Traveling abroad – What you need to know to avoid a jolt!
by Judy Wolf, Product Manager
Word for Word Fall 2004

Traveling abroad on a job can be an electrifying experience…or it can be
an electrical nightmare if you’re not properly prepared. The key to a
successful trip – Avoid a jolt by checking the volts!

You’ve heard stories from friends who went on vacation abroad, unsuspectingly plugged in their American-made hair dryer or electric razor, and fried them. The same will happen to your writing machine and computer if you plug them into a different voltage outlet – without using the right power transformer. Not only could you blow your machine’s power supply, you could fry the electronics too. And your warranty won't cover such an event. Talk about a jolting repair bill!

How to avoid an electrical nightmare
Use a dual-voltage Universal Power Supply from Stenograph that automatically detects and switches to the local power voltage. If you have an élan Mira, it came with your machine. If you have a Stentura or élan Cybra, you'll need to buy one; which you'll then be able to use anywhere on the planet. In either case, you'll also need a power cord or adapter for the local outlet type. My favorite site for researching electricity and outlets is You'll want to bookmark this site if you travel frequently. Another of my favorite travel sites is

In any case, do not attempt to use a non-Stenograph power transformer with your machine. It is insufficient for this type of equipment. You can order the Universal Power Supply and power cord(s) you need online for élan machines and Stentura, or call us at 800-228-2339.

Other keys to success abroad
1. Take two freshly charged battery packs. Note the age of your batteries by the code on the bottom of the battery. The first two digits indicate the week and the last two digits indicate the year. For example, 3902 means your battery was made the 39th week of 2002. Any battery that is more than 12 months old should not be allowed to take a trip abroad – it is too old.

2. Take an extra ribbon cartridge, or two. Take fresh, high-quality diskettes, such as Maxell. Remember, an ounce of
prevention…you know the rest.

3. Arrange a backup plan with your office. PLAN for something to go wrong with your machine, in spite of your preparations. Have a backup machine ready to be sent to you in case that happens. Stenograph cannot send loaner machines out of the country so we won't be able to help. Also keep in mind that with customs delays it can take two or more days after arrival in the country for the machine to make it to your hotel.

4. Make sure you have a passport and, where required, a visa. To check out passport and visa requirements, visit U.S. Department of State at

Good luck and safe journey!