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For the next 6 months, I'll be living in a country where the voltage is 220V. The risk of frying electronics is also much higher there, so I want to get a surge protector. I've been researching this for the past 5 hours, however, for some reason, finding a good power strip that accepts both 110V and 220V—and also has good surge protection—isn't easy.

So instead, I'm thinking of doing the following (*it seems USB plugs aren't surge protected on power strips—manufactures don't put this information up front):

Voltage converter (220V to 110V) -> 110V power strip w/ 900J+ surge protection -> USB charging hub*

Laptop plugged into the power strip and USB devices (iPhone, iPad, ereader, portable charger) charged on the USB charging hub

  1. How much wattage would I need with the voltage converter?
  2. Would this setup be safe? Would there be overheating?
  3. Not all power strips/hubs/etc. are UL certified. How important is this?
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  1. You don't say what the wattage of all your appliances adds up to. I suspect about a 1kVA transformer would be plenty, especially if it's one designed to cope with short-term higher loads. The ones designed for power tools often have two ratings - for continuous and intermittent loads.
  2. If you use the right transformer, it should be fine.
  3. Not every country cares about UL certification. Check for other national or certifications instead, but beware that some are largely meaningless.
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What are you powering? A laptop power supply for example is usually rated for 100 to 240VAC and 50/60 Hz...

A decent 230VAC to 110VAC transformer (I have one for some power tools) is about £50 so if you are only looking at a few usb devices it would be cheaper to buy usb chargers in the country you are going to.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, but no surge protection, which the country I am going to is much riskier. Added the items in the initial post. \$\endgroup\$ – samseva Jul 19 '17 at 7:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Laptop, Iphone and Ipad power supplies are probably already rated for 110 to 240VAc - you just need to look at the labels on the chargers - as I mentioned in my answer. Looking at my Iphone charger it says so, and my macbook also. If it is just surge protection, buy one when you get there. \$\endgroup\$ – Solar Mike Jul 19 '17 at 7:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, but surge protectors for 220V are rare or not UL certified (especially in many other countries). \$\endgroup\$ – samseva Jul 19 '17 at 7:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Regarding the edit, there are some step-down transformers in the $30 USD range. Some range from 200W to 2000W though. I want to make sure everything is 100% safe and the setup I have in mind would catch on fire. \$\endgroup\$ – samseva Jul 19 '17 at 7:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ 230v surge protectors are available, I have bought several as I live in country with 230Vac. \$\endgroup\$ – Solar Mike Jul 19 '17 at 7:55
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That's in the nature of surge protectors, they are designed to break just above the rated voltage and thus, no wide range surge protectors. You need to get separate 110 Vac and 230 Vac surge protectors.

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