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#171161 11/21/07 06:23 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,498
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I jsut got a nice freak attack today... as I probably mentioned before I work for an electrical planning office that designs building power systems from the MV transformer to the last light bulb.
Of course we have a huge stack of catalogues. Today out of curiosity I picked out the Austrian version of the Italian Vimar catalogue. Only to find those people honestly sell a switch and receptacle system that does not fit Austrian boxes! You have to buy their own boxes (or have them shipped from Italy).
OTOH their system looks great - very modular, small devices (fit 4 push buttons in a box the size of a regular Austrian switch) and lots of choice. E.g. international sockets of almost any system I could find except Israel and also stuff like box-mount RCDs and circuit breakers.

Joined: Jun 2004
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What does an "Austrian" switch look like? Is it based on a standard British sized plate or similar in dimensions to an Australian (115x73mm) plate?

32VAC #171210 11/22/07 06:23 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
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The dimensions are somewhat similar to British switches (might be even the screw spacing fits) but the mounting boxes are round, 68mm inner diameter, 74mm outer, 50mm deep (or 68mm for making splices).

That's a pretty typical one:
[Linked Image from berker.com]
The mounting is standardized pretty much all across Europe except for Switzerland, Italy and the UK, either screws or two claws that spread against the box.

The system is fairly modular too, the rocker in the center has the shape of a receptacle or what ever you want to put there (Ethernet, TV, phone,...) and the outer frames are universal, available in single gang to 4 gang.

I have to admit I'm fascinated by the Vimar selection - they have EVRYTHING! And the larger boxes accomodate a lot of devices grouped together. For example you can have a Schuko socket and a switch in a box not much larger than a single Austrian switch.

Or even better... 9 Schuko receptacles and 3 switches or whatever in one box... or 21 switches... or 2 4-way switches in a box the size of a regular Austrian box... (here it's hard to get 2 3-way switches for such a box while in England they put in 3 of them).

Might be tempted to finish some place with the stuff - it ain't even that expensive, wholesale prices seem to be the same as Austrian.

They even have an English catalogue for those who're interested.

http://www.elektrohaus.at/images/stories/pdf/vimar_general_catalogue.pdf


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