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"Plug ugly" - Off in the distance
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May 2016

The Bellinghman
Date: 2010-09-23 13:01
Subject: "Plug ugly"
Security: Public
When it comes to mains plugs, the British Type G is probably the gold standard. Three pin so you can't insert it the wrong way, with socket shutters so kiddies can't poke into the live socket hole, part insulated shafts so you can't get a shock from the pins, fused so a short in the wire can't start a fire, it's been built with a safety-first attitude. It says "Yes, this electricity stuff is powerful and dangerous, and we need tiger bars to keep it contained".

You can also swing one on a cable as an effective anti-burglar weapon.

And that's its problem: it's bloody massive. On our recent trip, we had a bunch of universal plug adaptors with us, and for one item we took the Euro mains lead, because it was lighter than the UK plug lead and we'd be able to use it anyway.

So it was with some interest that we encountered the Australian socket for the first time. For our adaptors, using a .au socket meant bringing out the US two blade section, and gently twisting the blades so they were angled apart. And into the socket and hey - unlike the US case itself, where the weight of the adaptor would pull the whole thing down, these stayed where put.

The downside was that on a double socket, we couldn't get two in - the sockets are set much closer together. Happily, there were enough sockets around we could always make use of three adaptors.

(As for HK - they use the Type G - so we used the adaptors for that Euro lead).
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User: nojay
Date: 2010-09-23 12:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It's nearly October, where are the sales announcements? The website claims they will be releasing plugs and associated hardware to the general public in 2010 but the last news update was back in February this year when the design won yet another award. The big news they should have had on the website by this time would be that the production design has received type approval and safety qualification from the British Standards Institute -- see BS 196 for details. That's where they brutalise the plug to ensure it fails safe, doesn't catch fire etc. even if it is abused, has water pored over it, gets prodded by idiots with screwdrivers etc. Without that type approval the plugs and other devices can't be legally sold here.

I suspect this folding plug is in fact vapourware; winning design awards and being a neat idea (and having a nice website) does not necessarily make it a certainty to reach the market.
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User: k425
Date: 2010-09-23 17:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm not saying it's going to be here on time - Apple aside, most new products don't hit their schedules. But I do think we're looking at a product that's probably going to appear in the next few years. Which in my world isn't too much of "a long wait".
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