Friday, May 10, 2013

Power for Traveling in Singaport and Sri Lanka

On a recent visit to Singapore and Sri Lanka I had the problem of how to recharge my laptop and phone. Both Singapore and Sri Lanka, being former British colonies, use UK power plugs, with large square pins. But Sri Lanka also uses a round pin plug. So I purchased Australian to UK and Australian to European power adapters.

The UK (BS 1363 Type G) adapter worked fine until I left it behind in a hotel. The problem was that the adapter, like most, was the same off-white color as a power point, thus easy to forget. I suggest buying a black one, so it looks like part of your computer power cable.

The next problem was the two different power plugs in Sri Lanka. The capital city, Colombo, seemed to use the UK plug, whereas the rest of the country had a three pin round unit. This looks a little like the European power plug but is not quite compatible. The three pin round sockets are not European ones, but a derivative of an old UK standard (BS 546 or Indian IS 1293).

I found I had to buy a local power adapter for Sri Lanka. There are adapters readily available for about $US2, but these are of questionable safety. The adapters are designed to take UK, European, US and Australian plugs. They have so many and so large holes in them that the plugs are not held firmly and large sparks can be seen when contact is lost.

In Singapore I purchased a Lifetrons 10.5W Travel Adaptor FG-2102PD. This is almost a cube with a US/UK,European and Australian socket on one side  and plugs for the same folding or retracting into the other sides. It is bulky and cumbersome looking but works okay. The unit is black and when plugged into my laptop cable it looks neat. It also has one high power USB socket and so can be used to charge a phone at the same time.

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