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Differences in cabling, differences in Wikipedia

I’ve been having some nasty problems with Yamato with the two ethernet interfaces disappearing from time to time at boot, which isolated my bedroom and all its equipment, since one of those is bridging that to my wireless network (through use of two eth-over-powerline adapters). When reporting these problem with Tyan (the mainboard manufacturer) they suggested me to replace the PSU and upgrade from 550W to at least 650W. Since I had to order some stuff from my German supplier I decided to add to that order a 750W PSU from be quiet! (the same brand as the old one). It arrived yesterday.

The surprise was that when I brought it out, the connector on the back of the unit was not the standard “kid home-shaped” connector that we’re used to (at least in Europe), the IEC C13/C14 couple but rather the much less common “depressed face-shaped” (thanks to Joshua for the name!) IEC C19/C20 couple, which is rated at 16A 250V rather than the much more usual 10A 240V of the former.

While I still don’t think there is need for such a huge cable (16A at 220V is something more than 3KW and I don’t even have enough power for that in my house), this is a bit of a showstopper since I cannot plug it in my UPS as it is, I’ll have to wire up a converter. Which is not difficult given I already have a C14 lead in my drawers, the problem is that I need a C19-C20 cable that I have no idea where to find in my city. Oh well, I have next week to find it before the new disks which I ordered arrive.

As for the differences in Wikipedia, it’s fun to note that while the English C19 page is a disambiguation page that, among other options, leads to the IEC connector page above, the French C19 page instead decides to be less technical by referring directly to a DragonBall character. Thanks to Gilles for pointing that out.

Update 2023-11-14: looks like both the languages in Wikipedia now link to a disambiguation page, and thanks to living for ten years in the British Isles, the C13/C14 couple is now imprinted in my brain as kettle plug despite that fact that none of the kettles I ever owned used it.

Comments 3
  1. My guess is that they do it to fulfill some regional law somewhere and all have to benefit/suffer from it. Compare it to RoHS, most of the equipment you can buy now is RoHS compliant, even in non-EU countries.Probably some number cruncher in management figured out that it’s cheaper (for the company) to always use that higher rated connector than to create multiple versions of the product.(Remark: Engineers in upper management would be heaven from a technical standpoint)I had a similar problem once but with my UPS instead where the available output plugs didn’t match the rest of my equipment.Basically I just went to the nearest DIY store. Most of the have lots of connectors, plugs, sockets and the likes which can be opened. (Unlike the glued together connectors of modern consumer cables)I used a normal cable, cut off the old connector and added the new one. Probably fails all certification, but just works 😉

  2. Yeah I agree that we should have Engineers (in the English sense of the word, not the Italian sense, they differ substantially!) in upper management for the world to be a better place, technically. As for friendliness, that’s a different story altogether…I will do the same regarding the cable, the problem is that I’m not sure where to find it, and I’d rather avoid having to ask someone to drive me through Mestre to find it. I would call to ask, but last time I sent a friend to pick up a connector for me, telling him to ask for a “IEC C14 connector” (the store is an electric hardware store, so it was supposedly their field of knowledge), they had no clue what it was…

  3. The C13/C14 plugs and plugins are extremely common on computer equipment (pretty much only computer equipment) here in the US as well, and in fact, I expect most folks at all familiar with computers would know them as “computer style” power connectors.Years ago I had to buy a replacement cord for some reason or other, but it was easy to find (if overpriced, $10 for what should be perhaps $4-5). Since then I’ve accumulated a host of them from various equipment, mainly as I upgraded monitors over the years.Somewhere along the line I picked up a couple Y cables as well, one to wall plug (male NEMA 5-15 aka Type B), two computer style plugs (C13), and another that has a wall plugin (female NEMA 5-15) at the wall plug end in addition to the wall plug (male NEMA 5-15), thus allowing one to plug two cords into a single outlet. Those are both quite useful as I’m always lacking free plugins and the Y cord in particular is nice for a dual monitor setup such as I have. Since I got those, the power cords from whatever upgrades I get tend to go in my parts cabinet, brand-new, shipping twist-tie still in place.

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