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Good evening,

I have some pictures of a Clipsal 401 series plug that was removed from service today. They are of a bakelite construction & fitted with a neon power indicator that takes the power from the active & neutral pins by the use of springs that push down on the screw heads when the two halves of the plugs are assembled. These haven’t been available for sale since around the mid 1980s from what I have gathered & thought it may be of interest in the “Electrical Nostalgia” area.

Darren Carroll (32VAC)
Alice Springs, NT, Australia

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Neat! What are those notches in the Active & Neutral pins for?

P.S. The white material is typically Melamine. Same kind of stuff that some plates are made out of. It's another variant of thermoset plastic, like Bakelite. The ivory version is normally Urea-Formaldehyde. smile

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Originally Posted by SvenNYC
What are those notches in the Active & Neutral pins for?


To wrap the wires around, when you don't have the mating receptacle. smile

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Cool plug Darren.

I have never seen those in New Zealand.

I guess the neon indicator is in there for the purpose of showing that the mains is ON for areas with frequent power cuts.


The product of rotation, excitation and flux produces electricty.
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Interesting Darren,
I can't say I've ever seen a plug over here with a neon in it.
One other thing that I find rather strange, is the fact that the Earth pin seems to be the same length as the Phase and Neutral pins, whereas these days, the Earth pin is always longer, to make sure that it is the first pin to connect and the last pin to disconnect.
There was a reason for the notches on the Phase and Neutral pins, of which totally escapes me at the momoment, but if you compare the connections in the pics of an old circa 1960's NZ socket-outlet below, you can see how the plugs fit into the sockets:

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{Edit: Sorry about the HUGE pictures, I only used 550 pixel wide files, for some odd reason they look a lot larger than they did in my upload area before I posted them.}

crazy

Last edited by Trumpy; 03/28/07 04:32 PM. Reason: To add last bit
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The contact surfaces looks almost the same as the American sockets -- basically a piece of spring metal shaped into a "V"

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I'm not too sure what the notches in the pins were for, maybe to save pin material? The plugtops are available as rewireable from Clipsal (part number 439N) and also a 10A socket (438N). I haven't seen these around yet but have been in the catalogue for a couple of years now.

Last edited by 32VAC; 03/29/07 05:11 AM.
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I can't say I've ever seen a plug over here with a neon in it.


MK did a British BS1363 plug with integral neon in the 1960s/70s.

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You could also get a !3A plug from good old Woolies that had a neon, under the WG brand. I also have some BS546 5A plugs made by Walsall with neons.

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Originally Posted by pauluk

MK did a British BS1363 plug with integral neon in the 1960s/70s.


A few years ago, a co-worker from Hong Kong sent me a couple 5-amp BS-546 plugs that have a switch AND a neon in the cover. smile

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