Ac adapter s: How to Choose the Right AC Adapter for Your Device

How to Choose the Right AC Adapter for Your Device

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How to Choose the Right AC Adapter for Your Device

November 09, 2022

Use Case

9 min

Learn how to choose the right AC adapter for your device.

CDW Expert

What’s Inside

  • What is an AC Adapter?

    Learn more about AC adapters, which are external power supplies that convert alternating current (AC) from a wall outlet to a direct current (DC) needed by an electronic device.

  • Check Electrical Ratings to Choose the Right AC Adapter for Your Device

    Read more about the first steps you should take when deciding on an AC adapter.

  • Select an AC Adapter and Device with Matching Specs

    Read more about how to determine which AC adapter will work best with your device.

What is an AC Adapter?

An AC adapter is an external power supply that converts alternating current (AC) from a wall outlet to a direct current (DC) needed by an electronic device. Therefore, it is an AC/DC converter. When it supplies power to a battery-powered device, it is also accurate to describe it as a charger. Before picking the right AC adapter for your device, it is useful to know the reasons most portable electronics use external power adapters.

Installing the power components of devices in external AC adapters allows manufacturers to make them smaller. Those researching how to choose the right AC adapter should know that devices with external power adapters are lighter than those with integrated AC adapters. Having a separate and external AC/DC power adapter also reduces the heat produced inside an electronic device. This design also reduces electrical noise and improves safety.

A manufacturer can also support a wide voltage range by choosing an external power supply when designing the right AC adapter for your device. Lastly, external power adapters are easier to replace. Users do not have to throw away their devices if voltage spikes, or in the case of brownouts or electrical fires destroy their external power supply units.

Check Electrical Ratings to Choose the Right AC Adapter for Your Device

Before trying to find a matching AC adapter for a device, check if the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) adapter is available. Device manufacturers sometimes offer replacement chargers/adapters for their products. Determining how to choose the right power adapter for a device becomes easy if this OEM accessory is available. Find the specific adapter for the device by searching for it using the model number printed on the adapter shipped with the device.

In some cases, OEM adapters are no longer available from manufacturers. Therefore, finding the right AC adapter for your electronics requires selecting a compatible third-party accessory. The first step is to determine the electrical rating of the device.

When learning how to choose an AC adapter, it is also necessary to understand power adapter specifications. Manufacturers usually print such information on the labels of these power accessories. Alternatively, check the device’s user manual for the electrical ratings of its AC adapter. The most important sections to read on a power adapter label are voltage and current. However, polarity is also an important factor.

The unit for voltage is volt (V), while current ratings end in amps or ampere (A). Power adapters have AC inputs and DC outputs. Depending on the region, AC input can be 110/120V or 220/240V. To make it easier for users to choose an AC adapter, manufacturers usually offer adapters that support both voltages. Dual voltage adapters have listed input AC voltage ranges of 110 – 220VAC or 100 – 240VAC. These are most useful for travelers researching how to choose the right power adapter that will work in other parts of the world. The DC voltage (VDC) of the power accessory is as important as its AC voltage (VAC). When reading an adapter label, the VDC will be under the DC symbol. 

The AC symbol is a wave, while the DC symbol is a solid dash with three short dashes underneath it. The DC voltage is the output voltage of the adapter, and it is usually much lower than the input AC voltage.

Select an AC Adapter and Device with Matching Specs

The right AC adapter for your device is one with matching electrical ratings. The device’s input voltage and current must match the adapter’s output voltage and current. Check the device’s product label or user manual to see its rated voltage and current. Shoppers learning how to choose AC adapter should know that most power adapters have output DC voltages below 20V while their input AC voltages are over 100V.

Choosing an adapter with a higher or lower voltage or current rating may cause the connected device to malfunction. This happens if the adapter’s VDC is lower than the device’s input voltage even when their current ratings are the same. Using an adapter with a higher voltage will cause the connected device to detect an overvoltage. An AC adapter supplying electricity at a higher voltage than required will cause the connected device to run hotter. Sending power at a higher voltage will also shorten the lifespan of the device and may fry its internal circuits. 

Using an AC adapter with a different current rating can be an issue. When considering how to choose an AC adapter, avoid picking one that delivers a lower current than required by the device. Even when both the adapter and the device have the same voltage rating, the device will attempt to draw more current than the AC adapter can manage. This can cause the adapter to overheat. The device may fail to power on or struggle to stay on. If the current is too low, the electronic device may stay on, but its battery will not charge. 

It may surprise you that you can use adapters with higher current ratings than your devices. This recommendation holds true, as long as both devices have the same voltage rating. For example, a 10V/8A adapter can safely power a 10V/5A device. 

The last thing to consider when researching how to choose the right power adapter is polarity. The polarity of the AC adapter’s connector must match that of the power input or charging port on the device. There are two types of connector polarities: center positive and center negative. It is worth noting in an AC adapter buying guide that most power adapters use center-positive connectors.

A center-positive connector in the AC adapter has a tip that has a positive polarity. Its barrel or ring has negative polarity. A center negative connector has the opposite arrangement. It is essential to differentiate the symbols for both types of connectors when learning how to choose the right AC adapter for your device. Manufacturers may denote polarity by putting + (positive) and – (negative) signs in front of voltage ratings. Alternatively, they may represent polarity with diagrams. When researching how to choose an AC adapter, remember that a polarity diagram of the adopter features a circle on both sides. A center-positive adapter polarity has a line extending from a positive circle to the open-end circle. 

It’s also important to find a power adapter with a connector that fits into the input power port of the connected device. If the connector is too wide, it will not slide into the power port, and if it’s too narrow, it will form a loose fit and may fall out during use.

To choose the right AC adapter for your device, find one with voltage and current ratings that match those of the device. Durable monitor cables are convenient for visual artists who need proper video display, and the cable is a part of the equation. Do not forget to also consider the polarity and size of the adapter’s connector as they must be compatible with the device’s power input port. A quick read of this AC adapter buying guide will help you choose the right AC unit from the selection of AC/DC external power adapters.

AC Adapters for Force and Torque Gauges – AC1030, AC1031, AC1032, AC1035

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AC1030, AC1031, AC1032, AC1035

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AC1030, AC1031, AC1032, AC1035

Several universal AC adapters / chargers for Mark-10 force gauge and torque gauges are available, each of which consists of a body and replaceable prong. Spare prongs are also available.

 Have a Question?

Voltage – Input 90 – 264 VAC
Voltage – Output 12V
Current – Output (Max) 500 mA
Output Connector Barrel plug, 0. 08 in ID x 0.22 in OD x 0.37 in [2.1 mm ID x 5.5 mm OD x 9.5 mm]
Polarization Positive Center
Operating Temperature 32 – 104°F [0 – 40°C]
Ordering Information

Model Description US Price
AC1030 AC adapter / charger, 110V $45.00
AC1031 AC adapter / charger, 220V EUR $45.00
AC1032 AC adapter / charger, 220V UK $45.00
AC1035 AC adapter / charger, 220V AUS $45.00
Additional Items to Consider
AC1119 Prong, US $5.00
AC1120 Prong, EUR $5.00
AC1121 Prong, UK $5.00
AC1122 Prong, AUS $5. 00


1. AC1030 replaces 08-1007

2. AC1031 replaces 08-1008

3. Any of the above adapters are compatible with any Mark-10 force or torque gauge, except Series MG and MGT gauges manufactured before September, 2010. These gauges can be modified at the factory or in the field by enlarging the clearance hole in the housing. The additional clearance will accommodate the above adapters.

4. The above AC adapters consist of two components – the main body, and a replaceable prong (for US, Europe, UK, and Australia). The main body is shared between all AC adapters, and is labeled as part no. 08-1022. This is not a valid order number, as it refers to the body only, without a prong.

Mark-10 defines accuracy as a percentage of full scale of the
instrument. To determine the measurement error as an actual
load value, multiply the accuracy percentage by the instrument’s capacity.

Example 1 – M5-50 force gauge:

The accuracy is ±0. 1% of full scale (FS). Multiply ±0.1% by 50 lbF,
which equals ±0.05 lbF. This means that any displayed reading may be
higher or lower by up to 0.05 lbF. For example, if the displayed
value is 30.00 lbF, the true reading will be ≥29.95 lbF and ≤30.05 lbF.

Example 2 – Plug & Test

® indicators and sensors:

The accuracies of the sensor and the indicator must be added together.
Models 7i and 5i indicators have accuracy values of ±0.1% FS,
while the Model 3i is rated at ±0.2% FS. Using the example of a
Series R50 torque sensor with Model 3i indicator, add ±0.35% to ±0.2%,
which equals ±0.55%. In a specific example for the Model MR50-12,
the accuracy becomes ±0.55% x 135 Ncm = ±0.7425 Ncm.

Percentage of Reading:

Because of these fixed errors, lower measured values will be more
inaccurate as a percentage of reading.

Further using the example of an M5-50 force gauge, a fixed error of
±0. 05 lbF represents a higher error as a percentage of reading for
a load of 1.00 lbF than 30.00 lbF.

To calculate the error as a percentage of reading, divide the fixed
error by the measured value. For a 1.00 lbF load, the fixed error
equals ±0.05 ÷ 1.00 lbF = ±5% of reading. For a 30.00 lbF load,
the fixed error equals ±0.05 ÷ 30.00 lbF = ±0.17% of reading.


Because of the relationship between load and accuracy, we recommend
selecting an instrument capacity as close as possible to the
maximum measured load.

Best AC Adapter DC 12V 0.5A Power Supply Manufacturer and Factory

Input voltage 100-240 VAC for switching adapter 12 VDC 500 mA, fixed AC wall outlets for EU, USA, UK, Australia, Japan, Korea, China. Global security certifications ensure that the adapter is legal and safe. Energy star level VI DOE, low ripple, high quality switching power supply

12V 500mA Switching Adapter with Fixed AC Outlets US, EU, UK, Australia, Japan, China, China

Standards: IEC62368, IEC61558, IEC60335, IEC60601, IEC61010

Safety Certifications: CB, UL, cUL, FCC, PSE, CE, UKCA, CCC, KC

Output: 12V 500mA, 6W max, DOE level VI.



2. RATED INPUT VOLTAGE: 100 to 240 V AC.





Min. value

Max. value

Power control

11.4 VDC

12.6 VDC

Output load

0.0 A

500 mA

Ripple and noise


Out of range

± 10%

Control line

± 1%

Load control

± 5%

Switch-on delay time

3000 ms

Delay time

10 ms

10 ms

Popular 12V AC Adapters

Power Adapter 12V 0. 5A XSG1200500; Power adapter 12V 1.5A XSG1201500; Power adapter 12V 2A XSG1202000;

Power adapter 12V 2.5A XSG1202500; Power adapter 12V 3A XSG1203000; Power adapter 12V 5A XSG1205000;

Power adapter 12V6A XSG1206000; Power adapter 12V10A XSG12010000


European power supply plug 12V 0.5A Model XSG1200500EU Certifications: TUV CE EMC, LVD, RoHS

Fork for North America, power supply 12 V 0.5 A, model XSG1200500us, Certificates: UL, CUL, FCC

Fork for the UK, 12 B 0.5 A, model XSG1200500UK, CE, CE, CE, CE, CE, CE, CE, CE, CE, CE, CE, CE, CE, CE, CE, CE, CE, CE, CE UKCA

AU Plug, Power Supply 12V 0.5A Model; XSG1200500AU, SAA, RCM, C-tick


one switching power supply with one plastic bag in one kraft box.



Carton dimensions: 46*30*34cm

Production process:

Samples and production time L/T:

Samples: 5-7days

Mass production: 25-30 days .

Advantages of Xinsu Global 12V 0.5A adapter:

1. Small size, easy to carry

2. Complete CB, UL, cUL, FCC, KC, CE, UKCA, SAA, CCC safety certifications.

3. Consistent quality with long warranty.

4. Small MOQs help customers test markets for new projects.

How to ensure quality reliability?

1. Main engineers with more than 25 years experience.

2. Strict quality control department

3. Quality supplier system, components from well-known manufacturers.

4. Modern production testing equipment.

5. Strictly trained production staff.

Xinsu Global 12V 500mA AC Adapters are very competitive, they have a large market share and are exported to many countries in the world. Xinsu Global has over 14 years of ISO 9 certified AC DC adapter design and manufacturing experience001 factory, we can also provide shipping services, we have professional transportation teams to help customers with customs clearance and other services, so as to deliver goods to customers faster and safer. professional sales engineers will give the best suggestion for choosing power adapters. just leave a message to our engineers.

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  • Adapter 12V
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  • How to choose the right power supply

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    There are many reasons for the failure of power supplies: power surges, curious)) pets, mechanical damage, self-repair attempts.

    If you are reading this article, then most likely you are looking for a replacement for a lost or failed power supply. Or maybe you just need an additional network adapter for your device. Even if the old power supply is broken, do not rush to throw it away. You will need it when choosing a new block, as it contains all its main characteristics:
    ► Current and power.
    ► Connector type (male).
    ► Voltage (input and output).

    Determine the voltage of the power supply. It is measured in Volts (V).

    a) Output voltage.
    This is the voltage that goes from the power supply directly to the device. It can be different and, depending on the device, varies from 3 to 48 volts. For example, for a laptop it can be 18.5 or 19 Volts, for a netbook – 9.5 Volts, for a blood pressure monitor – 6 Volts, for a router – 5 Volts, etc. The new power supply must be selected with the same voltage as your old one.

    How to find out the output voltage on the power supply:

    How to find out the input voltage on the device:

    Important! The voltage that the power supply provides must match the voltage that your device consumes.

    b) Input voltage.
    This is the voltage that goes from the network to the power supply, the usual 220-230 Volts for us. Modern power supplies operate in the range of 100-240 Volts and you can safely use such a unit both in our country and on trips around the world.

    Determine the current strength of the power supply. It is measured in Amps (A) or milliamps (mA).

    The second important parameter when choosing a power adapter is the current strength. The current strength of the new power supply must be no less than that of the old one. It must either match the old block or be larger.
    For example, you had a power supply unit with a current strength of 1 A. You can replace it with a power supply unit with a current strength of both 1A and 2A, and even 3A.

    How to check the current on the power supply:

    Important! If the output current of the new power supply is less, then the unit will overheat, periodically turn off and quickly fail.

    Determine the power of the power supply. It is measured in Watts (W).

    Power directly depends on the current and voltage. You can always easily calculate it by multiplying the current by the voltage. Choose a new power supply with the same or more power than the old one.
    For example, your 40 W power supply failed. As a replacement, you may well choose a 60 W power supply. Your device will take only the power it needs from the power supply, no more.

    Determine the type of power supply connector.
    Last but not least is the definition of the connector type. The connector must be exactly the same as on your original unit. To date, there is no single connector standard for all electronic devices. Modern manufacturers often use completely different connectors to connect power supplies to devices.
    If you still have an old power supply, then most likely there will be no problem choosing a connector. The connector is determined by the outer, inner diameter and in some cases the connector (needle) inside is also measured. If there is no old block left, then it is best to come with your device directly to our Radiomir store and we will try to help you.

    Let’s summarize:

    1. If you were able to determine all the necessary parameters yourself, then it will be easy and simple for you to choose the right block on our website. Filters in which you can specify all the main characteristics (voltage, current, connector) will help simplify the choice.
    2. If all else fails or you are not sure of the choice, come with the power supply or the device itself to our Radiomir store. We will try to help you!

    Frequently asked questions (FAQ).
    1. Can I use a high voltage power supply (V)?
    No, you can’t, because too high voltage will damage your device and may disable it. Our advice – do not take risks and do not fall for expensive repairs.

    2. Can a power supply with a lower voltage (V) be used?

    No, you can’t, because the voltage will not be enough to power your device. If you connect such a power supply, the device simply will not turn on or will periodically turn off.

    3. Can I use a power supply with a higher current (A/mA)?

    Yes you can. This parameter is indicated on the adapter as the maximum current that it can deliver. Let’s say your device needs 2.5 Amperes, and the power supply gives out 4 Amperes – the device will take exactly as much as it needs Amperes, and no more. Moreover, we even recommend using a power adapter with a large Ampere rating. Such a power supply heats up less during operation and will last longer.

    4. Is it possible to use a power supply with a lower current (A/mA)?

    Only as a last resort. The output current will not be enough to power the device normally. If you connect such a power supply, it will get very hot and can quickly fail.

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