Kickstarter: MICRO - The World's Smallest Universal Travel Adapter

Canon Rumors Guy

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I travel a lot and I’ve always been annoyed by the travel adaptors out there. The MICRO looks to be an amazing little product for photographers and everyone else.</p>
<p><strong>From Kickstarter:</strong></p>
<p><strong>Micro, the World’s Smallest Universal Travel Adapter with Surge Protection, Now Available on <a href="http://nzs4oWyJ.kckb.st">Kickstarter</a></strong></p>
<p><em>Compatible in over 150 countries, space-saving adaptor is a game-changer for international travellers taking leisure, business trips around the world</em></p>
<p>“For the traveler who takes any trip overseas to nearly any country, Micro ensures they can easily connect to a power source and keep all their smartphones, laptops, tablets and other electronic gear charged while they’re at their destination,” said Micro Co-founder Sam Olawale. “Not only is Micro a one-adapter-fits-all travel buddy, it also means the days of carrying bulky, hard-to-pack travel adapters are gone. In that respect, Micro is truly a game-changer for international travellers.”</p>
<p>Small, sleek and compact, Micro represents the next stage in the evolution of travel adapters – providing a space-saving design that’s extremely travel-friendly. In addition, Micro includes a built-in fuse for protection against electrical surges in even the most remote locations on Earth.</p>
<p><strong>Compared to other adapters on the market today, Micro offers several innovative features specifically designed with the traveler in mind, including:</strong></p>
<ul>
<li>A versatile modular design and functionality (patent pending)</li>
<li>A less expensive price compared to other universal adapters on the market</li>
<li>Compatibility in more than 150 countries on all seven continents</li>
<li>A lightweight design of only 40 grams, 2.5 times smaller than the traditional adapter, making it easy to pack and carry</li>
<li>Environmentally-friendly silicone used in the design</li>
<li>An integrated, modular third pin that makes Micro compatible with English and English lookalike sockets</li>
<li>An adjustable built-in casing to cover the third of any three-prong plug for ultimate safety and ease-of-use</li>
<li>A built-in fuse to protect devices from electrical surges</li>
</ul>
<p>“No matter what country you’re traveling to or where you’re heading next, with Micro you’ll be assured you can plug and keep all your gadgets charged…whether they’re needed for work or play,” Olawale said. “All you have to do is insert your respective plug into Micro, release the socket required on the electric socket of the country you’re in and that’s it. With Micro, you’re ready to plug in your devices and connect to the world…wherever you are.”</p>
<p>For more information and to purchase Micro at reduced early-bird prices only available during crowdfunding, visit the <a href="http://nzs4oWyJ.kckb.st">Micro Campaign Page</a> on Kickstarter.</p>
<p><strong><a href="http://nzs4oWyJ.kckb.st">Learn more about MICRO at Kickstarter</a></strong></p>
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Mt Spokane Photography

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220 volt mains in UK and other places imho are not safe to use with tiny insulator spacings that are safe for 120 volts. The company is located in UK, so they must know the regulations. However, there is a experience based reason for those large klunky 220 volt adapters, and regulatory agencies in the UK are likely even more aware of fire hazzards due to the recent events. The US regulations call for HiPot tests of 1000 + twice the rated appliance voltage, we used 1500 VAC to the entire outside surface of every wire, and failed a lot of electrical wire that would have passed conductor to conductor testing of two wires in a cable or cord. We once found a black wire that failed every time. The extrusion machine operator dumped too much carbon black into the mixture used to extrude the insulation. (More is better -eh)

There is a difference in how safety tests are handled in Europe. Its based on the barn door theory, close it only if the horses get out.

"Under the new European product liability directive, manufacturers are liable for damage caused by a defect in their product and it is their responsibility to prove that the product was not the cause of any damage. Compliance to the European directives ensures that the product meets the minimum safety requirements and that damage claims can be limited.

It is important to note that the CE Mark is a self-certification mark, and therefore not regulated by any safety agency. The harmonized standards are available for manufacturers to setup and perform the tests themselves as opposed to submitting a product in order to get a safety agency listing."

I doubt that a UL listing will happen, they conduct very strict tests which manufacturers hate.

Using silicone in the design is also a bit scary. Its very difficult to make silicone insulators that can standup to high humidity and heat like exists in many parts of the world. The silicone turns to a jell or even liquifies. Having dealt with the issue, and found it kept popping up over the years, it would be a concern. Products like this are not given extensive environmental tests like we do in the Aerospace industry and could go unnoticed.
 

AlanF

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The official voltage in Europe is 230V. In practice, it is 220V in Continental Europe and 240V in the UK and Ireland. The UK plugs are so much more robust and safer than those two-pin apologies in the US that fall out of the sockets in hotels and elsewhere.
 

foo

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AlanF said:
The official voltage in Europe is 230V. In practice, it is 220V in Continental Europe and 240V in the UK and Ireland. The UK plugs are so much more robust and safer than those two-pin apologies in the US that fall out of the sockets in hotels and elsewhere.

230V +- 10% is the new EU standard, at least some of the reason for this is that some parts of the UK are actually 250V for historical reasons. Voltage 'harmonisation' in europe just meant manipulating the limits so that everything falls within a wider limit, no need to change any expensive substation transformers that way.

248 volts at the socket for me.

Personally I gave up with these travel adaptors a long time ago and just tend to pick up a lead with a local plug to C13 connector when I get there.
 

t.linn

EOS R5
Jan 12, 2011
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No grounding; incompatible with India

Size is nice but it is a compromise for sure. Also, I'm not sure using a fuse is really the same thing as surge protection. And using a fuse instead of something that can be reset is a PITA.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

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AlanF said:
The official voltage in Europe is 230V. In practice, it is 220V in Continental Europe and 240V in the UK and Ireland. The UK plugs are so much more robust and safer than those two-pin apologies in the US that fall out of the sockets in hotels and elsewhere.

The US uses 3 pin plugs and they don't fall out. The older products from over 30 years ago used 2 pins, and some double insulated products get away with 2 prong adapters YUK!

The US version of the LP-E6 Canon battery charger is a example of a 2 prong blade type connection, and yes, if your outlet is getting worn out, they are a nuisance. Hotel plugs are likely all worn out early on because they are used so often. I do like the UK outlets better, they are better because they have to be due to the high voltage which is more deadly than 120V. I can grab a hot 120v wire and feel a strong shock, but 230V knocks me away from it. I do have 230V outlets for some of my power tools.

I've seen some outlets in UK hotels that were burned pretty badly, probably from someone with a cheap adapter pulling it out by the cord rather than first turning off the switch located on the receptacle. (are they all equipped with a switch?)
 

Don Haines

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Jun 4, 2012
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cheap, flimsy, no spare fuse, ignores ground, what could possibly go wrong?

If I found one of these in use at work, I would give it a safety adjustment with a hammer and then dispose of the remnants....
 

hgraf

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Feb 25, 2013
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Mt Spokane Photography said:
The US uses 3 pin plugs and they don't fall out. The older products from over 30 years ago used 2 pins, and some double insulated products get away with 2 prong adapters YUK!

The US version of the LP-E6 Canon battery charger is a example of a 2 prong blade type connection, and yes, if your outlet is getting worn out, they are a nuisance. Hotel plugs are likely all worn out early on because they are used so often. I do like the UK outlets better, they are better because they have to be due to the high voltage which is more deadly than 120V. I can grab a hot 120v wire and feel a strong shock, but 230V knocks me away from it. I do have 230V outlets for some of my power tools.

I've seen some outlets in UK hotels that were burned pretty badly, probably from someone with a cheap adapter pulling it out by the cord rather than first turning off the switch located on the receptacle. (are they all equipped with a switch?)

Of course, what's makes the UK plugs much more fun compared to pretty much the rest of the world is when you unplug them and drop them on the floor, they are almost guaranteed to land face up, which makes stepping on them in the dark very fun... :)
 

AlanF

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Mt Spokane Photography said:
AlanF said:
The official voltage in Europe is 230V. In practice, it is 220V in Continental Europe and 240V in the UK and Ireland. The UK plugs are so much more robust and safer than those two-pin apologies in the US that fall out of the sockets in hotels and elsewhere.

The US uses 3 pin plugs and they don't fall out. The older products from over 30 years ago used 2 pins, and some double insulated products get away with 2 prong adapters YUK!

The US version of the LP-E6 Canon battery charger is a example of a 2 prong blade type connection, and yes, if your outlet is getting worn out, they are a nuisance. Hotel plugs are likely all worn out early on because they are used so often. I do like the UK outlets better, they are better because they have to be due to the high voltage which is more deadly than 120V. I can grab a hot 120v wire and feel a strong shock, but 230V knocks me away from it. I do have 230V outlets for some of my power tools.

I've seen some outlets in UK hotels that were burned pretty badly, probably from someone with a cheap adapter pulling it out by the cord rather than first turning off the switch located on the receptacle. (are they all equipped with a switch?)

Leads are generally three pin. But, the standard Apple charger is fitted with a two-pin plug, and those white boxes invariably fall out. Lots of small chargers for other devices have folding two-pins. I usually travel with a US lead to the States to use all 3 pins. In Europe or the U.K. The Apple-provided plugs are fine, but not in the USA.
 

neuroanatomist

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AlanF said:
But, the standard Apple charger is fitted with a two-pin plug, and those white boxes invariably fall out.

Yeah, but yours looks like this ungainly thing:

Charge-your-iPhone-Faster-use-iPad-Charger.jpg


...and ours looks sleek and svelte like this:

Apple-iPad-Charger-433x325.jpg


We're waaaaay more  than you... ;)
 

Mt Spokane Photography

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I was selling products world wide, but US only now. I had purchased a stock of AC adapters with both Euro plugs and UK plugs. I still have lots of them. They are huge compared to the US version.
 

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foo

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Sep 10, 2016
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Mt Spokane Photography said:
I've seen some outlets in UK hotels that were burned pretty badly, probably from someone with a cheap adapter pulling it out by the cord rather than first turning off the switch located on the receptacle. (are they all equipped with a switch?)

The ones in hotels probably suffer a lot due to people forceing in a two pin power supply with round pins from elsewhere in the world.

It's not required to have a switch on a UK socket, but almost all do. The only places you tend to find unswitched ones nowadays would be behind an appliance like a washing machine, and those circuits tend to have an isolating switch somewhere accessible.
 

AlanF

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neuroanatomist said:
AlanF said:
But, the standard Apple charger is fitted with a two-pin plug, and those white boxes invariably fall out.

Yeah, but yours looks like this ungainly thing:

Charge-your-iPhone-Faster-use-iPad-Charger.jpg


...and ours looks sleek and svelte like this:

Apple-iPad-Charger-433x325.jpg


We're waaaaay more  than you... ;)

Neuro, a useful tip. It charges faster and keeps in better when you fold out the two flat pins.