I have some older 3P+N+E sockets for which I need to find matching plugs. I've talked to several good suppliers but can't find any. Many people will no doubt suggest that I should replace the sockets with modern ones, but in this case I can't. They belong to vintage equipment and it's important to use metal-bodied sockets to preserve the appearance of the machine.
To allay any safety concerns people may have, the sockets will be dismantled, inspected, cleaned and repainted before use. They are also safer than most old socket designs as the plug must be rotated to switch on the power.
The socket uses four pins in a square with the earth in the centre. It is of a pin-and-sleeve design. There is no manufacturer's name apart from a logo comprising an interleaved "M" and "L" on the cover, and some very faint printing on the reverse which might say "NECTRE", but I'm not sure. Here's a picture of the socket: http://www.mythic-beasts.com/~cdt22/socket.jpg
Does anyone know what these are called? If anyone knows where I can obtain suitable plugs I'd be grateful to know. Also, if any contractors here remove this kind of plug and socket when they upgrade installations, please let me know. I'd be interested in buying any plugs or sockets in serviceable condition.
The outer part of that assembly, and especially the "turn to switch on" principle, and corresponding release button, look very much like the outlets on many Caravan Club sites, which of course have BS4343 configuration. I've no idea who supplies these, but that just may be a clue to someone! I've not noticed those features elsewhere.
#144218 - 10/22/0503:43 PMRe: Where can I buy plugs to fit these three phase sockets?
Thanks for the suggestions. I've just had a stroke of luck talking to someone who works in the theatre/concert lighting industry. He says "ML" stands for "Martin Lunel", and I can now track down pictures of similar sockets doing a Google search. It appears it isn't a German eagle symbol, although I had wondered that myself. Apparently they were still available 10 years ago (when he last bought one). DJK, can you remember which metal-bodied sockets were unsafe? Naturally I must use a design which is safe. I've disassembled a socket and can't see anything which could cause the body to become live. It looks pretty safe to me.
Thanks for the help.
#144219 - 10/22/0503:48 PMRe: Where can I buy plugs to fit these three phase sockets?
That pic reminds me of the old Reyrolle 3-phase connector we had here, before they were banned in 2000. As djk mentioned, the metal outer on the plugs here used a scraping Earth contact, if you were lucky puuling the plug out you would get a tingle in your hand. If your hand happened to be damp, look out!. These connectors were used for welders and Portable Refrigeration Units (on the back of a truck). Here's an example of the socket in the bottom right hand corner of this pic:
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green
#144223 - 10/23/0509:36 AMRe: Where can I buy plugs to fit these three phase sockets?
Several suppliers I've talked to have noted that these are visually similar to Reyrolle sockets. But the earth is a separate pin, and you turn the plug to switch on, so it's much safer. It appears that they're still in production, but I'm not sure if the pin configurations have changed. I'll find out tomorrow when I call the supplier.
#144224 - 10/23/0509:41 AMRe: Where can I buy plugs to fit these three phase sockets?