what ac-dc adapter do i need

Are you on the hunt for the right AC adapter? You’ve come to the right place - in this blog post, we’re going to take a look at the key considerations you should make to help you find the right one.

Look around you wherever you are and you cannot miss how we’re surrounded by electrical and electronic gadgets. From our mobile devices and laptops to televisions, microwaves, dishwashers, and more - electronics have become an inseparable part of our lives. It is almost impossible to go a day without using an electronic device. Many of these devices require an AC adapter to power them.

And whether you’re buying an AC/DC adapter for the first time or you’re looking to replace a faulty adapter, you’re probably wondering…what AC Adapter do I need? The answer will depend on your device’s specs. We’ll cover all the important details to consider when replacing AC adapters below, But first, what are these adapters and why would you need one?

What is an AC Adapter - and Why Would I Need One?

First things first - what is an AC adapter? Simply put, this is an external power supply that helps you convert AC power to DC power. Thus, this is a type of AC/DC converter.

Why do you need an AC/DC adapter, though? Maybe the power coming from the mains is not the type that your device needs to work. The mains produces a general-purpose alternating current (AC) electricity power supply while your device needs direct current (DC). 

Luckily, it is possible to convert from one type of power to another with the help of AC adapters. Sometimes, AC adapters also double as a charger for devices that run on batteries, such as laptops and phones.

External power adapters are popular because they make devices more portable, are easy to troubleshoot and replace if necessary, dissipate low heat, emit low noise, and are generally safe to use.

The Different AC-DC Adapter Types

There are numerous AC-DC adapter types, depending on the classification. 

One classification is based on the plug type. Different countries in the world use different wall socket designs. For example, British plugs feature three conducting pins while Australian plugs have a three-blade design. In America, we use the two-blade arrangement, and this is what you should get when replacing your AC adapter. If you are a regular international traveler, it is advisable to get a plug adapter that suits the wall socket design of your destination country.

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What Specs Do I Need to Consider When Replacing an AC Power Adapter?

Want to know what specs you need to consider when replacing an AC power adapter? It’s simple: electrical ratings.

Just like electrical gadgets, AC power supplies come with electrical ratings. The electrical ratings are the specs you should look out for when picking an AC adapter. You cannot just pick up a random AC adapter for your device without checking its compatibility with your electronic device. These ratings include:

Output Voltage and Current

The perfect AC-DC adapter for your device is the one with matching output voltage and current with the input voltage and current of your device. In other words, both the voltage and current that the adapter is supplying are the same as the voltage and current that your device needs to run. For example, if your device has an input voltage of 19.5V and 3.5A, you should be looking for an AC power supply that has these exact values as its input voltage and current ratings.

It may be difficult to get an exact rating match. And at times, you may have to settle for a power supply with slightly different ratings. This may or may not work fine, depending on the scenario. When you get an adapter with a matching current but a higher voltage rating than your device could affect your device. The device will detect an overvoltage leading to rapid heat up which could cause the internal components to burn. Even if your device doesn't fry, the overheating will reduce its lifespan as well as its battery life. In the same way, a lower voltage could cause your device to malfunction. Therefore, you must always avoid picking an AC power supply whose voltage does not match that of your device.

You should also avoid an adapter with the same voltage, but a lower current rating than your device. Your device will try to draw more current than the adapter can produce, causing the adapter to overheat. Besides, the low current may not be enough to power your device. If it does, it may only be enough to power the device without charging the battery. However, an adapter with a higher current but an equal voltage rating to your device will work fine.

Therefore, a 12V/5A or 8V/5A adapter would not be suitable for your 10V/5A device. A 10V/3.5A would also not be a good fit. However, a 10V/8A adapter would power it.

AC Voltage

Another rating to check is the adapter's AC input to ensure that it matches the input power from the mains socket. In the United States, we use a standard AC electricity of 110/120V (60Hz) and most power adapters in the country are designed to support this voltage. 

If you're getting a power supply for a mobile device that you take with you on international trips, you might want to get an adapter that supports other voltages. Such types of adapters usually have their voltages listed as ranges, for example, 110 - 220V or 100 - 240V.

Connector Polarity

There are two types of connector polarity: center positive and center negative. For center positive connector, the polarity of the tip is positive while the ring has a negative polarity. A center negative connector has the exact opposite arrangement—a negative tip with a positive ring.

You should look for an AC adapter with a suitable connector type for your device. Besides, your input power port and the adapter connector must fit.

In summary, an AC adapter is compatible with your device if:

  • they have the same voltage
  • they have the same polarity
  • the adapter's output current is equal to or greater than the device's input current
  • the adapter connector fits the input power port

These are the specs that you need to consider when replacing an AC power supply.

So - What AC Adapter Do I Need?

So, with all this said - what AC adapter do I need? It’s as simple as filtering your search based on the criteria above. But, if you are in doubt about what you need, get in touch with Bravo Electric today to get expert advice on the best adapter for you.

Need Help Choosing the Right AC Adapter?

You came here wondering - what AC adapter do I need? However, the better question should be: where can I get the AC adapter I need?

This is where Bravo Electro comes in. We are the premier choice for all your electrical component needs. Whether you need 12vdc power supply, 24vdc power supply, 48vdc power supply, AC DC power supply, or any other power adapter, we have it here waiting for you. We source our products from the most reputable manufacturers in the entire industry, such as Meanwell, so you can rest assured you’re getting exactly what you need. 

But the real reason we’re telling you all this? Because we can actually help you find the right AC adapter depending on your specific circumstances. While it’s no secret that we’re the #1 supplier of electrical components, the real value in shopping with us is our support. We’re here to help you make the right pick so you don’t have to stress over incompatible AC adapters.

Moreover, we offer a wide range of customer-oriented services like after-sales support and maintenance, same-day delivery, purchase warranty, and custom installation services. It doens’t get any better than this!

What AC Adapter do I Need? Wrapping Up Our Discussion on Replacing AC Adapters

In reality, replacing AC adapters goes beyond checking for specification compatibility alone. Other factors, such as the working temperature, working hours, frequency of operation, etc. have important roles to play in your selection process.

If you don’t feel confident in selecting the right adapter for your unique use case, don’t play the guessing game. The stakes are too high - it's better to leave it to the specialists here at Braco Electro. We have expert customer service team members and an entire staff of electrical engineers here to assist you with this decision. We’ll help you achieve peace of mind knowing you’re getting the right electrical components the first time around.

Beyond our simple AC adapters, you’ll find all your other power needs covered too. We have a large catalog of power supplies including open frame power supplies, enclosed power supplies, and external power supplies. So, don’t wait any longer - get in touch today and let’s cross this off your to-do list!