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Friends, countrymen, and AC power strips: lend me your (mounting) ears!

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Bob Lacovara
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re: Friends, countrymen, and AC power strips: lend me your (mounting) ears!
Bob Lacovara   1/17/2011 5:22:04 PM
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Not only do the keyhole slots drive me crazy, but I wonder just why the manufacturers can't mark the @%$$%#!!! strips with the center distance between the useless things? Mark it in inches, in centimeters, in rods, in lightyears, wavelength of light at 532.8 nm, ANYTHING... And don't just mark it: make the centerline distance an INTEGER!!! as in "8 inches" or "20 cm"... And put some marks on the side of the darned strip so that you can tell where it will be once you have it mounted... Ok... I'm calmer now...

JMWilliams
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re: Friends, countrymen, and AC power strips: lend me your (mounting) ears!
JMWilliams   1/17/2011 6:18:14 PM
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My low-tech nuisance is refusal of many stores to provide a bag to hold multiple purchases. You have to ask, in California, for a bag, by silent agreement of all the penny-pinching retailers. Next year, San Jose will actually have a LAW forbidding merchants from providing bags, unless they charge the customer an extra sales tax of something like a dime or a quarter. I don't have to shop in San Jose, so I can go elsewhere, where merchants and city officially have some concern for the happiness of customers.

Sheetal.Pandey
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re: Friends, countrymen, and AC power strips: lend me your (mounting) ears!
Sheetal.Pandey   1/18/2011 4:12:52 AM
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Well i have never tried mounting AC power strips on wall. We normally put it inside TV table closet and use lot of cable ties for wirings.

K1200LT Rider
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re: Friends, countrymen, and AC power strips: lend me your (mounting) ears!
K1200LT Rider   1/18/2011 8:20:33 PM
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-- Or, I add a small, L-shaped bracket at the -- end of the strip after mounting it, as a -- bumper or barrier, so the strip can't be -- pushed back... I make the hanging screws reasonably loose, hang the strip, then simply put another screw against the end so it can't move. No L-bracket or anything else is needed (at least for the strips I've mounted). But, yes, I'd rather have the easier-to-use mounting tabs.

antiquus
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re: Friends, countrymen, and AC power strips: lend me your (mounting) ears!
antiquus   1/18/2011 11:30:09 PM
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I got a metal power strip last year that mounted just fine because it had those mounting ears. I put it under my workbench in the garage. Then, one time when I plugged something in, the core of the outlet collapsed and shorted the mains to the inside of the metal housing. Good thing it had a properly sized breaker. :) I won't be getting anymore power devices from that (major west coast electronics retailer's) store for a while.

r3son8tr
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re: Friends, countrymen, and AC power strips: lend me your (mounting) ears!
r3son8tr   1/19/2011 1:31:07 PM
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Neither solution is best in my opinion. Why not just allow provision for the two (or more) mounting screws to pass completely through the strip to the mounting surface? It would seem that a couple of molded standoffs inside the strip would do the trick. No more blind mounting, and no extra space needed for tabs on the end ofhte strip.

tnw
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re: Friends, countrymen, and AC power strips: lend me your (mounting) ears!
tnw   1/19/2011 2:43:44 PM
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The reason that most power strips do not have mounting ears anymore is because most of them are UL (or another NRTL) listed under UL Standard 1363 which is entitled "Relocatable Power Taps", the key word being "relocatable". The standard requires that the power strips NOT be capable of being permanently installed because they are supposed to be "relocatable" with out using any tools.

WKetel
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re: Friends, countrymen, and AC power strips: lend me your (mounting) ears!
WKetel   1/19/2011 4:35:52 PM
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The reality is that, as has been mentioned, many of the power strips are indeed, JUNK. The reason for not having through-hole mounting is that some users would over-tighten the screws and crush the housing. So the solution is to simply not purchase the junk ones. The better ones are still available from companies like Newark, not as cheap, of course, but more durable. Also, companies like Tripp-Lite make a quite good ISOBAR unit that can have the mounting tabs exposed for mounting. My gripe is that all of the strips seem to have cords made with very stiff plastic material that is a pain to route.

Erickk
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re: Friends, countrymen, and AC power strips: lend me your (mounting) ears!
Erickk   1/19/2011 6:48:19 PM
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It is quite easy to make an absolutely solid mounting of these plastic outlet strips, despite UL's intent to prevent this by mandating the use of keyhole slots. Simply use optimally sized flat head screws. If you set the protrusion of the screw head just right, the conical rear surface of the screw head forms a sort of wedge against the keyhole slot as the slot is slid under the screw head. Get it just right, such that it takes a few taps with a small rubber mallet to seat the strip, and the strip gets powerfully wedged in place, assuming the screws are set into something solid. As was pointed out above, the requirement to use keyholes is because UL and fire codes have long deemed cord connected outlet strips to be for temporary use only, so permanent mounting provisions (i.e. ears) are prohibited. Exceptions exist for hardwired strips, and for special purpose cord connected multiple outlets, such as for mounting on furniture, like AV equipment carts.

Guru of Grounding
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re: Friends, countrymen, and AC power strips: lend me your (mounting) ears!
Guru of Grounding   1/19/2011 9:28:26 PM
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I believe the underlying problem is that both UL and the FTC are "paper tiger" agencies. I'm sure all the rules help lawyers get manufacturers off-the-hook when someone is hurt or killed - and that may be the main reason they exist. UL does a very poor job of educating users about hazards while the FTC looks the other way while unsafe products flood our markets. An example is the ubiquitous "3-to-2 prong" adapter. How many folks do you know that understand that these are to be used only in old facilities that have pre-1960 (2-prong) outlets *AND* that the clip or pigtail *MUST* be connected to the outlet cover screw (grounded via outlet saddle, metal J-box, and conduit back to neutral at the breaker panel)? Most folks believe they exist just as a matter of convenience or, worse yet, that they're intended to break those pesky ground loops. This use by the uninformed kills several people every year in the US (very often in sound systems where they've been installed to "eliminate hum". And then there are similar products, like the "Hum-X" that put a pair of back-to-back rectifiers in series with safety ground. Do you think a 5 A rectifier could be depended upon to carry 150 A fault current for 3 seconds (typical data from a UL study of fault currents and breaker trip times in 1,000 homes)? This device has been on the market for over 5 years and has no UL listing ... but our FTC has done nothing! It would probably alarm some folks to learn that "daisy-chaining" outlet strips is also a violation of National Electric Code.

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