the backside of a zuku decoder showing adapter connector rating of 12Volts 2Amperes

Shopping for a GOtv, Dstv, Zuku decoder adapter, what not to buy


For whatever reason, your Power adapter is no longer functioning or is lost. Where will you buy a replacement? Maybe at your local electronics shop or hawker. Whatever places you think you can get it, do not just get any adapter or phone charger. The best replacement you can get is from the dealers themselves. But if their prices are very exorbitant according to you, the continue reading.

Sometimes you can consider repair if the problem is very small. Problems like open circuits in the cable carrying DC voltage can be corrected in a few minutes by your local technician or Fundi. This type of repair does not require you to buy any spare parts. It’s just a matter of reconnecting the loose cables. I would advise you not to continue with any repairs that require spare parts. It will be uneconomical in the long run.

This is what to lookout for when buying a GOtv, Dstv or Zuku adapter.

The AC Mains Voltage and Frequency

For use in Kenya, look out for 230 Volts AC at 50Hz frequency. In Kenya KPLC is supposed to provide us with 240V 50Hz Electric power for domestic use. But even adapters with a rating of 220V will work.

DC output Voltage

All Zuku, GOtv and Dstv decoder adapters use 12Volts DC. So does the adapter you want to use provide 12Volts DC? If not then do not waste your money no matter how persuasive the vendor is. If he/she can give it to you for free then accept the present and keep it for future use.

Can a laptop adapter work with a GOtv, Dstv or Zuku decoder? Most laptop adapters produce 19 Volts DC. This voltage will damage your decoder, so even if that Laptop charger PIN can fit into your decoder, do not connect it at all.


The Output Current

This is the most important feature. Current is measured in Amperes. It’s the measure of how much electricity you decoder is consuming. Zuku decoders have a rating of 2Amperes while GOtv decoders have a 1.2Ampere rating. It’s usually written 2A at the back where you plug in the decoder together with the DC Voltage. So you can have an adapter that produces 12Volts DC but with 1Ampere (same as 1000mA). This type of adapter cannot work at all. It will only show the standby light in some decoders but the decoder will not turn ON. The best example of this type of adapter is the Sannex variable adapter that produces 12Volts at 1Ampere. Image below

A sannex Variable 12Volts adapter producing 1Ampere

The Polarity

Make sure the polarity of the connector to the decoder is correct. The inner conductor should be Positive and the outer visible shiny connector is the Negative terminal. Reversed polarities will damage your decoder. You can check the polarity of the adapter on the e sticker. It’s usually labeled with some arrows showing the polarities of the inner and outer conductors.


And lastly can a Zuku adapter be used with Dstv decoder? Can a GOtv adapter be used with Dstv decoder?   The answer is yes.

  • Seeme

    Nice post there. This got me thinking, is there a dc adapter for the decoders, that is something you can use with dc from solar batteries? What are people in off-grid areas using at the moment?

    • For 12 Volts decoders you can use the power directly from a solar 12volts battery. For other decoders that use only AC you can use a 12 Volts to 240 Volts AC Inverter