5 ways to choose the right AC adapter for your gadget.

Ac adapter for gadget

With the rapid developments in science and technology, our lives are transforming faster than at any time in history. It is becoming impossible to live in modern civilization without using the features and ease of living that the contemporary technologies and appliances provide in your lives. As we all know, the electricity that powers our homes is Alternating Current or AC, and most of the gadgets and devices that you use need electricity in DC form.

This makes it mandatory to own an AC adapter to convert the AC into DC for recharging the batteries of your gadgets and power your appliances. Since your gadgets such as your laptop or smartphone deplete their batteries fast, you will need to charge their batteries often.

The easiest way to check if an AC adapter matches your device is by checking on the power ratings on your old adapter to check if they match with the new one you intend to buy. However, choosing and buying an AC adapter can be a frustrating experience and impossible if you lose your old AC adapter. This article will provide you with 5 ways to choose the right AC adapter for your gadget.

#1 | Check Your Device And The Adapter

Most devices will have instructions on them specifying the power it uses in terms of voltage or power ratings on their labels. If you are unable to find the label on your device, you can also search on Google with the brand and model number for obtaining the voltage ratings for the AC adapter that your device uses. You may also look into the user manual that the manufacturer provides along with the device for information regarding the AC adapter.
Ac Adapter
Image by  Wesley Tingey
Check your old AC adapter for details regarding the voltage ratings that your device requires. Ensure that the output voltage of the adapter matches the recommendations of the input voltage of your device. Make sure that the output of the new AC adapter is equal or higher than the Ampere or mAh rating of your device. You will also need to confirm if the plug of the AC adapter fits in the charging port on your device and also if the polarity is a match.

#2 | Check The Volts

The primary job of the AC adapters is to convert the AC into DC. However, you will still need to check the output volt of your AC adapter as every device runs on differing specifications. You will find symbols on the adapter that indicates if the output is in AC or DC. Voltage is the force that pulls the electrical energy through the circuit in which the device is a part.

It is vital to only use an adapter that has the exact voltage requirements as that of the device. The most common voltage ratings of devices are - 3V, 5V, 6V, 9V, 12V, and 18V. The indication of the volt in the label of the adapter is either in V, VCD, or VAC. If the voltage of the adapter is lower than what the device needs, the device may work erratically or may not work at all.

How low voltage adapters impact the device depends on the intricacy of the device. A speaker may only see a dip in the total volume while a laptop may not function at all when it detects a low voltage from the adapter. Lower voltage adapters have a lesser risk of damaging your device permanently.

If the AC adapter has the same current output with a higher voltage output, the device will shut itself down to protect from the overvoltage. If the device does not shut down, it can accumulate heat quickly which can cut down the lifetime of the device or cause permanent damage immediately to your device.
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#3 | Check The Amperes

Current is the power that an appliance requires to operate in ideal conditions. The next crucial thing you need to confirm after the voltage rating is the current that your device needs to work. The unit of current is in Amperes or Amps, and you can find a label near the power port of the equipment that enlists the Amperes in A or mAh. If you are using an extension cord, you must confirm that it has a power carrying capacity more significant than the device requirement.

The adapter you choose as the replacement for your device must have a current rating that at least matches the current requirement of the invention. If you use an adapter with a lower power rating than your device, your device might force more power through the adapter causing overheating of the adapter, and it may even fail.

Even if the adapter has a higher power rating, the device will only consume the standard requirement. However, the cost of an adapter increases with the increase in the power output of the adapter and hence it is more efficient to buy an adapter with the same power requirement as the device.

#4 | Check The Polarity Of The Connector

The polarity of the connector of the AC adapter is the next important part that influences the appropriateness of the adapter for your device. The connector of the adapter for most appliances is circular with an outer hole and an inner hole. The outer hole will carry one polarity while the inner hole will carry the opposite polarity.

Most connectors have the centre hole as positive polarity with the outer one carrying the negative pole. Ensure that the polarity on both your device and the adapter matches. In case the polarities do not match, it may burn out the fuse in your device if it has polarity protection.

#5 | Check The Connecting Plug

The connector plugs come in various dimensions and you will need to ensure that the connector plug of the AC adapter and the charging port on your device are a snug fit. The connector plug has an outer and inner diameter and you can measure the individual diameters by yourself.
Connection plug
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The diameter of the centre pin in your device is the inner diameter of the connector on the adapter, and the inner diameter of the charging port is the outer diameter of the connecting pin. Both the inner and outer diameters need to be a perfect match for the adapter to work correctly. You can also use a universal power adapter that can use a variety of connector plugs.

Owning an AC adapter makes it possible to charge your devices at home, at work or any other place with an electrical plug point. Most devices arrive with their own AC adapter, and they acquire damage due to wear and tear from constant usage or exposure to physical stress. There are several companies producing devices and gadgets in various specifications that require different ranges of power supply for charging their batteries.

Most people only check if the pins of the AC adapter match the one on their devices while replacing their adapters. However, this can cause irreversible damage to your devices as the ratings for every model of adapter varies, and you must not switch and use other adapters for your devices.

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  1. I love articles like this because when it comes time to need to know this information, this is my go to spot for knowledgeable information!

    1. Thank you very much Lisa for finding this article helpful.

  2. I love this article - it's a great go-to article for information on this topic!

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