Located in southeastern Europe, with its coast on the Adriatic sea, Montenegro is a country that has a standard voltage of 220-240 volts with a frequency of 50hz, similar to most countries in Europe. For the primary types of electrical outlet and plug in Montenegro, the widely used types are Type A NEMA 1-15 / JIS C 8303 North American and Type B NEMA 5-15 North American. In cases wherein the plug of the electronic gadget or appliance is not compatible with the shape of the electrical outlet, there are adapters that could be easily purchased in Montenegro. Adapters alter the shape of the plug so that it could be used together with the electrical outlet.
For small electronic gadgets like hair dryers and curling irons, a plug adapter and voltage converter is required in Montenegro. For other electronic gadgets and appliances like laptop computers, battery chargers, and radios, a step-down or step-up transformer will be useful if a tourist plans to stay in Montenegro.
Type A NEMA 1-15 / JIS C 8303 North American (Non-grounded and Non-polarized) Plug, Electrical Outlet, and Adapter
The NEMA 1-15 is mostly found in North America and in the east coast of South America as well as in other countries like Montenegro. This is used for smaller devices that do not really need a ground connection. Also, the NEMA 1-15 is a flat blade attachment plug that uses two flat parallel pins or blades. Older designs allow the blades to be inserted either way; however, contemporary NEMA 1-15 plugs in Montenegro are designed with the neutral blade wider than the live blade allowing just one way of plugging and ensuring that the polarized plug is inserted appropriately into the electrical outlet. The NEMA 1-15 is also known as the Type A North American/Japanese 2-blade Electrical adapter plug and electrical outlet. It also has the technical name North American 15 A/125 V ungrounded.
The new design of NEMA 1-15 changed so much that it will not fit in the old type of NEMA 1-15 electrical outlet in Montenegro. With the NEMA 1-15 adapter, the receptacle end will accept any standard household plug in Montenegro, aside from the Type M South African SABS1661 plug, which is also known as the Old British BS-546 Large plug. The blades of this adapter are 6.4mm long, 1.5mm thick, and are spaced 12.7mm apart. The NEMA 1-15 plug is also non-polarized and non-grounded which is very important Montenegro. Although the NEMA 1-15 looks similar to the plugs of the U.S. and Canada and the appliance and electronic gadgets might be manufactured in the said countries, an adapter might still be needed because of the grounding and polarization requirements in Montenegro.
In the NEMA 1-15 plug and electrical outlet, grounding is done by the third, round pin located beneath the two vertical blades on the plug Montenegro. On the other hand, polarization is done by the left vertical blade being taller than the right one in Montenegro. If the plug does have grounding or polarization and the electrical socket does not have one, it would be physically impossible to insert the plug into the electrical socket in Montenegro. If this happens to a tourist in Montenegroand there is also no adapter present, that person might not be able to use his or her electronic gadgets and appliances. There is also another electrical outlet that is commonly used in Japan, the JIS X 8303 Class II (Japanese 15 A/100 V ungrounded) which is similar to the NEMA 1-15, the only difference from Montenegro is the stricter dimensional requirements for the plug housing, marking, and mandatory testing and approval.
The Type B NEMA 5-15 is often used in North and Central America as well as Japan, and it is also what is used in Montenegro. Also, the Type B NEMA 5-15 is a class I plug that has two flat parallel prongs and a grounding pin, rated at 15 amps. The Type B NEMA 5-15 has blade contacts 6.4mm tall, 15mm thick, and are spaced 12.7mm apart. The grounding pin, on the other hand, is 4.8mm in diameter. The Type B NEMA 5-15 is also compatible with any standard household plug in Montenegro, except the Type M South African SABS1661 (Old British BS-546 Large) plug.
Although the Type B NEMA 5-15 is grounded, it is not polarized. In Japan, this kind of plug and electrical outlet is the standard. Similar to Type A NEMA 1-15 plugs, the NEMA 5-15 is also one of the most dangerous plugs in Montenegro and even in the world because the prongs are not insulated. The black covering that is supposed to cover the plug body is lacking hence if the plug is pulled halfway and the prongs are still inserted in the electrical outlet, there might be some accidents in Montenegro like electrocution or a minor electrical shock.
Voltage Converters and Universal Adapters
If a tourist wants to use his or her gadget in Montenegro, the best way is by using voltage converters such as resistor-network converters, transformers, and in some cases the combination of both. Most appliances and electronic gadgets made in the United States of America (USA) have a voltage of 110-120 and using it directly on a 220-240 electrical outlet in Montenegro would cause damage to the appliance or electronic gadget, to the extent that it might be totally fried out or might even cause a fire. The resistor-network converters to be used in Montenegro are usually advertised to support as much as 50-1600 Watts and are just ideal to use for short periods of time. The resistor-network converter is also not recommended for digital devices like laptop computers however it is great for lightweight electronics like hair dryers and irons.
If a tourist would want to use a laptop computer or charge batteries for camera, mp3 players, camcorders, and radios in Montenegro, the ideal voltage converter is a transformer which lowers maximum watt rating. It could be used for long periods of time but is a little bit heavy because of the large iron rods and copper wires. The last kind of voltage converter in order to use electronics in Montenegro that are not compatible with the electrical outlet present in Montenegro is the combination of resistor-network converters and transformer.