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Choosing the Right AC DC Adapter

From smartphones to tablets, all portable electronic devices rely on an AC DC adapter. It’s important to ensure that the AC DC adapter is correct for the device in question. A terrific range of adapters is available on eBay at affordable prices.

Why are AC DC adapters important?

Most portable electronic devices operate on small DC voltages, which are far smaller than the AC mains voltage that is needed for larger electrical devices such as fridges and washing machines. The job of the AC DC adapter is to drop the voltage and convert it from AC to DC. It can then be used to power and operate any compatible device, or to charge its rechargeable battery.

Which AC DC adapter is suitable?

Most electronic devices are supplied with an AC DC adapter. The model number on your original device will indicate what kind of AC DC adapter you need to look for. This information should also be available in your device’s user manual or directly from the manufacturer.

What do the specifications on different brand adapters mean?

If you want to use a different adapter, it’s important to check your device’s power requirements. Choose an adapter with the same specifications as follows:

  • Input voltage: Many adapters can take a wide range of input voltages, from 100 volts to 240 volts AC. Otherwise ensure an adapter's input voltage is the same or very close to the mains voltage of your home.
  • Output voltage: This is the small DC voltage needed to operate the device. The adapter needs to supply the same voltage that your device requires or it won't operate properly.
  • Current: Referred to as as A or mAh on the device and on the adapter. The adapter has to be capable of delivering enough current to operate the device. If the adapter can supply more current, it's not a problem as your device will only take the current it needs.
  • Plug size and polarity: It's important that the adapter's plug fits your device, and that the polarity (positive and negative terminals) match. Fortunately, many sellers of AC DC adapter on eBay are familiar with the plug requirements of a large range of brands and provide that information on their listings. Do remember to check the manufacturer’s sites for power lisitings, too.
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