I need a scale Paul, but I would say that the pins look like 5A and the holes on the side look like 5A ungrounded. The front looks like it has 5A grounded (outer holes) and ungrounded (centre 2) but all-in-all it's kind of weird:
Before I saw the pins on the back I though it was some kind of 3 phase, grounded wye (5 wire) recepticle!
Re: What is it?#133703 09/09/0209:24 AM09/09/0209:24 AM
Well, you're all right about it being some kind of adapter, of course.
Hutch, You hit it exactly! The plug is a 3-pin 5A type, the outlets on each side face will accept a 2-pin non-grounding 5A plug, and the front face will accept either a grounding or non-grounding 5A plug. The top hole (earth/ground) and the bottom two are used for the grounding plug, the other two for the non-grounding plug.
It is an unusual style of adapter. The majority of adapters of this type had just the three holes on the front for a 3-pin grounding type plug.
This picture highlights the fact that the pin spacing on grounding and non-grounding plugs is different, so a 2-pin plug won't fit the phase & neutral holes of a 3-pin outlet, unlike the American equivalents.
That white adapter of yours looks like the plug and front socket are the 15A types.
Re: What is it?#133705 09/09/0209:12 PM09/09/0209:12 PM
Interesting Paul that you mention the different spacing on the pins. Looking carefully at the adapter that I illustrated I can see that the ungrounded holes on the side are slightly elliptical. They accommodate 5A 2-pin plugs and the Europlug though their pin centers differ slightly. I assume this was intentional.
Re: What is it?#133706 09/10/0201:32 PM09/10/0201:32 PM
I couldn't find a 2-pin one in my glory box. In South Africa, electronic equipment would constantly come supplied with two pin Europlugs and I would use the above adapter to make sure everything worked fine for a couple of days before fitting a standard 15A RSA plug; after cutting off the 2-pin plug and throwing it away. Hence I don't have any. I got the Schuko for a visit into Francophone central Africa.
Your comments though do illustrate a feature of having the grounding contacts of a different gender to the live and neutral - it makes the safety intent so much easier to bypass.
Re: What is it?#133708 09/10/0205:12 PM09/10/0205:12 PM
I noticed the elongated holes too. The Continental pins are spaced slightly farther apart but are also slightly smaller in diameter than the British ones. In fact the Euro-type plug will slip nicely into the holes intended for the live & neutral of a 3-pin 5A plug, except they don't make very good contact.
I've seen some people jam two-pin Euro-plugs into 2-pin 5A adapter outlets here -- Some makes use a fairly flexible rubbery plastic which allows the pins to bend just enough to fit, but again, contact is not always good and I hate to think how much arcing and burning is caused by this.
If it was bought for French-Africa, is that "Schuko" plug of yours the type which also has the hole in the front to accept the ground pin on a French outlet?