Break Out From Compatibility Problems Using a 24V AC Adapter

Electricity, measured in volts (V), is a form of energy that may be carried by wires and is used for providing power to machines, with 24 volts a common power requirement for small devices. Unfortunately, it is not a readily available power source, which means consumers need to buy adapters to transform the main power supply into a lower, safer voltage the device can handle. Basically, a 24V AC adapter—available on eBay—converts your main power of 110 to 240V AC into a smaller 24 DC voltage used for charging or powering devices. 

What are the advantages of using AC adapters? 

AC adapters are commonly used to power small electronic devices. The advantages they provide include the following:  

  • Weight reduction- AC adapters are used with devices that require power but do not contain internal components to derive the required voltage from the main power supply. Without those components, there is a great reduction in terms of weight and size.
  • Heat reduction- Heat diminishes the life of electronic components, which may cause the device to malfunction. A separate form of power supply that comes with these AC adapters lowers the heat that the devices receive.
  • Safety- AC adapters free the manufacturers from worrying about safety issues because they are designed to only use voltages low enough that they are not considered a safety hazard.

How do you choose the right adapter specification? 

Basically, you have to match the voltage (in terms of V) and equal or beat the current (in terms of mAh), so if you are choosing an AC adapter, make sure to check for the following:  

  • The adapter output (V) matches the rated input (V) of the device.
  • The adapter output is greater or equal to the devices rated current (mAh or A).
  • The plug fits into your device and has the correct polarity.

What does VAC mean in electrical devices like power supply? 

To better understand this, electric power comes in two forms. First, there is the alternating current (AC), the flow of charge that changes direction periodically, which is why the voltage level also reverses along with the current. Lastly, there is direct current (DC), which provides a constant voltage or current. There is no such thing as VAC power. It's just AC power. When you see 24VAC on a power supply, it's short for 24 volts AC power, meaning it uses an alternating current.