IEC connector

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

IEC connector is the common name for the set of thirteen line sockets (called the connector in the specification) and thirteen panel plugs (called the inlet) defined by International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) specification IEC 60320 (formerly IEC 320). When used with no other qualifiers, "IEC connector" usually refers specifically to the C13 and C14 connectors.

Some types also come in line plug and panel socket versions to use as outlets but these are less common. They include two and three-conductor plugs of various current capacities and temperature ratings, all designed specifically for the purpose of attaching a mains power cord to a piece of equipment. Allowing an interchangeable mains power cord makes it very easy for equipment manufacturers to sell their equipment anywhere in the world as long as their equipment can operate on both 120/240 volt, 50/60 Hz mains power.

In each case, the matching inlet is designated by the even number one greater than the odd number assigned to the line socket, so a C1 fits a C2, and a C15A fits a C16A. Most are polarised (though of course being a worldwide standard they will frequently be connected to wall outlets that are unpolarised), the exceptions being the C1, some C7 and all C9 plugs. All voltage ratings are 250 VAC. All have maximum temperature ratings of 70 °C unless noted.


[edit] Appliance Classes

In addition to being grounded or not, these plugs are differentiated according to their IEC protection class.

Class 0 appliances have no protective-earth connection and feature only a single level of insulation.

Class I appliances must have their chassis connected to electrical earth.

Class II double insulated electrical appliances have been designed in such a way that they do not require a safety connection to electrical earth.

Class III appliances are designed to be supplied from a SELV (Separated or Safety Extra-Low Voltage) power source.

[edit] C1 and C2 connectors

2-conductor 0.2 A, unpolarised. C1 is commonly used for shavers.

[edit] C3 and C4 connectors

2-conductor 2.5 A

[edit] C5 and C6 connectors

The C5 3-conductor 2.5 A is sometimes colloquially called "Mickey Mouse" (because the cross section looks like the silhouette of the Disney character) or "Cloverleaf".

This connector is seen on the majority of laptop power supplies and portable projectors, and notably on the Apple desktop computer iMac G4.

C5 line socket
C6 chassis socket (inlet) on the Apple iMac G4

[edit] C7 and C8 connectors

The C7 and C8 connectors, with two pins rated at 2.5 A, exist in both polarised and unpolarised versions.

The unpolarised C7 is commonly known as a "Figure 8" or "shotgun" connector due to its shape. The polarised C7 is asymmetrical, with one end rounded similarly to the unpolarised version, and the other squared off.

These connectors are often used for small cassette recorders, battery/mains operated radios, some full size AV equipment, laptop computer power supplies, video game consoles, and similar double-insulated appliances. Unpolarised C7 connectors can be inserted into polarized C8 sockets; however, doing so might be a safety risk if the device is designed to expect a polarised power connection.

Unpolarised C7 line connector

[edit] C9 and C10 connectors

2-conductor 6 A (unpolarised)
C9 2-connector 6A

[edit] C11 and C12 connectors

2-conductor 10 A

[edit] C13 and C14 connectors

C13 line plug (outlet)
C14 chassis socket (inlet)

3-conductor 10 A. Most desktop personal computers use the ten-amp panel-mounting C14 inlet to attach the power cord (typically a NEMA 5-15p to C13 cord) to the power supply, as do many monitors, printers and other peripherals. Many older computers also provide a panel-mounting C13 outlet for powering the monitor. In AT form factor computers this outlet was controlled by the physical power switch. With the arrival of ATX the outlet was usually permanently powered, if present on the chassis.

A three-conductor cord with a suitable power plug for the locality in which the appliance is used on one end and a C13 line socket on the other is commonly called an "IEC cord." IEC cords are used to power many pieces of electronic equipment other than computers, for example instrument amplifiers and professional audio equipment.

Cables with a C14 plug at one end and a C13 line socket at the other are commonly available, and are nearly always un-fused. They have a variety of common uses including connecting power between older PCs and their monitors, extending existing power cords, connecting to C13 socket strips (commonly used with rackmount gear to save space and for international standardization) and connecting computer equipment to the output of a UPS (larger UPSs often have C19 outlets as well.)

Power cord featuring a CEE 7/7 plug (European wall socket) at the left end, and an IEC C13 at the right end.

[edit] C15 and C16 connectors

C15 line plug (outlet)

Some electric kettles and similar hot household appliances use a cord with a C15 line plug, and a matching C16 inlet socket on the appliance; their temperature rating is 120 degrees Celsius rather than the 70 degrees Celsius of the similar C13/C14 combination. The official designation in Europe for the C15 and C16 connectors is 'hot condition' connectors.

These are almost identical in form to the C13 and C14 combination, except with a ridge opposite the earth in the C16 socket (preventing a C13 fitting), and a corresponding valley in the C15 plug (which doesn't prevent it fitting a C14 inlet socket). For example, you can use an electric kettle cord to power a computer, but not a computer cord to power a kettle.

Many people are not aware of the subtle differences between the C13/C14 and C15/C16 connectors, and so all are loosely referred to as kettle plug and kettle lead (in the UK) and jug plug (in Australia) when referring to these mains cords.

In Britain the C15 and C16 connectors have replaced and made obsolete the appliance plug in most applications.

Two variations:

  • C15 3-conductor 10 A (120 °C maximum temperature)
  • C15A 3-conductor 10 A (155 °C maximum temperature)

[edit] C17 and C18 connectors

Similar to C13 and C14 connectors. However the C17 and C18 do not have a third pin for earthing. A C18 inlet will accept a C13 line socket but a C14 inlet will not accept a C17 line socket.

IBM's Wheelwriter series of electronic typewriters are one common application. Three wire cords with C13 sockets - which are easier to find - are sometimes used in place of the two wire cords for replacement. In this case, the ground wire will not be connected

Another common application is on the power supplies of Xbox 360 games consoles, replacing the C15 and C16 connectors employed initially.

C17 line socket
C18 chassis plug (inlet)

[edit] C19 and C20 connectors

C19 and C20 connectors, with pins rated at 16 A, are used for some server room applications where higher currents are required, for instance, on high-power servers, UPSs, PDUs and similar datacenter equipment. They are similar to C13 and C14 connectors, but rectangular (without chamfered corners) and with slightly larger pins, rotated so they are parallel to the long axis of the connector.

These are commonly used on larger Cisco catalyst switches, larger servers by HP and Sun, and blade enclosures.

IEC320-C19 16A line socket

[edit] C21 and C22 connectors

3-conductor 16 A (155 °C maximum temperature)

[edit] C23 and C24 connectors

2-conductor 16 A

[edit] Power Entry Modules

Some manufacturers have combined IEC Connectors with other associated power components. See Power entry module for details.

There are some physical compatibilities not noted here.

[edit] References

Personal tools