IEC Has Gone Commando

commando plugHere you are, searching for a quality plug suited for all of your industrial needs. Perhaps you need to provide electricity to your construction site. Maybe you need to power important machinery in your factory. No matter your industrial need, you’re probably looking for a Commando plug, and you may be surprised to realize that there is no listing under Commando Plug! Well, let’s take a second to dive into its history, or more properly, the history of the IEC 60309.

If you’re searching for “Commando plug”, you’re actually referring to the IEC 60309. The “Pin and Sleeve” is another common name for the IEC 60309.  The IEC 60309 is the international standard created by the International Electrotechnical Commission for industrial purposes. After the standard was created, countries began adopting it and slightly changing the name, either for their own standards or their own colloquial terminology. Continue reading IEC Has Gone Commando

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

International Cord Regulations

EUROPEAN_SEV_OVE_KEMA_CEBECInternational approvals can be difficult to understand. Especially when you see a drawing or a specification sheet and only one end of the power cord is approved and not the other. I mean, how can only one part of a cord be approved while the rest is not? To me, that does not make much sense.

If you look into it, in most cases, a power cord is not approved as a whole but in different sections. The plug, the wire, and the connector are all approved separately. They each have a different set of rules they need to follow. But when all countries are using the same IEC standard connector each approval agency will treat things differently. Such as China and Argentina approving the whole cord set instead of separate pieces.

International_Electrotechnical_Commission_LogoIt all comes down to IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) and what they consider as standards. While there are many different approval agencies per country they all use the same IEC connectors. That means they all have to follow IEC regulations. According to IEC 60799 5.2.2., it states “The rated current of the plug shall be not less than the rated current of the connector.” This means the connector cannot have a higher rating than the plug attached. Continue reading International Cord Regulations

The Difference between C13 and C15

The power cord industry can be confusing. But the more you know, the better. Today we will discuss the differences between IEC-C13 and C15 connectors.

First, the obvious difference is the notch on the C15 connector. It is similar in form to the C13, except with a notch opposite the earth in the C15 connector. IEC-C15 connectors will work in the C14 inlets however,
IEC-C13 connectors won’t fit into C16 inlets. Think of it like this: an electric kettle cord can be used to power a computer, but an unmodified computer cord cannot be used to power the kettle.

c13blog      c15blog

Second, the Ic15bloggEC-C15 differs from the C13 because of the temperature rating. These C15 connectors are specifically designed for higher temperature devices, for example: electric kettles, computing networking closets or server rooms, and PoE (Power over Ethernet) switches with higher wattage power supplies. The temperature rating for these connectors is 120°C. Continue reading The Difference between C13 and C15

Most Common IEC Terms

IEC

With over 110 years of electronics industry standardization, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is the world’s leading organization for the preparation and publication of international standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies. IEC’s “electrotechnology” provides a platform to companies, industries, and governments for developing the required international standards for powering electronics. Continue reading Most Common IEC Terms