Electrical Outlet and Voltage Information for Australia
When traveling to other countries like Australia, knowledge about the kind of electrical outlet and plug used in that country will help any traveler. In Australia, the primary socket is the Type I Australian AS-3112 and the voltage used by the appliances and electronic gadgets is 220-240 volts.
If a person would want to use an appliance or electronic gadget that has 110-120 volts in Australia, he or she must use a plug adapter and a step-down transformer. Voltage converters like network-resistor converter and combination voltage converter could also come in handy when the voltage of the appliance and the electrical outlet do not match.
Type I Australian AS-3112
The Type I Australian AS-3112 electrical outlet and plug is commonly used in Australia. It is the standard in most houses in Australia and it is also slightly similar to the Chinese CPCS-CCC and the Argentine IRAM electrical outlet. These three sockets are interchangeable and are classified under the unofficial “Type I” category. This plug in Australia features a grounding pin and two flat prongs that form a V-shape. Moreover, the receptacle end of this Type I Australian AS-3112 can accept any standard household plug type in Australia except the Type M South African SABS1661, also known as the Old British BS-546 Large plug. For the blade contacts of the Type I Australia AS-3112, these are 6.5 x 1.6mm with a phase and neutral blade angled at 30 degrees to vertical at a nominal pitch of 13.7mm. This standard plug of Australia is also polarized and grounded.
However, there is also an ungrounded version of the Type I plug that only has two flat V-shaped prongs, but the electrical outlet is always three-pinned. Another is that the Type I plug has other variants that include 15 A, 20 A, 25 A, and 32 A.
Most of the time, during travels, people carry with them their laptop computers, cameras, mobile phones, mp3 players, and ipod. The batteries of all these must be charged through an electrical outlet and when the plugs do not match, an adapter that is compatible with the Type I outlet must be used. Aside from Australia, other countries that use the Type I Australian AS-3112 are Argentina, China (mainland except Taiwan), Papua New Guinea, Uruguay, Fiji, and Tokelau (the Union Islands).
An adapter is really helpful when the plug of the appliance or electronic gadget does not match with the electrical outlet, however, when the voltages are not compatible, this would be a different problem. In order to avoid further problems like damaging the electronic gadget or causing fire, a traveler who wishes to use his or her gadget in Australia must use a voltage converter. If a tourist would want to use a laptop computer or charge batteries for cameras, mp3 players, camcorders, and radios in Australia, the ideal voltage converter is a transformer which lowers the maximum watt rating. It could be used for long periods of time but is a little bit heavy because of the large iron rods and copper wire. The resistor-network converters to be used in Australia are usually advertised to support as much as 50-1600 Watts and are just ideal to use for short periods of time.
The resistor-network converter is also not recommended for digital devices like laptop computers however it is great for light-weight electronics like hair dryers and irons. The last kind of voltage converter that you need in order to use electronics that are not compatible with the electrical outlet type in Australia is the combination of a resistor-network converter and transformer. Most of the time, there is a switch that enables the changing of modes from resistor-network converter to transformer, depending on the tourist’s needs in Australia. These voltage converters and adapters will be very handy if you are going to Australia and you intend to bring along some gadgets that require a particular voltage.