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Old 13th Mar 2021, 1:33 pm   #1
govjohn
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Default Odd Mains Plug.

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Hi, I recently came across this MK 13A plug on a piece of equipment and I am wondering if anyone here can date it? As can be seen it is very bulky and I've never seen spring loaded pin sleeves before, also what date were the insulated sections at the base of the pins, as currently used introduced.

I'm sure someone here knows, John.

P.S. How do you arrange the pictures in order when posting?
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Old 13th Mar 2021, 9:24 pm   #2
rambo1152
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Default Re: Odd Mains Plug.

I believe the amendment to BS1363 regarding sleeved pins dates from 1984, and the law mandating sleeved pins on plugs for sale dates from 1987, but MK is (or rather was) a very innovative manufacturer and I think your example dates from late 60s or early 70s.

I have seen images of these plugs but have never actually handled one, so on that basis I would say it's quite rare and collectable.

I wonder if the retractable sleeves meet the letter, as well as the spirit of the current regs?
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Old 14th Mar 2021, 12:04 am   #3
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Default Re: Odd Mains Plug.

See #164 and later in this closed thread:

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...t=71262&page=9

#174 identifies the patent covering the design.
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Old 14th Mar 2021, 11:04 am   #4
line sync
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Default Re: Odd Mains Plug.

Well I've seen lots and lots of old mains plugs but never seen one of those before.
The most unusual MK plug I've got is a cream coloured one with a switch on top .
I like the old Bakelite MK plugs where you wrap the wire around the terminal and tighten the big brass screw , good solidly made British plugs.

Robin
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Old 14th Mar 2021, 11:55 am   #5
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Default Re: Odd Mains Plug.

Quote:
Originally Posted by line sync View Post
I like the old bakelite MK plugs where you wrap the wire around the terminal and tighten the big brass screw , good solidly made british plugs.
How we all differ from one another - I hated those as I always found it difficult to get the wire to sit neatly round the terminal as it was tightened.
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Old 14th Mar 2021, 1:42 pm   #6
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Default Re: Odd Mains Plug.

Quote:
I always found it difficult to get the wire to sit neatly round the terminal as it was tightened
That's half the point, it doesn't matter as there is much more wire clamped than in a screw and hole job. And it is less likely you will damage the wire too.
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Old 14th Mar 2021, 3:01 pm   #7
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Default Re: Odd Mains Plug.

I used to use the shaft of a "sixpenny screwdrver" as a mandrel to form an eye in the wire.
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Old 14th Mar 2021, 5:12 pm   #8
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Default Re: Odd Mains Plug.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Moll View Post

How we all differ from one another - I hated those as I always found it difficult to get the wire to sit neatly round the terminal as it was tightened.
The problem with the construction of that range of plugs, was was the brass nut with the split slot that secured the earth and neutral pins eventually worked lose, and in the absence of a special tool to tighten it properly you had to improvise.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYetrj-wmsg
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Old 14th Mar 2021, 6:19 pm   #9
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Default Re: Odd Mains Plug.

I remember my parents had one of those retractably-sleeved MK plugs - which also included a switch on the top - on the "Berry Magicoal" electric-fire they fitted in their lounge sometime in the late-60s [when they had full oil central-heating installed and so no longer needed to use the coal-fire on a regular basis].

Part of me suspects the plug pre-dated the Magicoal: my parents were both very much of the 'make-do-and-mend' WWII generation where nothing-even-of-the-slightest-value was ever thrown-away. Even in the early-80s I remember my late father complaining that a new somethingorother came already fitted with a plug. "But we've already got a plug at home - why should we pay for you to supply one?"
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Old 15th Mar 2021, 10:34 am   #10
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Smile Re: Odd Mains Plug.

Hi,
I've always liked MK plugs form that era (and earlier), and I consider them a design classic.
I bought one of those spring loaded sleeved ones back in the early 70s. It puzzled me a bit why they went to the trouble of making that design when sheathed pins have been around since the 30s or before, so wouldn't have been difficult to adapt to rectangular pins.
This 'Sanders' 15 amp plug from the days of yore has sleeved pins in lieu of finger shields, but whatever they used has now swelled up and is beginning to crumble. Probably something organic?
Cheers, Pete.
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Old 15th Mar 2021, 11:35 am   #11
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Default Re: Odd Mains Plug.

Quote:
why they went to the trouble of making that design when sheathed pins
Maybe the specification stated solid brass pins?
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Old 3rd Apr 2021, 11:27 pm   #12
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Default Re: Odd Mains Plug.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Moll View Post
How we all differ from one another - I hated those as I always found it difficult to get the wire to sit neatly round the terminal as it was tightened.
There are, or at least were round crimps available to solve that issue. I can't remember the name of them though, I think it had rose or thorn or similar as part of the name.
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Old 4th Apr 2021, 3:38 am   #13
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Default Re: Odd Mains Plug.

Ross-Courtney crimps?
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Old 4th Apr 2021, 7:08 am   #14
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Default Re: Odd Mains Plug.

That seems to be it!
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