Who's rewired their house for this hobby?

tony duell ard at p850ug1.demon.co.uk
Sun Nov 23 16:56:11 CST 2014

> > If you ant to do this, simply install 3 phase CEE Outlets.
> >
> > Are those the ones that we used to call 'BS4343'? Red for 415V, blue for 230V, yellow for
> > 110V, used for single and 3 phase over here ? Not common domestically in the UK, but
> > AFAIK they are permitted, and do turn up occasionally.
> Yes, seems to be the same. For 230V they are seldom used, you see them on

The 230V ones are relatively uncommon over here (although most electical suppliers
would stock them, they are not commonly used, certainly not in normal houses). They
do turn up when you need a socket rated at more then 13A (these follow an approximate
doubling sequence -- 16A, 32A ,63A, 125A)

> camping places mostly. But hey are common for 3phase power now, at least

Sure. Over here there are both 4 pin (3 phases and earth), and 5 pin (ditto, with the 
star point neutral) available.

Incidentally, for those who have not come across these connectors, you can't put a plug into the 
'wrong' socket. A blue 3 pin 16A (used for 230v single phase) socket will not take a yellow
3 pin 16A plug (110V)

The mains input on my lathe is a 230V 16A plug made as part of the switchbox moulding. The supplied
cable has a socket to fit that (blue, of course) and a normal BS1363 plug on the other end.

> for 3x16 and 3x32A. Have seen some yellow ones in a box in the workshop of
> an electrican some years before, but never again.

The 110V ones are very common here. Used on industrial portable power tools (which as I 
mentioned are 110V)
> I've got some chinese "cold device cables" (translation from german
> decription that's common here) with 16A Plugs and the typical in computer

I assume that's the normal IEC 320 C13/C14 connector. We call it 'cold condition', the
'hot codition' one is the one with the notch between the live/neutral pins as used on
kettles, etc. I can remember when for some unknown reason the former was rated at 
6A in the UK, the latter at 10A, for all the current-carrying parts were identical. Perhaps it
was that the 'hot condition' insulation could withstand a greater temperature rise

> PSU used conncetors at the other end in boxes with new computer PSU's.
> The print on the cable stated "16A 3x0.75mm^2". I had all kind of trouble
> with that cables, the contact springs wherent really springs, at least not
> made from "Federbronce" (how we call that here) and the cables got warm ..

Phosphor Bronze?

> I've cut such a thing in to peaces...exactly 4 thin twisted wires in each
> plastic isolated wire and in the plug they where not soldered, only twisted
> trough a hole in the pin from the plug..cheap and exremely dangerous...

I've heard about a number of absolutely lethal cables that were sold over here.
Not from name brands of course. Things like unfused plugs, plugs with a fuse 
that wasn't actually in the circuit, fuses that exploded if there was a short circuit
(they are supposed to be HRC sand-filled fuses),wires far too thin, no earth wire, 
live/neutral swappd etc. Quite often I just don't trust moudled mains leads. I 
buy a rewireable IEC320 socket, a length of cable and a known-brand 
BS1363 plug. That way I know it's wired correctly and safely. 

> Since the primitive transformer type wall warts are forbidden for
> efficiency purposes now, they have switch mode PSUs this days and

Another daft regulation IMHO. 

I wonder... Since these are low power devices anyway, how does the polution caused by the 
wasted energy in the linear supply compare to that caused by making and scrapping the SMPSU,
particularly since the latter often have a ridiculously short life,

> they contain fuses or fuse resistores now.

So they claim.  I am not convinced. I am more convinced that the sample submitted for 
approval has a fusible resistor... That sold has saved a fraction of a penny/cent. 

> I don't like switchmode PSUs for everything (because of the radiations) and

What radiation?

> cheap chinese things aren't really loocking secure from the inside, but I
> really hate that thermo fused primitive wall warts where the transformer
> cores are got saturated w/o any load at the secondary, overheated this way

Unless the transformer was underspecified (too small a core area), this should not
happen. I have never had a mains transformer saturate like that. What I have had is 
wall warts with several output connectors (often a cross-shaped plug with 4 'pins' to fit
2.5mm jack, 3.5mm jack, 2.1mm coaxial power and 2.5mm coaxial power, a separate 
1.3mm coaxial power, and another seprate PP3-type battery clip) where the output can be
short-circuited if the plugs touch. On at least one occasion the wall wart became hot enough
to melt its casing, but the transformer primary (supposed to fuse in a safe way under overload
did not open. 

Again, for anything I depend on I tend to make my own PSU. WIth a 50Hz transformer feeding
possibly linear or switching regulators. And with at least mains and output side fuses and often a thermal fuse.


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