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The 7 - Random - So I'm moving to Asia...
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#1 Posted on 16.12.07 0208.50
Reposted on: 16.12.14 0208.57
... Cambodia, to be precise. And I am struggling with a few smaller details I'm hoping someone can help me out with.

First: Electricity is different. I need a converter. I know this much: U.S. electricity runs at 110 or 120 volts, while in other countries it's 220/240. Here is what I know about the electricity in Cambodia:

According to this site:
220 volts AC, 50Hz and two-pin plugs are in use. Power cuts are less frequent. Certain outages do occur, however these are generally short time outages lasting less than 30 minutes. Usage of generators as back up in some areas is now not required.

Here it says:
Electricity in Cambodia is 230 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. If you travel to Cambodia with a device that does not accept 230 Volts at 50 Hertz, you will need a voltage converter.

There are three main types of voltage converter. Resistor-network converters will usually be advertised as supporting something like 50-1600 Watts. They are light-weight and support high-wattage electrical appliances like hair dryers and irons. However, they can only be used for short periods of time and are not ideal for digital devices.

Transformers will have a much lower maximum Watt rating, usually 50 or 100. Transformers can often be used continuously and provide better electricity for low wattage appliances like battery chargers, radios, laptop computers, cameras, mp3 players and camcorders. However, they are heavy because they contain large iron rods and lots of copper wire.

Some companies sell combination converters that include both a resistor network and a transformer in the same package. This kind of converter will usually come with a switch that switches between the two modes. If you absolutely need both types of converter, then this is the type to buy.

All of this sounds important, but I don't really know what I'm looking for. My main concern is being able to plug in my laptop, and every converter I find says it's for small electronics only, running on less than 100 watts. Does anyone know one that I can be assured will work?

Another issue: I've read a little about cell phones available anywhere in the world, but I realize the U.S. phones and other countries' phones run on different kinds of networks. I've read about it and, frankly, it's confusing the hell out of me. Does anyone have any experience with a satellite phone that they know can make calls to and receive calls from the U.S.?

More to come, maybe.
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#2 Posted on 16.12.07 0858.55
Reposted on: 16.12.14 0859.01
You should be able to find converters that say "laptop" on them. I found one for my wife at Radio Shack a couple of years ago.
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#3 Posted on 16.12.07 0927.55
Reposted on: 16.12.14 0929.01
They sell kits at Lowe's and Home Depot for electrical conversion that have several adapters. I think they are like $30. We put them in our exhibits for people who ship them internationally, and I haven't heard that they won't work. Have you tried to order a new cord for the laptop that works on the plugs over there?

Also, I know from some of our customers that when they go to Europe they have to get a phone over there. The phone will call internationally, but their US phones, like you said, don't hook up with the European network. I don't think you need a special phone to call internationally once you get hooked up.

What's the deal with the move? You don't just pick up and go to Cambodia on a whim...
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#4 Posted on 16.12.07 1343.21
Reposted on: 16.12.14 1349.52
    Originally posted by JayJayDean
    What's the deal with the move? You don't just pick up and go to Cambodia on a whim...

I am going to work for a nonprofit, daily English newspaper there.

(edited by TheBucsFan on 16.12.07 1143)
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#5 Posted on 16.12.07 1444.16
Reposted on: 16.12.14 1444.31
From what I've read, the electrical standard in Cambodia is the same as the European standard, so you should be able to find something that will work.

Most devices should tell you whether they can handle the 230v @ 50Hz. If they don't, you'll need to check the owners manual. Here's some good advice.

My limited experience with cell service in other countries tells me that it is extremely expensive to use your American based service in a foreign country. I'm sure it varies depending on what your provider offers, but even then, it's far cheaper to use a local cell service and rely on Skype or pre-paid calling cards to touch base with your friends and family in the States.

One of my biggest regrets is not living abroad when I was younger - so congrats. I've heard Cambodia is absolutely amazing.
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