Unusual dongle adapts life to death

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/06/05/unusual-dongle-adapts-life-to.html


Everyone needs one in their toolbox. ;+)


I’m always game for an uncommon dongle.


Banana plugs (commonly used on speaker cables) are a near perfect fit for euro 230V power sockets


Yes, believe it or not, many old studio strobe lights (electronic flashes) used what was called a “household” (HH) connector for connection to the camera. It looked just like a US AC/mains outlet.

Here’s a link for a camera shop selling a cable for connecting this to a camera: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/682585-REG/Impact_10032270_Sync_Cord_Household.html

And yes, it was one of the more idiotic designs in history!


Oooh, we’re posting naughty pics of “unnatural” plugs, are we?

Protip, get one where all three plugs have a stable and existing circuit before they’re turned on. If one of the plugs is just doing it as a favor to the others, you’re going to build up resistance surprisingly quickly.


Missing holes doesn’t mean it isn’t designed to be plugged in. It means it’s cheap and probably made in China. Many of the electronics I bought there for use with 120V are missing the hole. Some are only slightly safer than this item.


Reminds me of the effort in the medical device industry to get manufacturers to not use the same connectors (Luer fittings) for liquids and gases. You know, to prevent oxygen from getting directly injected into someone’s artery.


True, but that also works with nails or screwdrivers, and you have to insert both at the same time in any modern socket, otherwise a plastic shield will lock in place. And it will have to be inserted several millimetres before contact is actually made, to ensure that the insulation on the prongs of the plug prevent accidental contact from the side. Essentially it’s a very old design that had safety retrofitted to it.


I am thoroughly confused by this.

When I lived in Kazakhstan, almost every home had one of these radios, which plugged into a wall socket that was connected to an antenna on the roof. The radio wall socketwas exactly like the 220v wall power socket (210v - 230v was standard there).

I was warned in no uncertain terms never to plug it into the wall sockets.

Another interesting feature was that the only radio channels available were those tuned to the push buttons. An enterprising individual could open the box and manually tune the channels to other stations, and often did.


It looks like a US style plug and modern plugs here have no such protection, tamper resistant plugs have only been required on new construction since 2008, so they are a novelty rather than the norm here.

The double-male cord does have a purpose, albeit still very unsafe and possibly illegal in many jurisdictions. In the event of a mains outage, you can plug one end into a generator and the other end into an outlet in your house, and power up your house. Super dangerous. The correct way is to install a “transfer switch” where the mains enter the building, so that you can safely switch between generator and mains power. This double-ended cord is a hack for clueless tightwads.


Not necessarily. NEMA Type A unpolarized plugs may have prongs with no holes.


You do you, I’m not gonna yuck your yum.


Here’s some forbidden power adapters for IT network specialists. :skull_and_crossbones:


Indeed, and if anyone out there does this (and to be clear I don’t think MrShiv is planning on it), please disconnect the main power first (sometimes you have an outdoor switch for this, sometimes it is just the big set of breakers hopefully labeled “main power” and is the only 90A or bigger set of breakers). In theory this will prevent a fire, although in practice something might bypass that and you still get fire. Or kill a lineman. Or both. So please just don’t try that kind of thing, but if you must at least try to limit the harm.

You can also get a real electrician to install a transfer switch (automatic or manual; my experience with automatic transfer switches if they break more frequently then they actually do any good, in fact I never had a power outage when I was away from the house long enough for my fridge/freezer to warm long enough to wreck anything, and I did have the automatic transfer switch break twice, so if I were to do it again I would opt for a manual…or at least kick myself for not writing down the brand so I could avoid it in the future)


That thing would plug right into a Light Saber. (Graflex press camera flashgun handle)


Essential tool for BOFHs