Also known as a power supply or power adapter, an AC adapter plugs into a standard outlet and converts the alternating electrical current from the wall outlet to the specifications required by the device into which it is plugged. The AC adapter happens to be a box linked to a power cord, it is either in the last part of the cord, where the device use to plughooked on the wall outlet, or into the inside of the power cord.
Many devices in your home depend on AC adapters for their power source. Laptops, cell phones and cordless phones, digital frames, music equipment, video game consoles, among others.
Technology has brought us into an era where AC adapters will become universal for all electronic devices.
How an AC adapter works
To summarize, an AC adapter converts the electrical current received from the outlet into generally a lower alternating current than an electronic device can use.
Inside the AC adapter are two coils of wire that wrap around an iron core. The first coil receives the 120 V alternating current from the socket and generates an electric field in the iron core. The second coil converts the newly generated electric field into a smaller alternating current. The measurement of the resulting alternating current depends on the number of turns in the second coil relative to the number in the first. If the second coil has half as many turns as the first, the resulting alternating current will be half the value that entered the adapter.
AC / DC: the two electrical currents
The abbreviation AC stands for Alternating Current and is used to describe the electrical currents used to carry energy from power plants to homes and businesses. When drawn, these alternating currents show up as rising and falling waves; This is because these currents do not flow with a constant value in only one direction, but instead alternate between two directions, forward and backward.
DC, which stands for direct current, describes electrical currents that flow in only one direction. Direct currents are produced mainly in batteries, and are used, for the most part, by battery-operated devices.
Convert alternating current to direct current
For Electrical devices that are battery powered, but can also be plugged into an outlet, blackhawk supply AC adapters are needed to convert alternating current to direct current. Inside the adapter box, behind the two coils and the iron core, are two rubber-wrapped diodes that convert alternating current to direct current, allowing current to flow in only one direction.