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DIY Power Cable with US Power Plug


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Hello.

 

I have a couple of good quality US Main Plug that I would like to try. Yep, I understand that it is not recommended to use International Power Plug other than AU plug and it can void insurance but want to try it anyhow .  I have universal Power Strip so US Plug will fit fine.

 

One thing that I am unsure is polarity of US Power Plug. It looks like reversed the phase. AU power plug has usually left is Live and Right is Neutral. But US Plug indicates opposite, meaning Left is Neutral and Right is Live.  In this case, is it recommended to ignore what US Plug indicates and wire them as AU power plug does since I am using it in Australia?

 

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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Please ignore people that post idiotic comments without having any knowledge of electronics. You are on the right path and if you want to experiment and take responsibility for your actions continue a

Melbourne GPO fire 2001    I worked a little on the refurb and the story went that the fire started from daisy chained power boards and electric heaters plugged into them BTW "

I know of an Australian capital city's GPO (General Post Office) that was burnt down because of a couple of Australian approved power boards daisy changed together.. And you are asking about playing w

1 hour ago, Spider27 said:

One thing that I am unsure is polarity of US Power Plug. It looks like reversed the phase. AU power plug has usually left is Live and Right is Neutral. But US Plug indicates opposite, meaning Left is Neutral and Right is Live.  In this case, is it recommended to ignore what US Plug indicates and wire them as AU power plug does since I am using it in Australia?

There is your clue that this is unwise.

An AU socket has the Active terminal on the left when looking at the socket from the plug side.

An AU plug has the Active terminal on the right when looking from the prong side.

 

My guidance would be that you need to ask an electrician to do this work for you and issue you a certificate of electrical safety.

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8 minutes ago, pwstereo said:

There is your clue that this is unwise.

An AU socket has the Active terminal on the left when looking at the socket from the plug side.

An AU plug has the Active terminal on the right when looking from the prong side.

 

Thank you and Yes, that is how I understood how to wire the AU power plug. Is it supposed to be wired with US power plug to be used in AU environment? 

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You need to maintain the correct AC input arrangement for the equipment you are powering.

In Australia that would be that the Active line is switched if a single plole poweer switch is fitted.

Thatt would also be that the Active line is fused if the equipment is fitted with a mains fuse.

 

Your universal powerboard may or may not maintain the correct Active and Neutral positions, have you checked?

Why do you use a universal socket powerboard? It seems likely to have less sucure contact and retention of AU plugs than a proper AU powersocket would.

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1 minute ago, pwstereo said:

You need to maintain the correct AC input arrangement for the equipment you are powering.

In Australia that would be that the Active line is switched if a single plole poweer switch is fitted.

Thatt would also be that the Active line is fused if the equipment is fitted with a mains fuse.

 

Your universal powerboard may or may not maintain the correct Active and Neutral positions, have you checked?

Why do you use a universal socket powerboard? It seems likely to have less sucure contact and retention of AU plugs than a proper AU powersocket would.

 

Hi Peter. Thank you for the info. 

 

I just wired same way as AU plug does (Active terminal on the left when looking at the socket from the plug side) and it seems working fine and amp runs quietly and sounds good to me. I would be nervous if I do what US plug indicates because it is opposite to what AU plug normally does. 

 

I am using Consonance PW-3. The reason for using this is because it sounds noticeably better than other AU powerboard that I have tried.

Most of AU powerboard that I have tried has filter built in and it degrade the sound for me.

 

I heard that Isotek powerboard is better but it is a bit too expensive for me and might need a bit more time to save funds to try that one. 

 

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Just now, Spider27 said:

One thing noticed is that US Plug fits tight and better contact into PW-3 universal powerboard than plugging AU Plug into it.

 

I'm not surprised - the design of those universal outlets are a compromise when it comes to AU plugs.

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The US plug is designed to work on a 115V system.  In Australia you will be putting 240V+ through it.  Not advisable at all, because you could burn your house down.  Unless you are feeding it 115V through an appropriate step-down transformer.  Any any work on mains power needs to be done by a registered electrician, so that the electrical system is safe to protect people's lives. 

 

Not what you wanted to hear, but someone needed to say it (thinking of your safety).

 

 

 

Edited by audiofeline
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8 minutes ago, audiofeline said:

The US plug is designed to work on a 115V system.  In Australia you will be putting 240V+ through it.  Not advisable at all, because you could burn your house down.  Unless you are feeding it 115V through an appropriate step-down transformer.  Any any work on mains power needs to be done by a registered electrician, so that the electrical system is safe to protect people's lives. 

 

Thank you for your feedback.  

 

We are talking about power cable plug that has 3 pin metal pins with housing... no electronics.... It is a bit hard to believe that it requires step down  transformer to use US plug power cable that IEC socket on the other end.

 

Does it mean that we need to use step down transformer to use this type of cable?

 

 

Edited by Spider27
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Maybe i was not clear enough hence the confusion.. I am referring to the independent power cable that has US plug on one end and IEC socket on the other end.

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3 hours ago, Spider27 said:

I just wired same way as AU plug does (Active terminal on the left when looking at the socket from the plug side) and it seems working fine and amp runs quietly and sounds good to me.

What you've done is correct.

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Plugs, sockets, insulation, etc. are all rated to be used with different voltages.  Put higher voltages through it and it becomes unsafe - the insulation can't contain the voltage, or it melts.  The US plugs are designed to be used on 115V systems or lower.  Aust. plugs are rated for a 240V system. 

 

So it would be relatively safe (but probably against code) if you were in the 115V US wanting to use a 240V Aust. plug, because you will be using a lower voltage than it's maximum.  But 240V is over double what the 115V US plug is designed for. 

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Please ignore people that post idiotic comments without having any knowledge of electronics. You are on the right path and if you want to experiment and take responsibility for your actions continue as planned. You are right, you have to wire your US plugs as you would normally do with a standard AU plug. When facing your plug - left is N - right is L - down is ground. 

 

And a word of wisdom to some of the comments - the voltage does not burn your house down - stupidity and excess current do. Therefore, if anything, US plug current rating of 15A  is safer to use on AU mains network than the standard AU plugs. Voltage drives your insulation thickness choice and that is mainly applicable to cables since all plugs have enough insulation thickness for much higher voltage than 240V. 

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And this is why I made the nonsensical suggestion to get an actual electrician to change the plug and issue a certificate of electrical safety. No electrician who follows the rules would do that. As noted above, 240V on a plug rated for 115V is not sensible.

 

The idea that a USA or UK power socket and plug is somehow audibly superior to an Australian plug and socket is ridiculous beyond belief.

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... and to add, to support the naysayers - what is the main safety difference between US and AU plugs - and where AU plugs are generally safer than most of the other ones is plastic rings around the L and N prongs. This prevents incidental shorting of the lines if the plug is not pushed all the way in the socket and something conductive drops in the gap. However small probability of that happening - it can happen. The US plugs do not have that. 

 

Unfortunately, both country standards specify ground prong to be oriented down (anthropomorphic tendencies I guess). The opposite orientation would increase safety of both designs, but would be much more beneficial to the US plug, 

Edited by Decky
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Maybe it is not fair comparison and it is what I currently have.

 

The cable made earlier today is made of Oyaide IEC socket and extremely solidly built US power plug. The cable itself is sourced from AU electrical wholesaler which is very thick and heavy.

 

The top AU power plug sealed is sourced from JayCar and it looks like a toy comparing with US power plug...

 

I will eventually change US plug to proper heavy duty AU one as soon as I source a good alternative one. For the time being, will try this cable as they are with US power plug for short term testing purpose.  Hope my house still stands during the testing period .....

 

IMG_6088.JPG

Edited by Spider27
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4 minutes ago, Spider27 said:

Maybe it is not fair comparison and it is what I currently have.

 

The cable made earlier today is made of Oyaide IEC socket and extremely solidly built US power plug. The cable itself is sourced from AU electrical wholesaler which is very thick and heavy.

 

The top AU power plug sealed is sourced from JayCar and it looks like a toy comparing with US power plug...

 

I will eventually change US plug to proper heavy duty AU one as soon as I source a good alternative one. For the time being, will try this cable as they are with US power plug for short term testing purpose.  Hope my house still stands during the testing period .....

 

IMG_6088.JPG

The Clipsal 56P10 might work if your diameter is 11mm or less. If you remove the orange inner ring it will do 14mm. That is a proper AU plug. 

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4 hours ago, Spider27 said:

 

Most of AU powerboard that I have tried has filter built in and it degrade the sound for me.

 

I heard that Isotek powerboard is better but it is a bit too expensive for me and might need a bit more time to save funds to try that one. 

 

I found the $129 Belkin Pro Series 4000 to be very good and for me had better dynamics and power than the Isotek Polaris, and is very clean sounding. Gave me a wide and deeper soundstage than other power boards. 

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6 minutes ago, Spider27 said:

Maybe it is not fair comparison and it is what I currently have.

 

The cable made earlier today is made of Oyaide IEC socket and extremely solidly built US power plug. The cable itself is sourced from AU electrical wholesaler which is very thick and heavy.

 

The top AU power plug sealed is sourced from JayCar and it looks like a toy comparing with US power plug...

 

 

IMG_6088.JPG

 

Correct, S - the top Au plug is a standard back-entry Aus plug.  Except it's a Jaycar Chinese-made plug - not a 'genuine Oz' Clipsal / HPM plug.

 

I doubt that the thick cable in your pic can be used with the Aus plug shown - the overall diameter of the wire and the guage of the conductors just won't fit.

 

I  use HPM 106/2WE (heavy duty, side entry) plugs in the power cables I make from thick (4mm ^2) flex.

 

Andy

 

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3 minutes ago, andyr said:

I  use HPM 106/2WE (heavy duty, side entry) plugs in the power cables I make from thick (4mm ^2) flex.

 

Andy

 

Hi Andy. Thank you for the suggestion. I just googled it and it looks very similar to the one that I also got from JayCar the other day. (Here is the photo :) ) I have not seen HPM one physically but this JayCar Side Entry one looks very cheap too comparing with heavy duty Clipsal one recommended or US plugs shown. 

 

 

IMG_6089.JPG

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13 minutes ago, andyr said:

I  use HPM 106/2WE (heavy duty, side entry) plugs in the power cables I make from thick (4mm ^2) flex.

Andy

 

 

Hi, Andy. May I know what power cable that you use to make your own cable?  The one that I have is very sturdy and well made and lots of copper inside but very stiff and not flexible at all. 😓

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19 minutes ago, Mr Thorens said:

I found the $129 Belkin Pro Series 4000 to be very good and for me had better dynamics and power than the Isotek Polaris, and is very clean sounding. Gave me a wide and deeper soundstage than other power boards. 

Thank you very much for the suggestion. I might try it for myself soon.  I tried THOR powerboard and they were a bit disappointment.

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13 minutes ago, Spider27 said:

Thank you very much for the suggestion. I might try it for myself soon.  I tried THOR powerboard and they were a bit disappointment.

Yes I didn’t want to mention that one, it killed the dynamics and compressed the soundstage. The Belkin was much much better and has remained in my system. 

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10 hours ago, audiofeline said:

Put higher voltages through it and it becomes unsafe - the insulation can't contain the voltage, or it melts. 

as @Deckysays 

10 hours ago, Decky said:

the voltage does not burn your house down - stupidity and excess current do.

The higher AU mains voltage means lower current, less heat...V= I x R, Power = V x I etc...

...I will admit I'm a complete disbeliever that a power cord can make any "audible" difference though...

...any "kettle" cord is fine from my perspective.

 

mike

 

 

Edited by almikel
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36 minutes ago, almikel said:

...I will admit I'm a complete disbeliever that a power cord can make any "audible" difference though...

...any "kettle" cord is fine from my perspective.

You are definitely saving yourself lots of money being a "complete disbeliever".

 

From my own positive experience, I am a believer and have enjoyed the performance improvements  that many upgrades to my system's at times more than dozen power cables have yielded over the last 25 years.  And I have been using US plugs for the last 20 years or so and nothing has ever got barely warm to the touch let alone hot enough to melt or burn... 

 

Sincere question to all – has anyone known of a fire to be started or a house actually burned down from US AC power connectors  being used in residential scenario Australia?  I know the thought is truly diabolical and I would never wish it upon anyone but has it ever actually happened?

Edited by Aperalim
typo
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3 hours ago, Spider27 said:

...The top AU power plug sealed is sourced from JayCar and it looks like a toy comparing with US power plug [on the lead]...

IMG_6088.JPG

Yes, but looks can be deceiving.  You can fit an expensive-looking cover around the cheap Aust plug and it will look high-class but still essentially be the same cheap plug.  But ultimately what determines the quality is the pins, the wire connectors, and to a lesser extent, the insulation (providing it meets safety requirements), etc.  The expensive-looking US plug may not have as good hardware under the covers (eg. lower-quality metal in the pins, poor wire connectors, less secure strain relief, etc). 

 

A good quality Aust. plug is the Clipsal 1439SHD 10A.  The HD differentiates it from the standard similar looking plug (without the HD in the product code), and it has a 13.6mm cord opening at the back (and this could probably be made a few mm larger if required). 

I've used these to replace some plugs which are similar to the one in the packet in the above photo.  But I will admit that my primary motivation was to have something that looked better, to be a better visual match to the quality of the devices, rather than expecting any audio benefits (which I haven't heard). 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Spider27 said:

 

Hi Andy. Thank you for the suggestion. I just googled it and it looks very similar to the one that I also got from JayCar the other day. (Here is the photo :) ) I have not seen HPM one physically but this JayCar Side Entry one looks very cheap too comparing with heavy duty Clipsal one recommended or US plugs shown. 

 

 

IMG_6089.JPG

 

 

That one is not designed for heavy-duty cable - it is a cheap, Chinese-made copy of HPM 106/1WE.

 

10 hours ago, Spider27 said:

Hi, Andy. May I know what power cable that you use to make your own cable?  The one that I have is very sturdy and well made and lots of copper inside but very stiff and not flexible at all. 😓

I bought it from Laurence & Hansen.

 

Andy

 

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On 25/08/2020 at 2:01 PM, Spider27 said:

Hello.

 

I have a couple of good quality US Main Plug that I would like to try. Yep, I understand that it is not recommended to use International Power Plug other than AU plug and it can void insurance but want to try it anyhow .  I have universal Power Strip so US Plug will fit fine.

 

One thing that I am unsure is polarity of US Power Plug. It looks like reversed the phase. AU power plug has usually left is Live and Right is Neutral. But US Plug indicates opposite, meaning Left is Neutral and Right is Live.  In this case, is it recommended to ignore what US Plug indicates and wire them as AU power plug does since I am using it in Australia?

 

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

https://www.sparkydirect.com.au/p/56P310/clipsal-56p10-3-pin-10amp-straight-plug-56-series.html

 

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57 minutes ago, Spider27 said:

Has anyone tried this one? Kaiser AUS Main Plug.

 

https://www.mcru.co.uk/product/martin-kaiser-aus-mains-plug/

 

Not sure how it compares with Clipsal ones but looks very well made in black and quite popular.

It works, accepts Belden 19364 (just) but inside it has a connector from the cable mount to the prongs that is quite narrow gauge. The Clipsal 1439SHD is superior and AU approved. 

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On 25/08/2020 at 8:11 PM, Decky said:

Voltage drives your insulation thickness choice and that is mainly applicable to cables since all plugs have enough insulation thickness for much higher voltage than 240V. 

 

(HA HA HA HA) um no. Always pay attention to rated voltage. Yes, most cable insulation is designed for global markets but I'd not assume it all is. 

 

On 25/08/2020 at 10:41 PM, Aperalim said:

Sincere question to all – has anyone known of a fire to be started or a house actually burned down from US AC power connectors  being used in residential scenario Australia?  I know the thought is truly diabolical and I would never wish it upon anyone but has it ever actually happened?

 

Yup.

 

On 25/08/2020 at 9:04 PM, Spider27 said:

Thank you very much for the suggestion. I might try it for myself soon.  I tried THOR powerboard and they were a bit disappointment.

 

You'd do better trying something fit for purpose. Thor advertises their boards for surge protection and mains filtering, and from that perspective they're excellent. 

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2 hours ago, Spider27 said:

Has anyone tried this one? Kaiser AUS Main Plug.

 

https://www.mcru.co.uk/product/martin-kaiser-aus-mains-plug/

 

Not sure how it compares with Clipsal ones but looks very well made in black and quite popular.

the 1439HD or SHD what ever it's called these days is very good.

 

At work we had a heater once that melted a power plug. Changed it to a 1439HD and it worked perfectly after that.  

 

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23 hours ago, misternavi said:

 

***DISCLAIMER - I am NOT a registered nor licensed electrician. ***

 

 

If you might be a cheap ar*se like me, the Clipsal 56 industrial series plugs work a treat for the male plug.

They can accommodate up to 17mm cable, but more importantly they provide a path for strangulation of the conductors.

This is important because - if for some reason the lead is pulled, snagged, that the conductors cannot pull pressure on the physical connection of the conductor to the pin, compromising that physical/electrical connection.

 

Pic #2 is an old Clipsal 56 Series plug. Note - it does not have the black insulation covered pins.  New ones do.

 

If you don't mind spending some money, the Furutech are the ones to go for.   (around $60)   I've tried all varied sorts of other plugs, but near all of them I found to be total crap and unsatisfactory from a safety perspective.

 

The Furutech feature an external strangulation clamp, that while looks like it might be designed by a farmer for the back of his tractor - I have found works very well.  Furutech did have an issue with their pins when they first started making these AU male plugs, but I believe after a few complaints back then that they have redesigned that aspect and now it is no longer an issue at all.

 

 

Furetech mains au.jpg

CPSL 56 male au.jpg

CPSL 56 strangle.jpg

Edited by Red MacKay
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59 minutes ago, Red MacKay said:

If you might be a cheap ar*se like me, the Clipsal 56 industrial series plugs work a treat for the male plug.

They can accommodate up to 17mm cable, but more importantly they provide a path for strangulation of the conductors.

Like you Red. I’ve tried lots of plugs. I actually like the Clipsal plugs  a lot.  But if you have the cash the. Furutech Is the one to go for.  I’ve brought in many from China, as many of the power cable people do, and IMHO most are crap. And dangerous.  I’ve thought about making some for membets, but mine would be tagged and tested by a qualified electrician before going out. 

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On 25/08/2020 at 9:04 PM, Spider27 said:

Thank you very much for the suggestion. I might try it for myself soon.  I tried THOR powerboard and they were a bit disappointment.

 

On 25/08/2020 at 9:18 PM, Mr Thorens said:

Yes I didn’t want to mention that one, it killed the dynamics and compressed the soundstage. The Belkin was much much better and has remained in my system. 

The Thor ones will is you use them for amps, but work really well for everything else. I use a pair daisy chained for my source.

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Go talk to David or Michael out at AV in Ringwood.

 

They always looked after me and times are tough...

 

...And how much is your life worth.  I worked in a cemetery for many years and the thing I learned is you are a longtime dead and there is NO playing with any audio toys after you are in the box in the back of the herse!

 

Get yourself one of these testers too.  They will indicate 5 different faults. and when all your connections are correct.

 

Nope - I have no idea where you get them from, as this is an old one.

 

If you make a short adaptor with a male IEC to go into a female - you can use this tester to check for wrong connections at the end of your IEC cord too.

 

 

AC fault tester3.jpg

AC fault tester 2.jpg

AC fault tester1.jpg

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48 minutes ago, Bill125812 said:

Like you Red. I’ve tried lots of plugs. I actually like the Clipsal plugs  a lot.  But if you have the cash the. Furutech Is the one to go for.  I’ve brought in many from China, as many of the power cable people do, and IMHO most are crap. And dangerous.  I’ve thought about making some for membets, but mine would be tagged and tested by a qualified electrician before going out. 

I agree 100%. If it’s not Furutech (expensive) then the Clipsal 56P310 is the way to go. 

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