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Other Vintage Household Electrical or Electromechanical Items For discussions about other vintage (over 25 years old) electrical and electromechanical household items. See the sticky thread for details.

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Old 13th Nov 2018, 3:50 pm   #121
merlinmaxwell
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Default Re: Modern MK Safety Plug. Not impressed

No wonder they come fitted now! It's not rocket science to fit a plug, these days however "lighting a match" science seems beyond most people.
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Old 13th Nov 2018, 11:08 pm   #122
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Default Re: Modern MK Safety Plug. Not impressed

I remember my Dad calling them a "bad design classic" due to the wires needing to be cut to different lengths, & he's certainly not lacking in the DIY department.
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Old 10th Jan 2019, 5:47 pm   #123
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Default Re: Modern MK Safety Plug. Not impressed

I know this is an old post. Thinking about this I don't see any mention on the plug the plugs are for AC or DC use just 240 volt etc. and that goes for the equipment it is used on.
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Old 10th Jan 2019, 7:56 pm   #124
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Default Re: Modern MK Safety Plug. Not impressed

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Originally Posted by Richard_FM View Post
I remember my Dad calling them a "bad design classic" due to the wires needing to be cut to different lengths, & he's certainly not lacking in the DIY department.
Oh come on, if the only 'problem' is that the wires have to be cut to different lengths?! Who finds that so difficult?

Of all the mains plugs from around the world I've yet to see a better one than the UK one. The American one is a joke, it falls out of the wall if a butterfly lands on it.
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Old 10th Jan 2019, 11:46 pm   #125
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Default Re: Modern MK Safety Plug. Not impressed

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Originally Posted by merlinmaxwell View Post
No wonder they come fitted now! It's not rocket science to fit a plug, these days however "lighting a match" science seems beyond most people.
I agree- too many fire investigators' and coroners' reports must have had significant bearing on the moulded plug legislation, and it's unfortunately likely that many of those who suffered would have been innocent parties. Similarly, I think that it's likely that the current talk of making appliances more easily repairable is likely to run into the sand for much the same reason. There must be almost a generation's worth of inexperience at appliance mending now!

It's easy to sneer at the "similar length cores" quandary if one has spent a fair chunk of working life making up complex bespoke multi-way connector leads (e.g me!) but again, many manufacturers left equal length prepared and stripped ends on mains leads and it's unsurprising that Joe Average would simply have wired in as-found, likely leaving the earth wire as the first to be subjected to mechanical stress in the majority of plug designs. More justification for moulded-on plugs....
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Old 11th Jan 2019, 7:16 pm   #126
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Default Re: Modern MK Safety Plug. Not impressed

I do understand the issue of fitting plugs. To us it seems easy. When I was younger I remember looking at a couple of things where my younger brother had put on the plugs. One was L-N crossed, the other N-E crossed (which gave some really odd symptoms). Thank god he never got L-E crossed. He's not a stupid person, and in fact these days trains Openreach technicians (let's not go there please) but if he couldn't wire a plug I can understand how some could easily make it quite dangerous. I also remember when I worked in Woolies, little old ladies buying a table lamp and plug, and asking us to fit the plug, which we weren't allowed to do.
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Old 11th Jan 2019, 8:04 pm   #127
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Default Re: Modern MK Safety Plug. Not impressed

Might be an odd question, but why was equipment ever sold without a plug fitted to it? It must have been obvious that one would be needed immediately it was bought, before it could be used...

I know in the olden days there were a few different types of sockets floating around, but even then fitting what is most suitable would have made sense, wouldn't it? Surely more recently the 13A plug has been pretty well universal?
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Old 11th Jan 2019, 8:09 pm   #128
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Default Re: Modern MK Safety Plug. Not impressed

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Might be an odd question, but why was equipment ever sold without a plug fitted to it? It must have been obvious that one would be needed immediately it was bought, before it could be used...

I know in the olden days there were a few different types of sockets floating around, but even then fitting what is most suitable would have made sense, wouldn't it? Surely more recently the 13A plug has been pretty well universal?
I guess that is exactly it. I never thought of myself as that old but I remember a fair old mix in my younger days. Round pin plugs were common, though we had the 'modern' ones in our house. When we cleared my Grandad's house, his vacuum cleaner had a very odd plug on it. Then it just dragged on with no plugs fitted even where the modern ones were massively in the majority.
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Old 11th Jan 2019, 9:50 pm   #129
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Default Re: Modern MK Safety Plug. Not impressed

In the mid-1960's our house (really two flats with a common front door, 8 rooms) had 3 x 15A, 1 x 13A, 1 x 5A three- pin sockets, and for the rooms with no sockets, a double switched BC adaptor in the light socket with a pull cord for operating the light. A friend's house had 2 pin 5A sockets in every room except the kitchen, (3 pin 5A and 15A) , and used 2 pin 5A plugs with captive 2 pin to BC adaptors so they could also be used in light sockets. One aunt had two "Wandsworth" gauge sockets for which additional plugs and adaptors were unobtainium, so 2-way BC adaptors in the light socket were used. Another aunt's prefab bungalow had at least one 5A three pin socket in every room, but when they were re-housed in a pre-fab house in the early 1970's, it had 13A D&S sockets in every room. Probably accounts for my early interest in plugs and sockets!

By 1975 everyone had been rewired with modern 13A sockets.

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Old 11th Jan 2019, 11:12 pm   #130
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Default Re: Modern MK Safety Plug. Not impressed

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColinB View Post
Might be an odd question, but why was equipment ever sold without a plug fitted to it? It must have been obvious that one would be needed immediately it was bought, before it could be used...

I know in the olden days there were a few different types of sockets floating around, but even then fitting what is most suitable would have made sense, wouldn't it? Surely more recently the 13A plug has been pretty well universal?
I guess that is exactly it. I never thought of myself as that old but I remember a fair old mix in my younger days. Round pin plugs were common, though we had the 'modern' ones in our house. When we cleared my Grandad's house, his vacuum cleaner had a very odd plug on it. Then it just dragged on with no plugs fitted even where the modern ones were massively in the majority.
I guess it suited manufactures to save a small amount per item by not fitting plugs, & also suited people like my Dad who had a few spare plugs around to reuse rather than spend a few more pence buying a new one.

I remember the likes of Comet used to have a supply of new plugs by the counter for customers to pick out a plug when they came to pay.
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Old 12th Jan 2019, 1:11 am   #131
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Default Re: Modern MK Safety Plug. Not impressed

All things considered, there are a lot of choices for mains plug, and depends what your using them for.

Instead of using MK , I have found Permaplugs to be excellent. Very robust.
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Old 22nd Feb 2019, 7:54 pm   #132
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Default Re: Modern MK Safety Plug. Not impressed

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New member here, although I've been reading this forum with huge enjoyment for ages! So, hello everyone, here goes my first post.

All this talk of the MK Safety Plug reminded me of my seventh birthday in 1976. I was always fascinated by electrical things as a child, but especially plugs and sockets. I fitted my first plug at age five. Anyway, I happened to see a glossy, full-page colour advert for this wonderful new plug, in the Reader's Digest, and knew I just had to have one! I was truly obsessed.

Unfortunately, Dad said they too expensive and we didn't need a new plug for anything anyway! So I had to content myself with just a picture.

Imagine my pure delight, three months later on my birthday, when I unwrapped my coveted Safety Plug, complete with extra 3 and 5 amp fuses to suit any appliance! Best birthday ever!

For the following couple of weeks I attached that plug to every electrical item in the house. I would swap it every day, and leave it on for exactly 24 hours. Just to see what it looked like on the flex and in the socket. It was finally attached to my prized Sharp cassette recorder's mains lead, where it remained for years (fused at 3 amps, of course)

Just as an aside, I remember one day at primary school in 1979 when an electrician came in and replaced every single plug in the entire place! He was there all day, just taking off (perfectly good) plugs and fitting new ones. I remember thinking what a great job to have! The new plugs he fitted were all the Legrand slimline plug. Which, incidentally, I was coveting having seen a SWEB branded one in Cornwall on holiday the year before. So I went to talk to him at dinnertime (he was having a pie in his van - this is Lancashire after all!) and he very kindly let me have one! I remember he had boxes full of them. All with the fibre cord-grip and unsleeved pins. Happy days!

Sorry if I've rambled on, but great to be able to reminisce about stuff like this.

Best Regards

Peter.
Hi Peter!
I never thought there was another person like me on the earth, having this plug interest. My parents would by me plugs and other wiring devices for birthday and Christmas gifts. I would look in the neighbors trash, looking for old electrical appliances, irons, toasters etc to take apart.
Later on, my interest turned to radio, TV's and other electronics. I originally wanted to be an electrician, but I started to lean toward radio, TV repair. Big mistake! To much work, for too little money.
Finally landed an apprenticeship as an Industrial Electrician. Best move ever!
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Old 22nd Feb 2019, 11:45 pm   #133
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Default Re: Modern MK Safety Plug. Not impressed

I always remember the old GPO/PO(T) spec ( possibly in EI/TI format) on how to wire a 13A plug. "The live wire , red ( brown in todays world), should be the shortest. Next the neutral wire( blue in today's world) ,should be a bit longer . Then the Earth , green ( green/yellow in today's world) , should be slacker. " . The reasoning was that if the wire was strained, then the live would part from the plug ( disconecting the equipment) first, followed by the neutral , leaving the equipment connected to earth ( and hopefully safe) till the last moment.
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Old 23rd Feb 2019, 12:59 pm   #134
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Default Re: Modern MK Safety Plug. Not impressed

Ref. post 133. When I was employed by a company that supplied and repaired specialist I.T. equipment to various government organisations and agencies, the requirement for wiring mains plugs was same as you have mentioned. Before any item went out of the door, the mains plug was always examined on every item before shipment by a person other than the original fitter of it - just to make sure. That was necessary, since when the item arrived at the customer, the wiring to said plug would always be checked. If it was not to the stated requirement, the whole item would be returned - even if the mains cable was of the readily unplugable type!

Al.
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Old 23rd Feb 2019, 1:23 pm   #135
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Default Re: Modern MK Safety Plug. Not impressed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Humptydumpty View Post
I know this is an old post. Thinking about this I don't see any mention on the plug the plugs are for AC or DC use just 240 volt etc. and that goes for the equipment it is used on.
The 13 amp plugs and sockets are intended to be used on AC only. It was not considered that the plugs need be marked "AC only" because any 13 amp socket should be connected to an AC supply, with an earthed neutral, and at 220/240 volts, 50 cycles.
One feature of the 13 amp system was that it was a general purpose connector for use by anyone WITHOUT having to check for AC or DC, odd voltages or odd frequencies.

Legacy systems that used DC or non standard voltages or frequencies remained in use for many years, but should not have been fitted with 13 amp sockets.

Most other types of mains plugs were suitable for AC or DC, as were the matching sockets. Regulations required that sockets on DC supplies had switches. This was optional for AC.
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Old 23rd Feb 2019, 1:40 pm   #136
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Default Re: Modern MK Safety Plug. Not impressed

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Most other types of mains plugs were suitable for AC or DC, as were the matching sockets. Regulations required that sockets on DC supplies had switches. This was optional for AC.
Not just ordinary micro break switches as on the standard 13 amp AC sockets of today, but large throw/break type switches to break DC at high voltage due to the half cycle not going through zero and into reverse to break the arc. Just pulling out a plug on a 240 volt DC supply without switching it off first could produce quite a 'flash' in some cases and eventually burn the contacts of the pins if not pulled cleanly and quickly. If you'd used an AC type 13 amp socket with a crude micro break switch as used today, then you'd probably have the equivalent to a welders arc form between the switch contacts within the socket (depending on current) and it probably wouldn't even switch off and break the circuit - very dangerous!
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Old 23rd Feb 2019, 2:01 pm   #137
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Default Re: Modern MK Safety Plug. Not impressed

In the CPC catalogue that I received today, British-made Permaplug heavy duty 13A plugs are on offer at 1.35 plus VAT.
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Old 23rd Feb 2019, 2:09 pm   #138
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Default Re: Modern MK Safety Plug. Not impressed

Fortunately, I've still got a small stock of MK plugs from the days when they were good, one pack brand new and a few that are removed used ones - luckily I don't need many these days to keep me going.
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Old 23rd Feb 2019, 5:03 pm   #139
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Talking Re: Modern MK Safety Plug. Not impressed

O.K. - so there are a lot of negative comments here. It's quite clear to me that they are not exactly a plug for MK products!

Al.
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Old 25th Feb 2019, 7:06 pm   #140
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Default Re: Modern MK Safety Plug. Not impressed

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Originally Posted by AC/HL View Post
You seem to have mastered Smartphone punctuation though, unlike many. It makes posts easy to read and understand
I've not yet finished reading this thread but I have to register my agreement, that punctuation seems to be something of a lost art these days. Not always are the smartphone users the worst offenders either.

Nice to be in an environment where these things are still valued. Oh and by the way, I was also around 5 when I began wiring plugs & lamp holders. Never became a qualified electrician but still (obviously, hence my membership of this site!) have a healthy interest in pretty much anything electrical/electronic as well as mechanical.

Edit-: Further, we also have 4 "permanent" cats and one regular feral boy whom comes to be fed. All seem interested in vintage audio equipment.

On the subject of Greek, for some strange reason the thought of Brontoailurophobia always tickled me. (entirely concocted term, intended to mean the fear of Thundercats!) Sorry, back to MK plugs and their lack of quality now.

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