Don’t Be Shocked What The Holidays Bring!

It is crucial to practice electrical safety. Especially during the holidays! Here is an easy way to remember to be extra cautious this year, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” style!

On the first day of Christmas, my true love said to me, “Check for bare wires… before you wrap the tree!”


On the second day of Christmas, my true love said to me, “Avoid overloading outlets… only plug one device… into each!” Continue reading Don’t Be Shocked What The Holidays Bring!

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

Plenum Cables. What Are They and Why Are They Useful?

Plenum Cables

Plenum cables are laid in the plenum spaces of buildings with computer installations which is often used to house connecting communication cables. The plenum is the space that is used for air circulation in heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems (HVAC) typically between the structural ceiling and a drop-down ceiling or under a raised floor.

plenum cables

Continue reading Plenum Cables. What Are They and Why Are They Useful?

Universal Adapters

Uni Receptacle

Ever seen one of these and wondered what in the world that is? It is a universal receptacle used for electrical plugs. But not just any, plugs from all over the world! Which is great for all you travelers out there that bring business with you.

A Universal Receptacle features the insertion opening design, allowing it to accept plugs that conform to any International or North American standard. Here at Quail, we offer all plugs from various countries that are compatible with the universal receptacle.

The image below demonstrates a few different cords featuring a country plug on one side and connected to the Universal receptacle on the other.


Now that you are bringing business along with you, I bet you’re wondering about the outlets in that foreign country. This is where a Universal Adapter comes into play. Continue reading Universal Adapters

What is a Strain Relief?

We all know that an electrical power cord is made up of two or more wires running side by side to form an assembly, in which the ends can connect to two devices, allowing electrical signals to flow from one device to another. However, most of us wonder what that big molded thing at the end of a connector is. That big “thing” is called a strain relief. Sounds pretty self-explanatory, right? Just like its name, a strain relief relieves a cable of stresses and tensions that could break the conductor inside or even the connection between the plug and the cable.

There are different types of strain relief too. The first one always comes molded to the jacket and part of the plug. This type of strain relief is mainly designed to avoid any damage to the conductors and separation of the plug from the cord itself.

pic 1

Second, we have a type of strain relief called Cable Glands. Continue reading What is a Strain Relief?

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

Best Locking Extension Cord: The Q-Lock®

If you are like me and experience disconnection with extension cords, then you know how frustrating it is when the cords keep unplugging themselves! For example, I was rearranging my living room but couldn’t really decide where to place the TV. Well, it turns out every time I tried scooting the TV, the cord kept unplugging! It happens almost frequently and it drives me insane! Who has the time to be disconnected? Thank goodness Quail has a new solution for this reoccurring problem. Now introducing the Locking NEMA receptacle, the Q-Lock®!

Q-Lock 1How does this magical piece work? Continue reading Best Locking Extension Cord: The Q-Lock®

Put the Power Cord to the Test

Today we’ll be discussing the various “testing” cords must go through in order to be 100% ready to go and meet the requirements for the UL standards (or international safety agency approvals) of cord sets and power cord supplies.

UL generates standards and test procedures for products and equipment focusing on product safety. Power cords undergo some of the most common tests:insulation

  1. A grounding test. The purpose of a grounding test is to protect the consumer from hazards that can be caused by a faulty ground connection. A ground bond test is a high current AC test that measures resistance of the ground path under high current conditions.
  2. The continuity test is carried out under high current, simulating a fault to earth. This test is performed by applying an AC or DC current between the conductive surface and protective earth.
  3. There is a hi-pot test. This is a stress test of the insulation of a device under test DUT (Device Under Test). This means the voltage used in a hi-pot test can either be AC or DC.

Continue reading Put the Power Cord to the Test