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Why don't the big boys sell IEC C15 mains leads ?

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Why don't the big boys sell IEC C15 mains leads ?

Post by Valvebloke » Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:18 am

I've got an amp in for repair at the moment which has a high-temperature mains inlet connector and therefore needs a mains lead with the corresponding high-temperature trailing socket, designated IEC C15. At first glance this looks like the run-of-the-mill C13 connector but a closer look shows that the chassis plug has a ridge in it which stops the C13 socket from being inserted. The C15 one has a corresponding groove so it does fit.

I wanted to give the customer a price for the right lead but I can't seem to find any BS1363-plug-to-IEC-C15 socket leads for sale from the major suppliers (Farnell/CPC, RS, Rapid, Mouser, Maplin ...). I can buy them on eBay very cheaply, but you're never sure what you're getting from there and I have seen some distinctly dodgy looking stuff. With something like a mains lead I'd either like a branded product or at least one from a vendor whose quality control ought to be trustworthy. I can buy loose connectors so I could make one up myself (but I'd have to CE mark it). I can also buy converters from C13 to C15 (but why would I want to put an extra unnecessary joint in a mains lead ?). So does anyone know, off-hand, why every supplier is knee deep in hundreds of C13 leads but not one of them offers a single C15 lead at all, except for one of the coiled-spring types that used to allow you to pull your kettle around the worktop, which I did see somewhere ? Or have I missed something ?

In the particular case of this amp it doesn't matter, as it happens. Someone in the ownership chain has obviously faced the same problem as me and has come up with a creative solution. Just take a C13 lead and with a Stanley knife and a hot soldering iron you can hack/melt enough of a slot for the socket to go at least part way onto the plug :qq1 (this really is the lead that came with it !):

Home-made C15 connector small.jpg


VB

 
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Re: Why don't the big boys sell IEC C15 mains leads ?

Post by Cathovisor » Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:32 am

Why do you need a 'hot condition' mains inlet on an amplifier?

 
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Re: Why don't the big boys sell IEC C15 mains leads ?

Post by itmog57 » Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:37 am


 
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Re: Why don't the big boys sell IEC C15 mains leads ?

Post by Mark Hennessy » Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:37 am

Cathovisor wrote:Why do you need a 'hot condition' mains inlet on an amplifier?


Perhaps it's a class A job :aaj

Is this any good, VB?

http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/power-cab ... s/7440941/

 
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Re: Why don't the big boys sell IEC C15 mains leads ?

Post by Valvebloke » Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:50 am

Cathovisor wrote:Why do you need a 'hot condition' mains inlet on an amplifier?


Good question. As it happens it's a Velleman kit so I can't be certain that whoever built it used the supplied connector. But to take out a higher-rated safety-critical component and replace it with a lower-rated one because I don't understand the need for the higher-rated one would be what I think Sir Humphrey would call "courageous" :bba .

Mark and Ivor, thanks for the link to the RS one. I don't know how I managed to miss that. It looks like 1.0mm2 cable too (quite a few of the eBay ones were just 0.75mm2) so ought to be good quality.

VB

 
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Re: Why don't the big boys sell IEC C15 mains leads ?

Post by Alistair D » Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:27 am

Order 2 and put one inside the cabinet. Add a note to the effect that a spare cable is located inside. It might just be a get out of jail free card if the original gets lost.

Al

 
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Re: Why don't the big boys sell IEC C15 mains leads ?

Post by Valvebloke » Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:00 pm

Nice thought Alistair, but this is the K4000 and there's precious little room inside

Image

VB

 
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Re: Why don't the big boys sell IEC C15 mains leads ?

Post by Niall » Tue Apr 26, 2016 4:38 pm

I have always thought that the ones without the notch are only rated at 6A, the notched ones are higher rated hence the one way interchangeability and their use on kettles and why you find them on things like big power amps which draw more than 6A

The fact that a lot of the notched ones are "hot condition" may be simply because the kettle application is the most common.

They were also used on some stage lights so you may find that theatre / disco suppliers stock them.

 
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Re: Why don't the big boys sell IEC C15 mains leads ?

Post by Valvebloke » Tue Apr 26, 2016 5:01 pm

Niall wrote:I have always thought that the ones without the notch are only rated at 6A, the notched ones are higher rated ...


I used to think something like that, but it seems not. The IEC only mention temperature as the difference. The current capacity depends on the cable as well as the terminals in the connector I guess. There are plenty of C15 ones on eBay fitted only with 0.75mm2 flex which I wouldn't be happy with using at high currents.

VB

 
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Re: Why don't the big boys sell IEC C15 mains leads ?

Post by Terrykc » Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:00 pm

When I was installing Cisco routers a few years ago, I was always fascinated as to why the PSUs were fitted with C14 inlet connectors but the mains leads supplied were hot condition C15 type!

If you like, I can have a hunt around to see if I can find some.

 
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Re: Why don't the big boys sell IEC C15 mains leads ?

Post by Valvebloke » Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:18 pm

Thanks for the offer Terry. Actually I think the customer is going to source one of his own. I really only needed a price and a part number so I could complete the estimate for the work. But that's when I discovered that these things are about 10 million times rarer than the other sort. I could have understood a few thousand times rarer maybe. I just wondered why the difference in availability was so galactic. Even given that I now know RS sell one, I'm still surprised.

VB

 
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Re: Why don't the big boys sell IEC C15 mains leads ?

Post by Terrykc » Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:32 pm

Could the scarcity value be because they only mass market for them are the very short ones that H & S decree have to be provided with kettles?

I can't think of another use, off the top of my head.

Certainly the Cisco ones are the only ones I've seen and the only reason I might have any kicking around is because some of our cabinets were fitted with IEC Mains Distribution, so the Cisco 13A lead was replaced by an IEC C13 to C14 lead.

 
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Re: Why don't the big boys sell IEC C15 mains leads ?

Post by turretslug » Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:59 pm

Further to Terry's point, perhaps many suppliers are actually reluctant to stock anything other than short C15 leads in case a long one does get used for a kettle and an accident ensues with all the blame knock-on, one of those small-risk-but-big consequence things?

It is possible to find quite a few stockists of the large translucent re-wireable C15 line sockets that seem to be popular with the boutique mains lead crowd and some of the lesser-plating versions aren't outrageously expensive- but that raises the certification thing, as VB mentioned.

Colin.


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