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Old April 27th, 2008, 09:29 AM   #1
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South Africa Trip - power converters needed?

Hey everyone, I'm leaving the cozy confines of the U.S. and taking a trip to South Africa for the first time. I'm taking my MacBook Pro, Canon XH-A1, and an external firewire drive.

I'm hoping to do editing while I'm there, so I'm checking to see what I need in regards to plugging into their outlets. I'd like to be able to plug in the drive and the laptop at the same time.

According to wikipedia, they run 220v 50a with an "M" type plug.
I've been scouring the 'net to try to figure out what is necessary, but am confused.Do I need just a plug adapter, and/or a converter.

Thanks in advance for the help!
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Old April 27th, 2008, 09:53 AM   #2
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Hi Paul,

You probably just need a plug adaptor, not a convertor. Check the transformers/power adaptors that came with your gear. It will say right on them what voltage they can take, often they're rated for 100-240v and 50-60Hz

For reference, I spent 18 months in southern Africa and all my equipment (bought in Canada) had transformers that worked worldwide: Powerbook, LaCie drives, Sony cameras, etc. I expect you'll find your gear will be the same.

Hope that helps.
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Old April 27th, 2008, 07:45 PM   #3
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Excellent, thanks so much!
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Old April 28th, 2008, 12:52 PM   #4
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I was in Mozambique last year and the adapters was all I needed for my DVX100 and Canon DSLR battery chargers. I think I got the adapters at a local electro-magnetic wave shack. Seems like it was less than 10 bucks.

IIRC, South African customs reserves the right to impose a steep duty and or deposit on electronic gear that you bring in. I didn't have to deal with it as we just stopped over in Johannesburg for the connection to Maputo. But I remember reading in the customs declaration cards that a duty or deposit was required on certain equipment.

You may want to check before you leave.
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Old April 29th, 2008, 03:59 AM   #5
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Paul,
Please be very careful at the South African airports. I know there has recently been a big drive to root out the theft problem, but I don't know how successful it was. I have only traveled domestically, but we always take our cameras on as hand luggage. I have a Petrol bag that only takes the camera that I use for air travel, it fits into the overhead compartments easily with a XL2.
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Old April 29th, 2008, 07:13 AM   #6
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David, thanks for the heads up on the possible deposit through customs.

Eugene, I was planning on carrying the equipment on, I haven't bought a bag yet. I'm considering the Think Tank Antidote: http://www.thinktankphoto.com/ttp_pr...ArprtAntdt.php

What Petrol bag are you using?

I'll be flying into Jo-berg, then after a week I'll be flying from there to East London, and then back the next week, so I'm hoping my time in those airports will be hassle free. There will be someone meeting me at the airport both times. I appreciate the concern and the advice, if you have any more tips, please let me know!
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Old April 29th, 2008, 12:40 PM   #7
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This may be bigger than you need, but it's what I've used in Mozambique, Panama and Honduras. It will store in the overhead of anything other than the small regional jets/planes.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._DV_Hiker.html

I've packed a DVX100a and DSLR plus accessories and a 17" MacBookPro and accessories. Waist belt made a 3 mile hike to a village in the mountains of Panama a piece of cake.
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Old April 29th, 2008, 07:59 PM   #8
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I was looking at that bag also, but was hoping to find something that does fit in the regional jets. I have two flights on those jets during my trip, including in South Africa, so it's pretty important for me to take it on there.

Keep the tips coming!
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Old April 30th, 2008, 02:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Podraza View Post
Hey everyone, I'm leaving the cozy confines of the U.S. and taking a trip to South Africa for the first time. I'm taking my MacBook Pro, Canon XH-A1, and an external firewire drive.

I'm hoping to do editing while I'm there, so I'm checking to see what I need in regards to plugging into their outlets. I'd like to be able to plug in the drive and the laptop at the same time.

According to wikipedia, they run 220v 50a with an "M" type plug.
I've been scouring the 'net to try to figure out what is necessary, but am confused.Do I need just a plug adapter, and/or a converter.

Thanks in advance for the help!
All you will need is an adapter. A great resource is the Lonely Planet website. Their quick facts section on each country will tell you what kind of plugs to expect there. I use this all the time.

Daniel Weber
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Old April 30th, 2008, 03:26 PM   #10
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Keep the Camera with you - plane overhead compartement.

If you bring a tripod in a bag / wrap the top section of the legs, the section between the legs and the head as well as the head with a small cheap blanket. Secure it with cable ties. Already damaged 2x tripods between S-A
Flights.

Lock all your cargo equipment and lagguage and add heavy duty cable ties.

Enjoy the trip !
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Old August 12th, 2008, 04:00 PM   #11
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Sorry for the long silence after starting the thread. The trip was great, and I did not need the power converters as the computer, hard drive, and camera charger all could use between 110-240v. Just needed power adapters to fit an american style plug into their sockets.

For a bag, I purchased the Think Tank Antidote. It fit easily in the regional jets.
http://www.thinktankphoto.com/ttp_pr...ArprtAntdt.php
I talk about the bag and other equipment for the trip in a thread in the XHA1 forum.
http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=127774

Thanks for all the help, what a great forum!
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