Understanding Every Angle

Power cords with angles can be a bit tricky. Understanding one’s left from right involves acute perspective. In a matter to simplify a rather confusing topic (and thereby curing any predisposed dyslexia), I am providing a comprehensive overview of understanding the difference between IEC and NEMA power cord angles.NEMA-LogoIEC-logo

Angled power cords  feature a number of benefits:  they’re ideal for use in confined spaces, as well as eliminating stress placed on the power cord conductors and the strain relief. The space-saving angled power cords provide substantial value when equipment is positioned in atypical ways, such as behind home/office furniture or anywhere with limited clearance.

People often use the term “right angle” to describe a 90-degree angle (or elbow). In reality, this could be four different directions: up, down, left, or right. This post will help you recognize the different power cord angles and how to read them based on their layout.

We will examine two of the most popular plugs and connectors – NEMA and IEC. Both NEMA and IEC cords have a particular way of determining how the power cord angles are named based on cord direction. Continue reading Understanding Every Angle

Molded or Mechanical

When it comes to choosing a power cord for your electronic device, you can either choose between assembled (mechanical) and an over-molded (molded) cord. An over-molded cord is built using an injection molding process, which combines two or more materials with a molded plastic component over them to create a single part. Molding consolidates materials and parts and usually eliminates the need for an additional assembly. Over-molded cords increase reliability and deliver a completely assembled product.molded

An assembled cord consists of components that must be hard-wired prior to use. The connector is manually connected to the cord. Methods such as screw and clamp designs are often labor-intensive procedures used in the manufacturing of assembled connectors. The manufacturing process will also require tools to open the casing and other various electrical assembly, including modification and wiring.

On the other end of the spectrum, the flexibility of an over-molded plug’s design makes adding personalized customization seamless for the consumer. Mold colors and custom wires can coincide with various electronic components to create a more personalized application. The molded design also provides strain relief, which is good for frequent usage and plug-and-play accessibility. Continue reading Molded or Mechanical

Inner Wire Color Breakdown

When handling electrical wire, it’s imperative to understand and differentiate the corresponding color codes. Knowing the electrical color code is paramount for your safety and the correct configuration of an electrical system. Making the wrong connections can prove to be dangerous or even fatal. It’s not a hard system to learn and the information is handy to keep close by whenever you’re working on an electric wire. I am going to give you the Inner Wire Color Breakdown:

Note: each of the wires serves a different function and the color code of the wires will tell you what that is. Be aware, however, that sometimes exceptions do exist.black wires Continue reading Inner Wire Color Breakdown

Your Power Cord Is Melting? Here’s Why!

It may not happen to everyone and it may not hmelting cordappen often, but you definitely don’t want it happening to you. Today we’re talking about power cords melting: the how’s and why’s and what to do if you suspect it happening to your electronics.

A while ago, for example, there was a recall in which HP laptop power cords were overheating and melting.  HP received 29 reports of melted power cords, some of which caused minor burns and property damage.

So what caused this? Continue reading Your Power Cord Is Melting? Here’s Why!

A Letter from The Office Hero

People seem to believe that office work is the safest work.  Perhaps the lack of explosions or the predictability lulls people into a false sense of security. However, sometimes office work can be very dangerous, even given the somewhat slower pace of work compared to NASCAR drivers or stunt doubles.  Office safety is extremely important and should be reviewed, especially when it comes to power cords and electronics.office hero

The first major issue in office safety is using old and outdated surge protectors or power strips. While your old power plugs may seem to be working fine, it is extremely important to replace them regularly.  Power strips are often under an enormous amount of electronic pressure and are powering a lot of different devices. Continue reading A Letter from The Office Hero

A Guide for High Voltage Cords

There are times when life tells you to go all out and reach extreme measures, whether it’s revving up those power tools to fix up your motorcycle or rocking out on your electric guitar. And we’re ready for those extreme moments, with our high voltage power cords in hand.

People need high voltage cords. Period.  High voltage power cords are frequently used in construction sites.  Factories, or other areas where there are harsh conditions, often need high voltage cords as well. Common appliances around your house need high voltage cords. Even dryers, lawn mowers, or most appliances with motors need high voltage cords. Knowing what type of high voltage cords you need is important, and I am here to help you every step of the way.high voltage

When looking for high voltage cords, you will find three different categories: straight blade, locking blade, and IEC 60309.  Before you get overwhelmed, there’s no need to panic. I’m here to break it down for you. Continue reading A Guide for High Voltage Cords

No More Fuss About UK’s Fuse

UKOut of the dozens of international plugs in the world, the UK-style plug is in a class of its own.  While this plug may look unnecessarily clunky and outdated to the casual observer, it is actually referred as the safest and most efficient plug in the world.

Similar to the US standard plug, the UK standard plug features 3 prongs.  The UK version, however, is much safer. Each of the prongs are coated in insulation, which makes it impossible to be accidently shocked by the plug in case it is incorrectly plugged in. Even if the plug isn’t fully inserted into the wall outlet, touching the exposed prongs will not cause a shock.

UK plugs take extra precaution to prevent people from electrocuting themselves. The UK grounding prong is slightly longer than the other two so that when the plug presses into the wall, the longer one grounds first- making this an important safety measure. Continue reading No More Fuss About UK’s Fuse

Never Cut the Ground Pin

Now the title of this post may lead to some initial confusion.  Some of you may be asking, “what is a ground pin?”  For those of you who are more familiar with plugs may be asking, “why would you even cut one off?”  And, unfortunately, some may be asking,  “what’s the big deal with cutting it off?”

Let’s cover some basics.  For those of you who are not up to date on plug anatomy, we’ll start simple.

ground pinFirst, look at a 3-prong plug (this one is called a NEMA 5-15P).  Notice that there are two flat pins shaped similarly with a third rounded one.  The rounded pin is called the ground pin.  Now, look at your outlet.  If your house or office was built after the 1920’s, you should notice that there are three holes (the outlet for a NEMA 5-15P is called the NEMA 5-15R). Two are side by side and one is at the bottom, forming the “mouth” of the outlet’s face.  This mouth is referred to as the grounded hole and perfectly fits the ground pin.

You may notice that two-pronged equipment works just as well as 3-pronged equipment in these outlets.  Maybe you only have access to 2-prong outlets but are stuck with a 3-prong device.  Or perhaps you realized that you bought a 2-prong extension cord instead of one with 3-prongs.  You figure the equipment you are using will work just as well without the ground pin, and decide to cut it off.  What you are doing, however, can be very dangerous. Continue reading Never Cut the Ground Pin

UL Implements New Regulation

The Underwriters Laboratories (UL) regulations are always changing to keep up with the growing electronics industry. As of July 1, 2015, all UL Listed power supply cords are required to show a specific marking on the plug.

There will be three separate markings depending on the region they are used for. For the USA, there will be one Underwriters Lab brand marking. Another branded mark will show a C-UL/UL mark for USA and Canada, and the third mark will be C-UL just for Canada.ul marking

Many products require redesign or modification before meeting the Underwriters Laboratories’ requirements and becoming eligible for the marking. Continue reading UL Implements New Regulation

Power in Style with Colored Cords

Admit it: you are a bit of an obsessive organizer. You like to keep things tidy and in order. Why not do the same with your electrical solutions? Take your personality to the next level with colored cables and power cords.colored cords

To help make your life easier, instead of labeling them, you can use colored cords to distinguish equipment. Colored cords feature quick, low-profile identification of equipment, so there’s no need to frantically search for power connections designed to specific devices.

You can even organize devices based on vitality. Use red power cords for critical equipment. When constantly rearranging devices, green or blue may come in handy. Using colored power cords is an efficient way of color coding your electrical system. No more guessing or accidental disconnects due to cord hegemony.

Continue reading Power in Style with Colored Cords