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Why 115 volt instead of the normal 110 volt?


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We sailed on the Maasdam last week in an inside cabin. I brought a clock from home so when I would wake up I could get the time (instead of wearing a watch to bed and going to the bathroom to turn on a light). There were two outlets side by side; one was 220 volts for the hairdryer and the other said 115 volt. The clock constantly ran fast with 115 volts, so it became useless.

 

It was not the clock since it worked fine in our hotel room in Montreal and now at home in our bedroom, so it must have been the extra voltage.

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Electrically powered bedside clocks use the electricity frequency (usually 50Hz or 60Hz) to keep time. A small difference in voltage does not matter. Power distribution companies make sure the correct frequency is generated so the clock at home will keep accurate time. On board a ship this does not normally happen, hence the known issue of electric clocks not keeping the correct time.

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Electric travel clocks are notoriously unreliable for use on cruises. Battery powered travel clocks, smart phones, tablets and watch alarms are some of the better options. Whatever your choice, keeping track of your ship's time changes is a must.

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Actually the clock would have also worked on batteries, but we did not realize using it as a plug in on the ship would be a problem.

 

You do always learn something new on these boards.

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Actually the clock would have also worked on batteries, but we did not realize using it as a plug in on the ship would be a problem.

 

You do always learn something new on these boards.

So true!

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We sailed on the Maasdam last week in an inside cabin. I brought a clock from home so when I would wake up I could get the time (instead of wearing a watch to bed and going to the bathroom to turn on a light). There were two outlets side by side; one was 220 volts for the hairdryer and the other said 115 volt. The clock constantly ran fast with 115 volts, so it became useless.

 

It was not the clock since it worked fine in our hotel room in Montreal and now at home in our bedroom, so it must have been the extra voltage.

 

Plug-in clocks take their timekeeping from frequency, not voltage, and ships don't bother to run

one set of generators at 60.0000 cycles per second for the "115v" plugs, and another whole set

of generators at 50.0000 cycles per second for the "220v" plugs. Just one set of generators with

whatever frequency might be convenient and transformers changing one voltage to the other.

 

No telling what the actual frequency was on your voyage, but it was higher than your clock was

built for.

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Isn't the time shown on the bedside phone?

 

Yes, it was, but it is very tiny. And if you need glasses, it is basically impossible to read without them. Plus that does not help the person on the other side of the bed.

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Plug-in clocks take their timekeeping from frequency, not voltage, and ships don't bother to run

one set of generators at 60.0000 cycles per second for the "115v" plugs, and another whole set

of generators at 50.0000 cycles per second for the "220v" plugs. Just one set of generators with

whatever frequency might be convenient and transformers changing one voltage to the other. (Note that 60,000 cycles per second = 60Hz).

 

No telling what the actual frequency was on your voyage, but it was higher than your clock was

built for.

Correct. And I would add that in the US "110V" outlets can vary between 110V up to 120V, but all are 60Hz.

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Electric travel clocks are notoriously unreliable for use on cruises. Battery powered travel clocks, smart phones, tablets and watch alarms are some of the better options. Whatever your choice, keeping track of your ship's time changes is a must.[/quote

 

 

Be careful using your smartphone for the correct time. We recently traveled westbound through the Straits of Gibraltar. We set our phone alarms for an early wake-up call for the next port, Cadiz, since we had an excursion to Seville. Unfortunately, the phones picked up the signal from Morocco where the time was an hour later than the time in Spain. We were quite startled when the room service waiter knocked at the door but glad that he did!

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Electric travel clocks are notoriously unreliable for use on cruises. Battery powered travel clocks, smart phones, tablets and watch alarms are some of the better options. Whatever your choice, keeping track of your ship's time changes is a must.[/quote

 

 

Be careful using your smartphone for the correct time. We recently traveled westbound through the Straits of Gibraltar. We set our phone alarms for an early wake-up call for the next port, Cadiz, since we had an excursion to Seville. Unfortunately, the phones picked up the signal from Morocco where the time was an hour later than the time in Spain. We were quite startled when the room service waiter knocked at the door but glad that he did!

I can't speak for other makes, but iPhones allow you to have the time set automatically based on the local signal, which you experienced, or to set it manually. When cruising through multiple time zones, I always use the manual setting.

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In the US, the power companies strive to maintain an official voltage of 120 and 240. It can vary based on loading. But most electronic devices made in the past 20 years will happily operate anywhere from 100 to 240 volts. They all rectify those voltages to DC and produce anywhere from 5 to 18 volts for the device. Some electrical items are voltage specific, like light bulbs and appliances. The power line frequency (60 hz in North America) is very important due to electric clocks and anything with a motor in it. Your 33-1/3 RPM vinyl records (remember those ??) would sound strange if the powerline frequency was not exactly 60 HZ. But, ships attempt to maintain 60 hz, but it is not critical because they do not interconnect with other power companies. So, your electric clock on the ship may run a little slow or fast.

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