Stromadapter in Zeiten der Globalisierung

MY POWER STRUGGLE (by Jack Korten)

Most desktop computers use the C14 inlet to attach the power cord to the power supply, as do monitors, printers and other accessories.

A power cord with a power plug on one end and this C13 connector on the other end is commonly called an IEC cord. (International Electrotechnical Commission).

The C5 coupler is also known as a cloverleaf coupler or "Mickey Mouse" coupler. The C6 inlet is used on laptop power supplies and portable projectors.

This C7 coupler is known as a figure- 8 or shotgun connector.
It is used in conjunction with inlet C8 for audio
-visual equipment, video game consoles and similar double- insulated appliances.

The C1 coupler and C2 inlet are commonly used for electric shavers.

It is the part that is connected to the other end of the power cord which has given me headaches over the years, hence the title: "My Power Struggle"

My first encounter with incompatibility was when I moved from Europe to South Africa to take up employment with a company in Cape Town. It was not a big problem as many people before me had made a similar move and adapters were readily available. However, eventually one changes all the plugs.

When I decided to do an overland trip back to Europe via the east coast and north coast of Africa the problem was solved by purchasing a universal plug adapter. One may choose various pin combinations by using the 4 sliders on the side of the gadget.

I took up employment with Atlantik Film in Hamburg and I had to change all the plugs back to the European standard.

After having spent several years in Germany my wife and I decided to make an overland trip across Asia with New Zealand as our final destination.

During our trip we made extensive use of my trusted "travel" adapter.

In New Zealand, we fitted the electrical appliances with plugs which are also used in Australia. 3 pins: grounded / 2 pins: not grounded. We stayed 5 years in New Zealand, where I was first employed by the National Film Unit and later by the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation.

When South Africa started television broadcasting in 1975, we returned to South Africa and yes, I had to change all the plugs once again.

I visited Antwerp in Belgium for business reasons in 1992. Europe was very busy as it was the year of the Olympic Games in Barcelona. These were exciting times as the Games were broadcast in High Definition Television for the first time.

Over 40 HDTV cameras were deployed. The analogue broadcast was managed by 'Barcelona 1250' (referring to the doubling of the standard 625 lines' system).

When I returned to the hotel one evening I read in one of the newspapers that electro-technical engineers from many countries were meeting in Brussels to discuss "the Universal Electrical Plug". That really made my day. I thought: "It's about time".

Here we are, more than 20 years later, and no progress has been made.

There are presently 15 basic types of electrical outlet plugs in use today world-wide.

We settled in Australia five years ago. I have changed most of the plugs to comply with the Australian system, but for a number of appliances we are still making use of adapters.


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