Plugs & Sockets ~ Why do they stick out so far?

  wee eddie 10:33 01 Dec 08
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It has long fascinated me, that although large sums of money are spent on the design of electrical equipment, when you get to set it up, it won't go anyway near the wall and frequently needs have 3 or 4 inches behind and/or in front, to accommodate the "In-line" Plugs.

It's true of almost all electrical equipment, so I am not levelling this rant at the designers of PCs.

Much of the fault lies with the Plug Designers who appear to wish to make their product as prominent as possible rather than a minor, but essential, accoutrement.

  birdface 11:36 01 Dec 08

Yes I have to agree with you.Not a lot of change to the design in the last 40 years.You would think that they would be slimmer and more modern by now.

  LastChip 12:32 01 Dec 08

They've always had a sort of weird fascination for me.

For example, we must be one of the few countries in the world that use square pins. Why place sockets right down low on skirting boards, when quite often you want to change the plug or turn it on and off? As we tend to use more and more devices that have transformer plugs, why position the pins when sometimes, it makes it impossible to use the adjacent socket?

And as far as SCART plugs are concerned, what a dreadful design, breaking just about every good design philosophy.

I don't know about "designed". More like thrown together on a Friday afternoon!

  Jim Thing 13:15 01 Dec 08

"Why place sockets right down low on skirting boards..."

It doesn't have to be that way. My home is a Wrinkled Person's apartment in which all light switches, power sockets and antenna connections are at waist height. The only disadvantage is that the cables supplying table lamps, portable appliances, etc. are in plain view halfway up the wall.

  wiz-king 13:16 01 Dec 08

You can get right-angled mains plugs - that cuts it down a bit. click here but that still leaves the others. You can also get side entry hoods for D-plugs (if you are a dab hand with the soldering iron)

  peter99co 14:13 01 Dec 08

A German system I heard of was a rubber skirting board which allowed a connection anywhere by lifting up the surface covering and attaching the plug onto continuous strips along the length of the skirting. It was safe because of the way the rubber moulding was shaped.

  Woolwell 14:45 01 Dec 08

"Why place sockets right down low on skirting boards..."
New build houses don't have the sockets down on the skirting board they have to a minimum of 450 mm from the floor click here
Light switches also seem to be lower.

When I had my study redone last year I specified that all of the sockets for my computer should be just above desk top height.

  amonra 14:52 01 Dec 08

Scart plugs and sockets were designed by the French industry and therefore became EU standard before anyone else could object. They occupy a vast amount of space behind the average player/recorder and need a lot of juggling to get them to fit properly. Come back the old DIN plug, neat and tidy !
Or even a "Jones" plug if anyone else remembers them !!!

  morris948 15:34 01 Dec 08

i find that some transformer plugs are supplied with 2 pin connectors, meaning you have to use an adapter, and that makes it stick out even further from the wall,

  interzone55 15:59 01 Dec 08

There is a new trend with transformer type plugs that they come with several adaptor plates so that they can be used right across Europe, thus cutting down on costs, as a single package can be used in many markets.

As for the abomination that is the SCART plug, that's entirely the fault of Frenchy, where the PĂ©ritel connector, as it is called there, became compulsory for all TVs sold on France after January 1980, so to cut down on costs it was fitted to all European TVs, and after a relaunch by Sharp it was pushed out to TVs across Asia.

Thankfully the HDMI connector is much more compact and robust...

  BT 17:33 01 Dec 08

Reminds me of a situation many years ago when I was setting up a laboratory on a new site for the company that I worked for at the time.
The building work had been done and I was asked to go and design the bench layouts in the designated rooms.
The site manager was very proud of the work that had been done already, Electrics, water services etc. all installed.
He wasn't too pleased when I pointed out that all the power points, and there were quite a few, it being a laboratory, were 18" off the floor, and would all be hidden behind the benches when they were installed. Seems no-one had thought to tell the electricians and they had gone ahead and put them at the height they would normally put power points.

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