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24V Power Plug Adapters

In a world where the mains run on AC current and most devices run on DC current it's no surprise that adapters are everywhere. You need one for your mobile, another for your laptop. Your TV, monitor, or game console may each come with a power brick, too. Many of the larger devices use a 24V adapter to convert current from the 230V 50 Hz of the mains to the DC 24V power supply your device actually needs to run.

What is the Difference Between AC and DC?

Everyone talks about it but the basic principle is simple. Alternating current reverses polarity while direct current does not. That's why they say the mains run at 50 Hz as well as 230V; it means they reverse polarity 50 times per second. DC current doesn't reverse, so there's no need for a Hertz, or frequency, rating, just voltage and amps. Both forms of current have their advantages:

  • Alternating Current: Alternating current is better for long distance power transmission and can operate powerful motors such as vacuum cleaners.
  • Direct Current: Direct current allows for more efficient use of batteries and is necessary for transistors. This means that all your electronic devices are going to need DC at some point or another.

Reading an Adapter

Although people call the same device a 24V AC adapter and a 24V DC adapter, they all work the same way by converting AC power to DC. However, while they may all work the same way, that does not mean that any 24V power supply can work with any device. There are a number of factors you have to consider when checking a power supply:

  • The Jack: Not all adapters have the same size jack, and if the DC power plug does not fit in the port, you can't use that charger.
  • Polarity: Most but not all chargers feature a cylindrical jack with negative on the outside, and positive on a central pin. A few reverse it and have a negative central pin. Reversed polarity can have a devastating effect on electronic devices.
  • Voltage: All 24V devices output 24 Volts, but always double check that the output voltage is correct before plugging it into a device.
  • Current: If your charger does not provide enough current, the device may not work properly. Too much current can damage the device.

Choosing the Right 24V Adapter

The key to choosing the right power adapter can take some work. Most 24V models are laptop power adapters and chargers, although some may work with other devices. You want one that can take a 240V input and has a standard Australian plug that fits in your power point. Some imported adapters from lower voltage countries may only support 120V inputs, so always double check the input as well as the output.

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