 5V (1.0A USB)
Battery: 3.7V/5000mAh (18.5Wh)

I know nothing about electricity at all.

I've read that it is Apple certified and have tried to find out from both Apple and Soundcue but can't seem to get more information.

Posted by
8889 posts

Where are you from (which country)?

Electricity in North America is 110V 60 Hz AC
Electricity in Europe is 220V 50 Hz Ac

This "Power Bank" is not something you plug directly into an electricity outlet (it can't be it says "Input: DC 5V"). There must be something between this and the electrical outlet. That something is the charger (which converts 110V or 220V AC to 5V DC). Your "Power Bank" is not a charger. You need to find that charger and read the label on it.

If it says "110-220V 50/60 Hz AC" you are OK, it will work on European electricity.
If it just says "110V 60 Hz AC" it will melt if you plug it into European electricity and you need to get a converter, or (better option) buy a new charger.

And, on top of that, you need a plug converter because plugs (and sockets) are different shapes in different countries. What sort of plug adapter you need depends on
(a) what shape the plug is on your charger (i.e. which country you come from, is it 2- or 3-pin)?)
and (b) which country or countries you are visiting?
Until you tell us the answer to (a) and (b) we can't say what adaptor you need.

Posted by
33 posts

Hi Chris,

Sorry, I should have been more specific. I'm from the U.S.

We'll be on an Avalon ship but we're also staying in Budapest and Prague, in hotels.

I have a RAVPower 60W 12A 6-Port USB Charger Desktop Charger Charging Station with iSmart Technology, that we plug into the wall and then plug our iphones into that. I know I will need the adaptor for that and have already checked that I won't need a converter as it's dual voltage.

The Soundcue would need to plug into that.

So, adaptor, then the multi-port charging station, then our iphones. I'm worried though, about plugging the Soundcue in to one of those ports. Am I going to blow out the whole unit, including our iphones? I have no idea about any of this.

I actually have 2 of the RAVPower charging stations so I'm wondering if I need to get a converter and use that, with an adaptor, to plug JUST the Soundcue in, separate from everything else?

I hope I'm making sense. If I do indeed need a converter, the Soundcue is the only item I need it for so I don't really want to spend a fortune. I wouldn't even know which one to buy.

Colleen

Posted by
968 posts

I can’t speak to your device in question but I am wondering why you might feel the need for it.
I bring my iPhone and iPad mini with a simple plug adapter (2 blades into 2 round prongs) and the I-product lightening cords and adapter. Mine has 2 USB ports.
It’s simple and lightweight. My stuff recharges in a couple of hours and I don’t need to carry a portable charger around with me during the day.

Posted by
873 posts

I hope your Soundcue works better than mine did. Mine was a piece of garbage that failed on a hike along the Pacific Crest Trail when I really needed a portable power back up to my iPhone. I threw it into the first trash can I saw after returning to civilization.

Here's how these items work. Your charger with the 6 ports is overkill unless you need to recharge 6 devices all at once, but it is small enough to pack and prevents the wait time that ensues when more than one device is charging. I doubt, based upon the specs that I am reading for the device, that it is likely to cause any problems for the powerbank. I would plug in the powerbank in your home and see what happens. Better have things go wrong before you go that when you really need a power assist in a strange country.

The Soundcue powerbank is merely a portable power source to use to recharge your iPhone when you are away from a plug in power source. You charge it up with its USB cable which connects to a plugin device. For Europe you will only need a two prong adapter for most places to convert it from US to European plugs. Not sure you will actually need the powerbank since if you are on a river cruise, you will likely just charge your iPhones in your room each night. Since you are using an iPhone, you can really limit cellular data by eliminating programs that use data. Go to Settings, then Cellular, then Cellular Data, and turn off the apps that you don't need. Without those apps drawing cellular data, your power usage on the phone goes way down. For most occasions, putting your iPhone in Airplane Mode does the same thing. Your power draw will be minimal.

Posted by
8889 posts

If the "RAVPower 60W 12A 6-Port USB Charger Desktop Charger" is as you say dual voltage, then it is doing the conversion from 110V or 220V AC to 5V DC (which is what USB is), then you can plug anything into that with a USB plug (including your phones or the Soundcue Power Pack), and they will be OK.

"have already checked that I won't need a converter as it's dual voltage." - OK, so why are you asking later on "if I need to get a converter", you have said it doesn't need one.

I am guessing the Charger has a 2-pin plug on it (most do). That would be 2 flat pins, US-standard.
In most of Europe (including where you are going), they have a "Europlug" with 2 round pins (photo here): https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/63/Euro-Flachstecker_2.jpg
You need an adaptor you can plug your 2 flat pins into, with 2 round pins coming out, like this one: http://www.internationalconfig.com/prod_shot/30300.jpg
Or two of them to cover your 2 chargers. You should be able to find them on the internet or in a shop.

I have tried to explain this simply, that is why it came out so long - sorry if it is boring.

Posted by
17659 posts

You will need a voltage converter to charge the Power Bank. But that is what a USB charger is, a voltage converter. It takes wall voltage (usually 100-240 VAC) and converts it to 5 VDC. Look at the spec plate on the USB charger. It undoubtedly says "Input 100-240 VAC, 50-60 Hz" or something similar. If it says 100-240 VAC, you can use a "plug adapter" to plug it into any receptacle worldwide and it will output 5 VDC for your Power Bank.

Posted by
3322 posts

The Soundcue Power Bank is basically a rechargeable battery you plug into your iPhone to recharge it when needed. The Soundcue in turn is charged from a USB charger device. There is no converter or adapter needed provided you have a USB charger it can plug into.

If you use your Apple iPhone charger to recharge the Soundcue, then all you need is an adapter to allow the flat prongs of the Apple device to plug into the round European type plugs. The Apple charger is rated 110/220 volts.

You can also plug the Soundcue into the RAVPower 60W 12A 6-Port USB Charger. Then all that is important is if the RAVPower can handle 110/220. You state it can.

Posted by
8640 posts

If you use the Ravpower charger to charge the Soundcue you do not need a convertor. You will need an adapter.

Posted by
33 posts

Everyone,

Thank you so much! Yes, the Rav is dual voltage so I knew I needed the adaptor but not a converter. Chris, I was only questioning the Soundcue and I probably confused everyone because I am totally confused by the voltage.

I thought I needed a converter ONLY for the Soundcue since it doesn't indicate that it's dual voltage anywhere on it so it made me a bit nervous. I thought, because of that, if I plug it into the USB port along with my iphone, on the RAV, it may blow the whole unit if it does indeed need a converter.

Now I understand and I truly appreciate everyone's input. Thank you SO much!

Colleen

Posted by
30973 posts

I'm a bit late getting into the discussion, but have a few thoughts to add......

  • The RAVPower 60W 12A 6-Port USB Charger appears to have a plug-in AC power cord, so does the conversion from line voltage to 5 VDC internally. I'm assuming it has a two-pin (ungrounded) AC plug? As you've mentioned, the charger is designed for operation from 100-240VAC, so you should have no problems using it in Europe.
  • You will of course need Euro Plug Adapters appropriate for the countries you'll be visiting. I'd suggest packing a couple as they're small and easily misplaced.
  • You'll be able to charge the Soundcue Power Bank from the Ravpower charger, using a USB to Micro-USB charging cable. You should be able to find cables at local stores such as Best Buy or wherever. Check the charging connector on the Power Bank to ensure that Micro USB is the correct format for that model.
  • It appears that the Avalon ships are equipped with 220 VAC outlets.

An important reminder - the Soundcue Power Bank likely contains a Lithium-Ion battery, which means it MUST be packed in your carry-on luggage and NOT in your checked luggage.

Posted by
33 posts

Frank and Ken, thank you for your input. It's greatly appreciated. I already bought the adaptors and I will call the Rav charger and the Soundcue in my carry on bag.