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

Molded or Mechanical

When it comes to choosing a power cord for your electronic device, you can either choose between assembled (mechanical) and an over-molded (molded) cord. An over-molded cord is built using an injection molding process, which combines two or more materials with a molded plastic component over them to create a single part. Molding consolidates materials and parts and usually eliminates the need for an additional assembly. Over-molded cords increase reliability and deliver a completely assembled product.molded

An assembled cord consists of components that must be hard-wired prior to use. The connector is manually connected to the cord. Methods such as screw and clamp designs are often labor-intensive procedures used in the manufacturing of assembled connectors. The manufacturing process will also require tools to open the casing and other various electrical assembly, including modification and wiring.

On the other end of the spectrum, the flexibility of an over-molded plug’s design makes adding personalized customization seamless for the consumer. Mold colors and custom wires can coincide with various electronic components to create a more personalized application. The molded design also provides strain relief, which is good for frequent usage and plug-and-play accessibility. Continue reading Molded or Mechanical

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

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®

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

Universal 3500 series is now Approved for China!

Universal Approved for China

Universal approvedUniversal 3500 series is now approved for China. We’re happy to announce the new CCC approval. At the moment, Quail Electronics offers the IEC-C14 to IEC-C13 jumpers on the market to be internationally and domestically approved. However, our 3500 series power cord now carries UL, C-UL, VDE and China’s CCC approval. That means you can take it all over North America, Europe and China without ever having to switch a thing. Travel the globe with our 3500 series!

Electric Vehicle Part 1

EV plug 1

Electric vehicles have become a way of life. To prove that is true is the new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard put into place by the Obama Administration. By 2025, every new vehicle sold in the United States will need to reach at least 54.5 mpg. In order to operate, the plug-in hybrid EVs that function on batteries need to be charged occasionally. No more trips to the over-populated, busy gas stations. You can fill up right at home overnight or at work during the day. The car simply plugs in while it is immobile for a given period of time. It can also charge while being driven – once the car is coming to a stop and the brakes are applied, kinetic energy is transformed into chemical energy in the battery.

In order to operate, the plug-in hybrid EVs that function on batteries need to be charged occasionally. No more trips to the over-populated, busy gas stations. You can fill up right at home overnight or at work during the day. The car simply plugs in while it is immobile for a given period of time. It can also charge while being driven – once the car is coming to a stop and the brakes are applied, kinetic energy is transformed into chemical energy in the battery.

Continue reading Electric Vehicle Part 1

Ferrite Beads: What are they?

IEC-60320-C13 GREY WITH FERRITE_GREYYou see them all the time on your power cords. They may look like a little mini donuts or tubes close to one end of the power cord but what are they and why do we need them? Those are called ferrite beads and they are very useful in reducing electromagnet interference (EFI) and radio frequency (RFI). This can be important when you don’t want your machines to have any disruptions or interference of other kinds of signals. The beads can also be referred to by different names such as blocks, cores, rings, EMI filters and chokes.

Continue reading Ferrite Beads: What are they?

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