The 150-Country Auto-Detecting Travel Adapter and Converter

I received Hammacher Schlemmer’s 150-Country Auto-Detecting Travel Adapter and Converter ($50 shipped) in the mail a few days ago. I bought it because it included a USB port, and I had hoped to be able to charge my camera and mp3 player with it.

At first, I was amused by the puzzle like nature of the various configurations. My amusement dissipated when I realized my mp3 player wasn’t charging when I hooked it up. The AC part worked just fine. So, I’m back to square one if my goal is to take one travel adapter.

Creative offers its own travel adapter (sans AC connection), however the thought of carrying two sets of adapters around with me seems silly.

 travel adapter and converter    travel adapter and converter

Comments

  1. says

    Hi Dave

    are you planning to take your laptop too? I think you may well need more than one adapter iso. I travel with 2 cameras and a laptop and a cellphone and they are all hungry for juice – usually at the same time. It can be really frustrating having several gadgets that need power but only adapter to use between them. Maybe get another cheapie model before you go.

    • says

      Hey Chris –

      Nope, I don’t have a laptop, nor do I plan to travel with one. I’m only planning to bring my digital camera and mp3 player.

      I’m glad to hear I won’t be the only one carrying around 2 adapters.

      • says

        out of interest – what will you do with all the pictures on your camera if not putting them on a laptop? I imagine your memory cards will get full pretty quickly. Will you ruthlessly delete bad pix, or have a *lot* of memory cards?

        • says

          If I’m staying with a couchsurfer with broadband internet access, I’ll upload the photos straight to Flickr (and probably be done with it). If I don’t have that luxury, I’ll burn CD’s at internet cafe’s – mailing one home and keeping a copy just to be safe.

  2. says

    Hi Dave

    are you planning to take your laptop too? I think you may well need more than one adapter iso. I travel with 2 cameras and a laptop and a cellphone and they are all hungry for juice – usually at the same time. It can be really frustrating having several gadgets that need power but only adapter to use between them. Maybe get another cheapie model before you go.

    • says

      Hey Chris –

      Nope, I don’t have a laptop, nor do I plan to travel with one. I’m only planning to bring my digital camera and mp3 player.

      I’m glad to hear I won’t be the only one carrying around 2 adapters.

      • says

        out of interest – what will you do with all the pictures on your camera if not putting them on a laptop? I imagine your memory cards will get full pretty quickly. Will you ruthlessly delete bad pix, or have a *lot* of memory cards?

        • says

          If I’m staying with a couchsurfer with broadband internet access, I’ll upload the photos straight to Flickr (and probably be done with it). If I don’t have that luxury, I’ll burn CD’s at internet cafe’s – mailing one home and keeping a copy just to be safe.

  3. says

    mm your mp3 didnt charge over usb? mmm. is it supposed to? If it is, sounds like it might be a faulty adapter.

    If it provides a usb port on the power adapter then it should be supplying power to the mp3…

    does it charge your camera? if it doesnt charge your camera Id send it back for replacement.

    also remember, charging over usb is slooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow.

    • says

      Well, the mp3 manual says not to connect it to a USB hub, which I’m guessing is effectively the adapter. I can see myself getting the Creative adapter, and leaving the attachments behind because I’ll just plug it into the Hammacher Schlemmer one.

      It almost makes me wish I bought a player and camera which takes AA or AAA batteries. I guess it’s a trade off though. A little extra weight and inconvenience for less cost on the road.

      The mp3 player supposedly takes 6 HOURS of charging via USB connection to computer, thus the need to use an AC adapter.

      Sadly, my camera doesn’t have any kind of battery indicator, so I won’t really know how much it has charged. :sad:

  4. says

    mm your mp3 didnt charge over usb? mmm. is it supposed to? If it is, sounds like it might be a faulty adapter.

    If it provides a usb port on the power adapter then it should be supplying power to the mp3…

    does it charge your camera? if it doesnt charge your camera Id send it back for replacement.

    also remember, charging over usb is slooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow.

    • says

      Well, the mp3 manual says not to connect it to a USB hub, which I’m guessing is effectively the adapter. I can see myself getting the Creative adapter, and leaving the attachments behind because I’ll just plug it into the Hammacher Schlemmer one.

      It almost makes me wish I bought a player and camera which takes AA or AAA batteries. I guess it’s a trade off though. A little extra weight and inconvenience for less cost on the road.

      The mp3 player supposedly takes 6 HOURS of charging via USB connection to computer, thus the need to use an AC adapter.

      Sadly, my camera doesn’t have any kind of battery indicator, so I won’t really know how much it has charged. :sad:

  5. Jim says

    Hi Dave. This product should work fine to charge you iPod. I have one as well, and haven’t had an issue. I’ve used it in Hong Kong , and also here in the States, just to have a non-computer source to charge my iPod. There are two lights on the adapter– you need to make sure that the red USB LED light is lit and that the charge icon on your iPod is indicated. If these aren’t happening you might have a defective unit. You can exchange it with Hammaacher for another unit.

  6. Jim says

    Hi Dave. This product should work fine to charge you iPod. I have one as well, and haven’t had an issue. I’ve used it in Hong Kong , and also here in the States, just to have a non-computer source to charge my iPod. There are two lights on the adapter– you need to make sure that the red USB LED light is lit and that the charge icon on your iPod is indicated. If these aren’t happening you might have a defective unit. You can exchange it with Hammaacher for another unit.

  7. Jim says

    Sorry, forgot to mention, that it can charge other USB devices, not just iPod. So as long as your mp3 or camera has USB charging capability and you bring with you the right USB cable for your device, it should work. But if it doesn’t exchange it.

  8. Jim says

    Sorry, forgot to mention, that it can charge other USB devices, not just iPod. So as long as your mp3 or camera has USB charging capability and you bring with you the right USB cable for your device, it should work. But if it doesn’t exchange it.

    • says

      Konrad – I’m not sure if the adapter is set up to handle the load which would be created by a power strip. It’s set up to stop working if it’s overheating, so I guess it could always be tested out. It would mean another thing to carry though, so I’m leaning toward just buying the Creative adapter too.

      • Konrad says

        Good point Dave. I’ve ordered one, so I’ll check the specs regarding load, if it’s on the box (couldn’t find it on the website). I’ll also give it a test with a power strip before I leave for my trip. Thanks! :)

    • says

      Konrad – I’m not sure if the adapter is set up to handle the load which would be created by a power strip. It’s set up to stop working if it’s overheating, so I guess it could always be tested out. It would mean another thing to carry though, so I’m leaning toward just buying the Creative adapter too.

      • Konrad says

        Good point Dave. I’ve ordered one, so I’ll check the specs regarding load, if it’s on the box (couldn’t find it on the website). I’ll also give it a test with a power strip before I leave for my trip. Thanks! :)

  9. Laura says

    Hi Dave…

    Not sure if you’ve resolved this, but here’s a cool gadget:

    It should charge your USB powered devices. Internal voltage is 90 – 240V. You’ll just need the appropriate adapters to fit the thing in to the wall: http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/travelpower/9124/

    I’m dealing with charging issues for my trip as well, but I’ll have my beautiful and teeny laptop with me (w/ a dual-power charging iGo plug & adapter.) I need my gadgets on the road!

    I just bought this battery charger (my camera and MP3 player run on AA and AAA batteries, respectively) so this might come in handy for me — maybe for you too?
    http://www.energizer.com/usbcharger/language/english/download.aspx

    Both gadgets are dirt cheap, too, so it doesn’t hurt too much to try ’em out.

    Good luck!

    • says

      Hi Laura –

      Thanks for the suggestions. Actually, I did get the charger I wrote about, though it starts to hum after a few minutes of charging, which I find a bit worrisome, and probably annoying for bunkmates. I wasn’t convinced my mp3 player was charging via the USB port so I actually sprung for a travel charger specific to my mp3 player, which just arrived today, and works well. I’m starting to see the drawback of not using devices powered by AA or AAA batteries. Too late to do anything about it now though!

  10. Laura says

    Hi Dave…

    Not sure if you’ve resolved this, but here’s a cool gadget:

    It should charge your USB powered devices. Internal voltage is 90 – 240V. You’ll just need the appropriate adapters to fit the thing in to the wall: http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/travelpower/9124/

    I’m dealing with charging issues for my trip as well, but I’ll have my beautiful and teeny laptop with me (w/ a dual-power charging iGo plug & adapter.) I need my gadgets on the road!

    I just bought this battery charger (my camera and MP3 player run on AA and AAA batteries, respectively) so this might come in handy for me — maybe for you too?
    http://www.energizer.com/usbcharger/language/english/download.aspx

    Both gadgets are dirt cheap, too, so it doesn’t hurt too much to try ’em out.

    Good luck!

    • says

      Hi Laura –

      Thanks for the suggestions. Actually, I did get the charger I wrote about, though it starts to hum after a few minutes of charging, which I find a bit worrisome, and probably annoying for bunkmates. I wasn’t convinced my mp3 player was charging via the USB port so I actually sprung for a travel charger specific to my mp3 player, which just arrived today, and works well. I’m starting to see the drawback of not using devices powered by AA or AAA batteries. Too late to do anything about it now though!

  11. says

    Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *