Sunday, October 25, 2009

Amazon Customer Svc: Charging Kindle Internationally - Update

Amazon Kindle Customer Service posted (and updated) to their Forums the following advisory Sunday:
' Charging your Kindle Internationally
Kindle ships to most countries with a U.S. power adapter and a micro-USB cable. The U.S. power adapter supports voltages between 100V-240V.

Charging from your computer via USB:
When using the USB cable to charge your Kindle via your computer, charging times can vary greatly from 4 to 12 hours.  We recommend keeping your computer plugged in while charging. Some computers limit the power supply to USB ports when not plugged in which will result in a slower charge.  Additionally, some computers have both "low powered" and "high powered" USB ports.  If your Kindle is charging slowly, please try other USB ports which may provide more power.

Charging using the U.S. power plug with a 3rd party physical plug adapter:
If you are outside the U.S. and choose to use the Kindle power adapter with a physical plug adapter (adapts the two prong U.S. power adapter to the local power outlet), make sure the local plug adapter is compatible with Kindle and read and follow all safety instructions for the plug adapter.
I don't actually know what this one means since I am currently visiting another country that requires a physical plug adapter to have my normal electronic items work and these are just about always 3rd party and I haven't seen any local plug adapter info about compatibility with Kindle but they should be.  I get my physical plug adapters from REI or Radio Shack or Target, and the one I'm using in Egypt does help to power the Kindle DX fine (light turns green and there is plenty of reserve).
Charging using the USB cable and a 3rd party USB power adapter:
3rd party USB power adapters vary greatly in their specifications.  Many of these USB power adapters will not properly charge Kindle.  If you attempt to charge Kindle with a 3rd party USB adapter, and the battery icon on the Kindle screen has a lightning bolt through it, the USB charger is working and the device is charging.  If the battery icon does not have a lightning bolt through it, the USB charger is unsupported and the device is not charging.

In general, charging your Kindle should follow this sequence:

* Connect your Kindle to a power source.
* Light on the bottom of the Kindle will display yellow.
* Battery indicator on the top of the home screen should have a lightning bolt through it.
* If your Kindle battery was run down completely so that the screen turned off prior to charging, it may take up to 60 minutes of charging for the screen to come on.
* If the screen does not come on or the lightning bolt is not displayed, the charging source is not working and Kindle is not charging.
* Light displays green when the battery is fully charged.

We do not recommend using a 3rd party USB power adapter. 3rd party USB power adapters vary greatly in their specifications.  Many of these adapters will not properly charge your Kindle and may also cause your Kindle to become slow or unresponsive.  If this occurs plug your Kindle into a computer USB port or restart your Kindle. '
The forum Amazon forum thread includes questions and useful comments from Amazon Kindle users.  Australian Kindle owners especially should read these.  But others should read these as well and join in with any tips they may have. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

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  1. not strictly true, I tried charging mine with a 3rd party USB power adatper.

    The battery indicator displayed the lightning bolt, however the unit did not actually charge up. After a considerable time I unplugged the charger and the battery indicator still displayed the lightning bolt! I ahd to reset the Kindle to fix this problem. On reset the indicator showed only half charge.

  2. I did bring my Amazon USB charger to Egypt where I am on vacation and bought the usual adapter 'plug' that makes the Amazon plug fit into Egypt's wall connectors and that has worked fine. I wouldn't use another usb connector but one cannot help but use a generic adapter for the plug to the wall.

    I think Amazon may need to be clearer about what they mean by this. But no other USB power connector will tend to work as well with it. A adapter for the plug is another matter...

    - Andrys

  3. I have a USB cable but will need a wall plug adapter when traveling in Africa. I have a wall plug adapter - is it Ok to use with the Kindle USB calbe to charge the Kindle?

  4. Anonymous,
    Yes, all you need is to get $3 adapter plugs from REI or Radio Shack for the country you're going to. You plug your Kindle plug into that and the adapter into the wall. I used these in Egypt (northeast part of Africa).

  5. I bought an adapted for a cellphone hoping to use it to charge my kindle when plugged in the touch ability works horribly turning off and on at random till I reset the kindle I recommend just buying a charger meant for a kindle safer that way


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