international power cords

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

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 Auto-Lock Family Keeps Growing!

We’ve recently introduced the Auto-Lock® in colors, vibrant red, green, and blue!

Now, this time, we’re bringing in the Auto-Lock® with angles! Not only can you color code your devices, but you can also organize even better with these angled jumper cords.

The Auto-Lock® now comes in several angled cord configurations, shown in the tables below.

C13 Auto-Lock®

The first configuration in the standard IEC C14 to IEC C13 Auto-Lock® jumper cable. You can choose between 10 Amps to 15 Amps depending on the amount of power you need. These Auto-Lock cords are used in network applications such as servers and PDU’s.

up 6280 AL
down 4929 AL
left 5244 AL
right 3514 AL


c13 up angle c13 down angle
c13 left angle c13 right angle

Continue reading The Auto-Lock Family Keeps Growing!

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

International Travel For The Holidays

funnyholidayplaneAhh, the holidays.  A time for celebrating the important things in life with the people we cherish the most.  Even if that means traveling far and wide, we do so without question, because we know that’s what really matters.  Often, this even involves international travel.  And low and behold there will be some planning involved, especially if you plan to capture memories and maybe take care of some business on the side by bringing your electronics and accessories.  For the uninitiated, or those with limited experience, we’ve come up with a handy step by step guide to making sure you have an (electronically) seamless holiday, and more time to spend with your loved ones.

Continue reading International Travel For The Holidays

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

Australia’s New Power Cord Marking

RCM jpgTo all our customers from down under: you may have noticed something a little different about Quail’s Australian power cord plugs. There is a new marking on the plug that supplements the Australian standard for approving electronics in Australia and New Zealand. 

As of March 1, 2013, The Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) and the New Zealand Radio Spectrum Management (RSM) consolidated regulatory certifications for electrical equipment to the Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM). On that same date, Continue reading Australia’s New Power Cord Marking