[Warning: If you don't like fairly long posts about trivial subjects,
you might want to skip this one.]
So I finally found it: the (near) perfect plug.
I needed a 2-prong plug for a lamp I was making, since I had a length of
18/2 lamp cord without one. Was resigned to getting the usual semi-funky
plug at the store (Orchard Supply), when I saw a new type I hadn't seen
before. Bought it, took it home, and when I opened it up, I realized it
was a vast improvement over the other ones.
Up to now, there have been basically two types of plugs available (I'm
talking about 2-prong ones, now, not bigger grounded ones): you could
either buy the type that was made out of soft vinyl with screw
terminals, or the hard plastic type that pinched onto the cord.
The vinyl ones were OK, sorta: they had screw terminals, which is a Good
Thing (solid electrical & mechanical connection), but they had two
problems: they were an absolute bitch to take apart and put back
together, as the plastic cover wasn't quite stretchy enough to fit over
the plug body easily, and they left a big empty space where the cord
came out of the cover if you used "zip" cord (the hole would be nicely
filled if you used round-jacketed cable).
(These are similar to the older type which were kind of bell-shaped,
with screw terminals on the *bottom*
which were supposed to be covered
by a punched piece of cardboard--which, of course, always disappeared,
exposing the terminals and wires underneath.)
The little "pinch-on" types are horrible. I probably have half a dozen
or so in use even as I speak, but I hate them. What a cheesy way to make
an electrical connection: little prongs that bite through the insulation
into the wire. Yecch! (However, they do look nicer than almost any other
plug type. Oh, well.)
So this new type sort of combines the best of both worlds. It's very
cleverly designed: there's a two-part clamshell-type cover that's held
together with a single screw into the body. The body has screw
terminals, and they're mounted on the *side*
of the body and get nicely
covered when the thing closes up. And best of all, the clamshell cover
makes a nice built-in pressure relief on the cord (you can only use zip
cord with these, not round cord). My only complaint is that they're a
little on the big side.
And cheap, too: only $2. Made by Leviton. I highly recommend them.
Just as McDonald\'s is where you go when you\'re hungry but don\'t really
care about the quality of your food, Wikipedia is where you go when
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