Universal battery chargers
I was shocked to find that my battery charger only handled 110 volts. My Hi-8 video camera and my laptop have universal (100-240V) chargers. Don't people with digital cameras travel abroad?I have not found a universal charger yet.I used a voltage converter on my last trip but it did not seem to be able to fully charge the batteries (i.e. the light did not go out) although I never ran out of juice.Any answers, suggestions?..

Comments (7)

It probably comes down to cost, both parts and engineering time. It takes a "slightly" more complex circuit to automatically handle voltage inputs in the range of 100-240. Matter of fact, I'd bet that most of the products that do have 100-240 inputs are designed anywhere but in the USA, because of the common voltage used here.Since most of the digicams are from large non-US based manufacturers I'd guess then that COST must be the holy grail. It might also have something to do with the tendency to sell slightly different packages in different countries. Maybe they figure it'll be harder to sell their products in un-authorized areas through other than authorized distribution channels if you can't plug your shiny new "bootlegged" toy in when you get it... Seems a bit short-sighted to me, since designing and stocking only one universal unit would probably be simplest, possibly even cheapest.I suppose you could go solar or buy a 12VDC charger if you know you'd have access to an auto? Other than that you're probably stuck with an adapter like you bought or trying to buy a foreign adaptor for your camera from the manufacturer.

It'd probably sell, but the company would go down the tubes from all the repetitive stress injury lawsuits...

Comment #1

You need a transformer.My sony 505 battery recharger works with both voltages, I used it successfully this week in greece...

Comment #2

Herman,You're right. No dual voltage battery chargers to be had. If you find one, please let me know!I looked about a bit, and ended up buying a Maha C204F from Thomas Distributing. ( The transformer is external, so voltage conversion is straight forward. They had a special that included a 12V car adapter, and I bought a 220V power supply (European pins) along with it.It's a lot of parts to keep up with, but I can leave the AC power supply at home if I won't need it. Worst case, I go to the Radio Shack overseas and buy a $20 local current power supply.Now, if I can find just one power supply to run my laptop, battery charger, phone, printer.....

Comment #3

I take it you need just a little 8 hour charger to take AA cells?If that's the case, don't worry about trying to get one in the States. They are readily available in electrical retailers and from market stalls throughout Europe, for as little as $10 US. They are made down to such a low price that the extra cost of a dual voltage transformer and switch, together with getting safety approvals world-wide, would almost certainly double the price...

Comment #4

By co-incidence, about an hour after posting that last response, someone showed me the new Kodak K200 universal battery charger.It takes 4 AA or AAA cells, both NiMH and NiCd, and works on any voltage from 100 to 240. They couldn't tell me the price offhand, and I couldn't find a price on Kodak's website either. Probably around $50 US though...

Comment #5

After searching for the same dual voltage chargers for a long time. I have find one recently. You can buy the dual voltage charger at with four Nexcell batteries (1400 mAh) for $22.95. The price is too good to be true. I am not sure if the 780 mA charging current will generate a lot heat...

Comment #6

I've a Radio Shack battery charger that is (100-240V) it's a fast charger that came with 4 1800 MH batteries model #23-043 and cost $32.00 US. I'm sure they have Radio Shacks located every where or you can order online also at their web site...

Comment #7

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