IEC Standard

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

Termination: Wire and Cable

Termination – for all of you getting flashbacks to old Arnold Schwarzenegger films, take a deep breath, I’ll be back.

In this blog, we’ll be talking about the different ways to terminate (or end), a cord. People have different reasons for choosing certain ends to cords.

Cords can end in three different ways: First, we have the typical plug and connector. Then, there’s a stripped wire, and following is custom termination. Standard power cords feature a plug and a connector. These types of cords can be used to power computers, appliances, electronics, etc. Both ends can be plugged in or unplugged.

wire and cable

Continue reading Termination: Wire and Cable

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

Snap-On and Screw-On Inlets

Snap-On and Screw-On Inlets

For today’s “how-to” topic, we will be discussing how to mount a power inlet/outlet onto a device.

There are two different types of ways to mount a power connector. One way is referred to as a Snap-On inlet (as the IEC-C20 inlet shown below). For example, in the data center located in your office building, the Snap-On inlet would be mounted on by inserting into the server rack. Soldered ends or quick disconnect terminals connect to your equipment’s live wires to the metal tabs at the back of the inlet. The “lips,” (highlighted below) which are small pieces of plastic on the sides, holds the inlet in place once connected to the server.

snap-on c20 - lips

 The second type is called a Screw-On inlet. Continue reading Snap-On and Screw-On Inlets

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

Auto-Lock Power Cords Now Available in Color!

TitlePicOh, the Auto-Lock power cords. They are really a dream come true. They plug into any inlet without the hassle of extra hardware or tools and lock into place so you don’t have to worry about any unwanted disconnection. But wouldn’t it be nice if those handy power cords came in color? I mean, the color offers a great organizational tool and looks pretty amazing. But wait! Now they do! Continue reading Auto-Lock Power Cords Now Available in Color!

How to Protect Your Electronics

summerheatpalmtree-587117Ahh, Summer.  It’s already  one of the hottest years on record for much of California, and in light of  soaring temperatures, it’s an important time to closely monitor your valuable electronics and data centers.  You’ll want to make sure air-conditioning and water-cooling systems are working properly, but there are more steps you can take to ensure your electronics survive the heat.

Fact:  Electronic devices tend to run 10-20 degrees higher than room temperature. If temperatures become too hot, outside cooling and ventilation is needed to prevent overheating.  While air-conditioning may fit the bill, in some cases you may want invest in an environmental monitoring system to ensure your electronics keep safe. Continue reading How to Protect Your Electronics

Most Common IEC Terms


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