Identifying Male and Female

For electrical power cords, technicians refer to the ends as male and female. The male being the plug and the female being the receptacle or socket.

Almost every electronic device that you use in your home or office or anywhere for that matter, have ends that come in male and female components. I bet you’re a little confused as to what that means. This standard design ensures that one end fits only with the opposite gender, helping to regulate cables for power and digital signals.

The male differs from the female in that it has one or more projecting pins designed as a live contact, a neutral contact, and an optional earth (ground) contact, separated by a plastic insulator. The female has one or more sockets just big enough to accept the male pins and provides a connection point that delivers electricity once the plug is placed into it. Males can also have 2-3 conductors (pins) and females also, can have 2-3 holes (sockets).

The images below show an IEC connector that refers to the power supply inlet which is commonly seen on desktop PC power supplies.

C14 (male) power inlet, the gender of the end is defined by the pins within the hood – either 2 or 3 conductors

c14 end

Continue reading Identifying Male and Female

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

GFCI Plug: A Cord For A Safe Surge

NEMA 5-15P GFCI_BLACKEver made a mistake and wish life had a reset button? In the power cord industry, Quail Electronics understands that life isn’t perfect. However, when dealing with electrical equipment, safety is a vital frame of thought we take seriously when powering your items. Regardless of the utility, assuring a safe solution in your home to potential health hazards from electronics is an important topic that necessitates just the right powering configuration. A ground fault circuit interrupter, or a GFCI, is a device that is designed primarily to prevent electric shock. GFCI outlets are often found in living rooms, kitchens and bathrooms.

You’ve probably noticed a GFCI near your sink area. The device automatically disables an electric circuit when it detects that electrical current is flowing along an unintended path. The GFCI measures the current leaving the hot side of a power source and juxtaposing it with the current returning to the neutral side. Any discrepancy in electric current flowing will activate the GFCI and shut the power off. If there is any imbalance, the GFCI trips the circuit. It is able to sense an electrical current mismatch as small as 4 milliamps, and it may react as quickly as 1/30th of a second. Continue reading GFCI Plug: A Cord For A Safe Surge

We Got Your Piggyback – No More Squealing!

PiggybackACBunk beds. Cargo pants. Perhaps even rearranging that walk-in closet into a storage unit. We’re always looking to find ways to save space while increasing efficiency. With this in mind, Quail Electronics proudly offers a space-saving solution for your power cord needs. The piggyback plug will allow you to tap into the AC power outlet and power a piece of equipment holiding a usable AC power outlet. Continue reading We Got Your Piggyback – No More Squealing!

I come from a land down under – the great wall – socket

“Paper or plastic?” We’ve all been asked this paradoxical quandary at the checkout counter. Both are similar in nature, and serve the same purpose. However, both are mutually exclusive, and derive from different materials. Yet, either solution offers strikingly similar functionality.

This is also true in the power cord industry. As a worldwide leader in power cord configurations, Quail provides scores of North American and international combinations to fulfil your home or office’s electrical solutions. Two power cord configurations from cross-continental hemispheres in particular may appear identical in design, yet are fraternal in operation. After all, everybody knows you don’t play ping pong with a boomerang.

The Australian three-blade conductor power cord mirrors its Chinese three-pronged equivalent for domestic or industrial power cord configurations. Despite their similar architecture, the primary difference is the Australian model features insulated live and neutral blades. Continue reading I come from a land down under – the great wall – socket

Finding the Right Dryer Plug

The other day, my friend called me in a panic when he moved into his new house.dryers  When trying to install his new dryer, he noticed his dryer plug did not match the outlet.  His dryer plug only had three prongs, while they outlet had four holes.  While this may be alarming, it is a very common problem.

Prior to 1997, all dryer cords and receptacles only had three prongs and three receptacle holes.  There was one neutral prong and two positive prongs.  However, in 1997, the National Electric Code mandated that all dryers be outfitted with 4 prongs.  A ground prong was added.  If you have read my previous posts on grounding, you will know that grounding an electronic device is very important for safety reasons. Continue reading Finding the Right Dryer Plug

The Magical and Mystical Rotating Plug

rotating2Wouldn’t it be nice if all of your power cords knew exactly what you were thinking, and knew exactly how to rearrange themselves? Imagine the possibilities! Power cord, I need you to fit in the small space between my desk and the outlet! Power cord, I need you to rotate about 45 degrees! Power cord, bake me a cake! Unfortunately, technology is not all the way there yet. But while power cords may not be able to produce baked goods, we do have a jump start on the rotating plug! Continue reading The Magical and Mystical Rotating Plug

The History of Electrical Sockets and Plugs

globeHave you ever wondered why there are so many different sockets and plugs and cords when you travel the world?  I often hear friends complaining about blowing sockets out when they go overseas, or about having to buy so many different adapters when traveling.

“Clark, why can’t they all be the same?” they ask me. “Why haven’t power cords been standardized?”

There is a long answer and a short answer.  The short answer is they have.  The long answer is where we start our story. Don’t yawn! While this tale may seem simple, it is a hallowed story marked by patent corruption, war, and colonialism… Continue reading The History of Electrical Sockets and Plugs