A power cable is an electrical cable or cord that connects an electrical device to a power source. Power cables can be fixed to the electrical device or can be detachable. If detachable, there will be a connector on the end known as an International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) connector. IEC connectors can be either male (plug-type) or female (socket-type) and are made to connect to an inlet on the device. There are 13 types of IEC connectors.
C1/C2 and C3/C4 Connectors
C1 connectors (cord end) are made of two prongs that fit into a two-hole C2 inlet on an electrical device. These types of cables are typically used for electric shavers. C1 connectors are for 0.2 amp devices. C3 connectors and C4 inlets are for 2.5 amp devices.
A three-hole C5 connector end of a power cable is often call a Mickey Mouse connector because the C6 inlet resembles Mickey Mouse's ears. C5 power cables are common with laptops and portable projectors.
The C7/C8 connector is a two-pin connector cable that is used with radios, video game consoles, older laptop power supplies and some double-insulated appliances.
C9/C10 and C11/C12 Connectors
C9 connector cables feature a square two-hole plug end that mates with a C10 inlet. C9 cables are two-conductor, 6 amp cables commonly used with synthesizers and other electronic musical equipment. The C11/C12 connector is for 10 amp equipment.
C13/C14 and C15/C16
Often called IEC cords, C13/C14 power cables have a three-hole C13 female connector on one end which mates to a three-prong C14 male connector on the electrical device. Most desktop computers, printers and monitors use C13/C14 power cables. Amplifiers and other audio equipment also use these cables.
C15/C16 connectors are similar to C13/C14 connectors, but are used with many kitchen appliances, such as crock pots and electric kettles. The design of the C15 female connector is slightly different, with a valley in the center of the connector and a corresponding ridge on the matching C16 inlet on the appliance.
C17 female connectors are two-hole connectors designed to mate to two-prong C14 male connectors. C17/C18 connectors are similar to C13/C14, but lack a ground. Older typewriters, CRT televisions and some video game consoles use these cables. A C13 connector cable can be connected to a C18 inlet, but a C14 inlet is not compatible with a C17 connector.
C19 /C20, C21/C22 and C23/C24 connectors
C19, C21 and C23 cable mounted female connectors are very similar to C13 connectors, but are designed to be used with high current computer equipment such as servers, work stations and power sources. The connectors and C20, C22 and C24 inlets are rectangular in shape and have larger pins.
60309 connectors or commando plugs are used on high current industrial equipment such as welders, plasma cutters and air compressors. The connectors may be three-pin, five-pin or eight-pin and make a watertight seal when mated to their inlet.
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