On Sunday evening we both seemed to be quite tired so retired disturbingly early – about 9:30 PM. Probably for reasons of addiction, I tried one last email check on my computer to be met by “page load errors” and a suggestion to “work offline” by my favourite browser (Mozilla Firefox). Que? Everything was fine late that afternoon. A brief glance at our Belkin modem router showed a disturbing lack of lights – nada, nichts, nothing. I remembered having my feet on the 8-gang power-surge protector (it’s under my desk) earlier in the day so I thought I’d check for a disturbed plug connection. The router’s plug did, indeed, seem to very disturbed in that it was running almost red hot. Not good – a problem to sort out for Monday.

I can’t help but process issues such as this in background overnight. It often gets to be foreground processing and keeps me awake. I wondered if the router was fine and if it was just the power supply that had burned itself out. Carol had spotted a multi-volt adapter for sale in Argos so I started investigating voltages and amperes. The router’s supply was 12V/1.25A (aka 1250mA).

In the hope that a new power supply might be the solution rather than further expense and a whole new installation, we started looking at all our other portable devices with outrageously heavy, clunky transformer-laden power adapting plugs – all those things that add up to make your small, neat, portable device much less portable!:

    Nokia phone: 3.7V/355mA
    Motorola phone: 4.8V/350mA
    beard-trimmer: 3V/1A
    DAB radio: 9V/800mA
    land line phone: 6V/300mA
    Carol’s lap top: 19V/3.42A

Good grief, what a set of baggage-weight-limit-exceeding variations to tote around the world (not the land line phone, of course 😉 ).

Then Carol remembered that our neighbour also has a Belkin modem router so I waited until 9:00 AM before popping next door to check that out for debugging services. No go; a very similar though not identical device by the same supplier but this one running at 15V/1A. I was stunned.

The Argos-supplied adapter was apparently capable of 3, 4.5, 5, 6, 9 and 12V at 1.2A (1200mA). I figured that 1.2mA would be close enough to 1.25mA so, for £10, I embarked upon the 5-mile round trip walk avec rucksack to the local Argos to procure one. Having got it home it proved to be more complex than one might hope. I knew it would have 7 interchangeable plug ends but none of them seemed exactly the same shape as that on our router. There was also the unadvertized issue of polarity: apparently it was necessary not only to select the correct adaptor plug but also to attach it in the correct orientation depending upon the target device’s positive or negative polarity requirement. Strewth!

I was quietly fretting about this when it all became entirely academic: another unadvertized feature of the multi-volt adaptor was that the 1.2A (1200mA) output was available only at the lower voltage settings (3, 4.5, 5) and not at my required 12V setting. Blast! There was nothing for it but a new Belkin modem router which, happily, Argos also had available and at £10 off.

A second trip to Argos secured both a refund on the multi-volt adaptor (it doesn’t do what I want) and their last Belkin modem router which is now, as you can see, up and running. What a relief to be back in touch with the world once again. How easily one becomes reliant upon technology. Just look at all those folks wandering around with a mobile phone surgically attached to their ear. Oh well, maybe the router fried the power supply, anyway.

Our new router is Belkin’s third power variation: 12V/1A! 😐

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One comment on “Transformers
  1. At least the router and its associated power supply left you house in tact.

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