Erik MH:

blog entry

In which my char­ger fails, and I track down another

original date2024-01-26 19:00 utc
retroactively published2024-03-05 16:33 utc
topicstech; Peru

As any trav­el­ler knows alto­geth­er too well, there are sev­er­al dif­fer­ent types of “stand­ard” elec­tric­al plugs around the world. There are many web sites that pur­port to explain the dif­fer­ent stand­ards and that offer col­or-coded maps show­ing what plugs are used in what coun­tries — but the inform­a­tion is highly con­tra­dict­ory and, in the case of Peru at any rate, incorrect.

Wiki­pe­dia offers per­haps the most com­pre­hens­ive explan­a­tion, but it, too, is incomplete.

What I’ve found in my mod­ern apart­ment in Lima is two dif­fer­ent types of out­lets, both of which deliv­er the 220v/​50Hz power that is the most com­mon stand­ard out­side of North America.

One type, that I basic­ally haven’t used, seems to be an Itali­an Type L stand­ard. I have adapters that let me use this type of out­let, but I can use the oth­er type without any adapter, and that is usu­ally a prefer­able approach.

Europlug sock­ets in Peru

The oth­er type seems to be a Thai “dual sock­et” Type O sock­et that allows for both Europlugs and Amer­ic­an NEMA I (Type A) plugs. Brief exper­i­ment­a­tion with my Europlug adapter shows that, as is appar­ently com­mon for TypeO sock­ets, the con­nec­tion is very loose, and the plug wants to fall out. Type A (“Amer­ic­an”) plugs fit fairly securely, but it’s import­ant to remem­ber that the power delivered is 220v/​50Hz, not North Amer­ic­an 110v/​60Hz.

Type O sock­ets in Peru

In the­ory, every item I brought with me that wants elec­tri­city (noth­ing, in fact, oth­er than USB and laptop char­ging bricks) can handle both 110v/​60Hz and 220v/​50Hz. I was try­ing to min­im­ize both weight and volume in my lug­gage, so for all of my vari­ous devices, I brought noth­ing oth­er than a 20-watt USB‑C Apple char­ging brick and a brand-new Ugreen 100w Nexode Pro 3‑port char­ger.

The Apple product works great. I was dis­mayed when plug­ging in the Ugreen, how­ever, that I’d get a brief moment of power fol­lowed by … noth­ing. This was going to be my main char­ging solu­tion (Type A con­nect­or, the­or­et­ic­ally handles both 110 and 220v), so its inab­il­ity to deliv­er power caused a great deal of trouble over the last few days.

Once I’d recovered enough from the flu to go out and about a bit, there­fore, I walked to the Lar­comar mall, built into the ocean-facing cliff-face of Mir­a­flores to pur­chase a replace­ment for the Ugreen.

Uggh. All the Amer­ic­an retail chains you might expect in Indi­ana­pol­is or Tulsa were there, with scarcely a South Amer­ic­an retail­er among them. But I did find the iSh­op I was look­ing for. There wasn’t a single multi-port USB‑C char­ger there without USB‑A ports too, and there were no GaN-type char­gers (faster, smal­ler, and a little light­er than older char­gers). But I bought a decent Belkin char­ger and brought it home.

Prob­lems solved. And suf­fi­cient unto my days, now, is the elec­tri­city thereof.