sorta OT power question for you world travelers


My Dell laptop power supply says that it will work on 100-240V, 50 or 60 Hz. Wikipedia sez
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_power_plugs_and_sockets
that Japanese receptacles, despite having 100V, 50Hz power are essentially identical to a NEMA 1-15. However, both "bricks" that I have use a 3-wire cord instead of a 2-wire like every other laptop I've had/used, and it's not clear to me if a grounding type Japanese JIS C 8303 recep is the same as a NEMA 5-15 or just "similar," or even if they are particularly common.
Do I need to pack some kind of adapter plug thing? Or should I just get a cheater plug and carry that?
Obviously, I have never been to Japan before...
thanks
nate
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On Wed, 24 Mar 2010 19:02:14 -0400, Nate Nagel wrote:

My Dell laptop PSU uses a 3-wire cord - but dismantling it revealed that the ground isn't actually connected to anything internally. I've used mine on US power with and without a ground, and UK power (230V @ 50Hz) with no problems (but not Japan :-)
cheers
Jules
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On 03/24/2010 07:57 PM, Jules Richardson wrote:

good to know. I'll just toss a cheater plug in my laptop bag then and call it good. Primarily I am planning on taking it to watch DVDs on the plane (I have an AC/DC brick with an auto/air cord as well as an AC cord) but hey, if I'm going to cart it with me, might as well see if I can check my email while I'm there too.
I don't really have any easy way to generate 100V/50Hz here at my house but I can't imagine it wouldn't work?
FWIW my laptop (Precision M90) shipped with a 130W power supply but it seems to be fat and happy here in the living room running off the 65W supply I just got from eBay (that's the one with the auto/air cord. I also tested it off a benchtop 12V power supply and it seems to be good on that too.) I guess I just won't be doing any rendering or any processor intensive stuff while I'm in the air :)
Now to remember to get on Project Gutenberg and download lots of books to read too.
nate
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Keep in mind that many seatpower systems are extremely current limited. You may find that the circuit breaker trips if you try to run your laptop. If so, removing the battery (thus disabling the charger circuit) will lower the draw enough that the laptop will work.
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Check the label on your PSU, if it says something like 100 to 240 50/60 hz you are good to go.
Jimmie
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On Wed, 24 Mar 2010 23:57:21 +0000 (UTC), Jules Richardson

polarizing device IF you have the polarizwd end on the brick end - whick the universal power supply I just got as a "test supply" does not have - so the "ground" connector is totally redundant.
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For something silly like a grounding plug on a power supply brick, I take a few seconds with the hacksaw and it eliminates the hassles. If the prongs are polarized, a few swipes with a file solve that issue as well. There's no harm, since the brick exterior is non-conductive and the output is low voltage DC, anyway. Maybe if there was a major short inside the brick and 120/240 was delivered to the laptop, the ground might be appreciated, but I'll take my chances.
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On 3/24/2010 7:02 PM, Nate Nagel wrote:

The Kanto region of Japan has 60 Hz power. But every device I have ever brought to use over there really didn't care about line frequency. Laptop bricks certainly don't.
I don't understand what happened that US laptop power bricks now use grounded plugs. The equipment ground dies at the brick. If you bought the Japanese power supply for your notebook it would have a two prong plug that is a tighter tolerance version of NEMA 1-15.
My two older notebooks have NEMA 1-15 plugs.
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As your computer actually runs on DC, the frequency is niether here nor there as the "brick" has a rectifier. 60Hz or 50Hz, doesn't matter.
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On 3/25/2010 12:54 PM, harry wrote:

Sure, I just added that there are substantial areas that use 60 Hz because it was noted that Japan uses 50 Hz.
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harry wrote:

The "brick" is not just a rectifier, it is a switching regulator type power supply.
TDD
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By cheater plug I assume you mean a 3-wire to 2-wire adapter. As everyone else has indicated, you should be fine. I have the same arrangement for my HP computer and I have been to Japan several times and always had a great time.
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On Thu, 25 Mar 2010 11:36:55 -0700 (PDT), "hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net"

supply.Canon printer cords are 2 wire and fit my laptop power supply that has a 3 wire plug on a no-polarized 2 wire cord.
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On 03/25/2010 04:38 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

mine is speshul...
similar to this one
http://cgi.ebay.com/DELL-Auto-Air-W5420-AC-Adapter-HP-AF065B83-PA-12-PA12_W0QQitemZ150425033637QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLaptop_Adapters_Chargers?hash=item230607dba5
but I had a cheater plug in my junk box all the same, so it's all good. It says it's only rated for 65W but it seems to be powering my Precision M90 just fine, even though the stock brick is 130W.
Side note: the reason that I had it was because I used to occasionally have to do program uploads to equipment through a laptop's com port, this must have been 6-7 years ago, whatever laptops the techs were using back then also had 3 wire power cords (possibly they were Dells as well? but my current D6xx at work has a 2-wire cord) and it was found that if they did an upload while the laptop was plugged in and the panel to which they were uploading had a ground fault on it, it would destroy the com port on the laptop. Not being an actual field tech but an applications engineer who got his hands dirty in a pinch, I was always using an old previous-gen laptop that had already lived out its full estimated lifespan with a field tech, and was only kept around for emergencies when no tech was available and someone who could pinch hit needed to go fix an emergency problem, so the batteries were always marginal (and you do NOT want to have your laptop crap out in the middle of an upload.) Hence, cheater plug. I guess that proves that at least *some* laptops actually did utilize the ground connection, although I'll be damned if I could tell you what model or even what brand they were.
Somewhere around here I have a USB to serial adapter but I don't know that I've ever even needed to try it or even still have anything that would connect to it. Also got a couple docking stations that I picked up off fleaBay for cheap for work and home (using Dell D-series both places, and they're old enough that companies that actually buy docking stations for their employees are going to the E-series) with both serial and parallel ports, should I need to use them - I do have an old Alps printer that is apparently still desirable for some tasks, although I haven't dusted it off in years.
nate
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wrote:

The big culprits were the old Compaq (LTE comes to mind) with the built in AC power supply.

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