How to fix power plug with thin blades

Thread Starter

quique123

Joined May 15, 2015
404
I have a power plug converter from European (two round prongs) to America (two flat blades). It came with my oscilloscope. When I plug it into an outlet it falls back out because the blades are too thin. Any ideas on how to fix that?

Thanks
 

Hymie

Joined Mar 30, 2018
846
Does the power plug converter change the voltage (220V to 120V) or is it just changing the plug pin configuration?
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
11,252
Did you try both outlet receptacles? Does it slip out of all receptacles?

If the receptacle isn't worn, you could try spreading the prongs of the plug to increase friction.
 

Thread Starter

quique123

Joined May 15, 2015
404
Just pin config converter. I've tried on quite a few plugs. Most of my plugs are new because it's a new room.
 

Thread Starter

quique123

Joined May 15, 2015
404
It's a hantek ds5102p, but the issue has to do with the blades being to skinny, I don't think it has anything to do with the model.

1E8F3350-1254-42ED-BD62-6564C82D99C3.jpeg
 

Ylli

Joined Nov 13, 2015
976
I'd have concerns about the outlets themselves. The width of the blades on the adapter look adaquate, and a good outlet should grab on to it fairly well. Do other plugs (from other devices) hold tight or are they loose too?
 

Thread Starter

quique123

Joined May 15, 2015
404
Yes other plugs are fine; I have a Google Home device, an apple connector, an led lamp, a MacBook connector...they all fit fine.
 
I have a Chinese Li-Ion charger that has sup-par pins. I found the specs somewhere, but can;t find it now. They were definitely too thin.

It's an adapter with prongs that retract tilt into the body and generally hangs on the wall.

yep, they fall out. Building up the prongs would mess up the tilting mechanism.

If had a spot welder, it would probably work to spot weld a shim onto the plug providing I had the room.

I use a 12" power cord with the adapter rubber-banded to it. The fix doesn't work well.

Looks like dimensions and tolerances are here: https://diy.stackexchange.com/questions/87280/what-are-the-dimensions-of-us-outlet-holes
 
Last edited:

MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
1,861
Is it a regular computer power supply type plug on the back of the scope (I forget the actual name)? If yes, just got one with a US nema 15 plug on the other end. Otherwise chop the plug off and wire on a regular US nema 15 plug. Either option is only a few bucks on Amazon.
 

Hymie

Joined Mar 30, 2018
846
I have a number of these universal mains socket converters, but they should be used with caution – the attached photo shows the Earth pin of the attached appliance connected to the Live pin of the universal socket outlet.

I would strongly recommend that these universal sockets are not used where children are likely to present.
 

Attachments

What @Hymie is saying is that the plug can be rotated 90 degrees in some instances thus making the wrong connections.

His pic needs help (multiple pictures) to really understand the issue.

The use of the adapter puts no restriction on voltage, so 120 60 Hz stuff can get plugged into a 240 50 Hz stuff. It's OK when using a universal adapter.

He said to "be careful" and I think that advise is valid. There are electronic equipment that has 120/240 selector switches and you DO have to change the fuse size. Then there is 85-285 power supplies and then ones that are automatic dual switching like 120/240.

Then every once in a while a Scanning Electron Microscope shows up from Japan that needs 100 V. We had two where I used to work. Then there is the 208/240 stuff that MATTERS and some 208/240 stuff that doesn't. Not everyone plays with stuff that has multiple stuff with 208 3 phase 90 Amp plug on the end of it. One piece of equipment got a 208 3 phase, 4 wire system, 200 Amp.

Then there is the 2000 A and 6.3 V AC supply or the 0-100 kV at 0.1 A and the regulated 10-15kV supply at 1.5 A. Be careful can't be stressed enough. Then to make matters even more fun, the 1000 W, 13.56 MHz RF source.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
6,717
One "cheating trick" that does work, but only if the pins can be soldered to, is to solder extension wires to the blades, and then install a correct plug onto the wires. But first cover the connections with insulating tube, such as heat shrink.
It would also work to to thicken the blades with a bit of solder, if it will stick to them.If you can get some very thin copper or brass sheet you could solder on a bit more thickness, if the plastic would not melt. Melting plastic makes it very challenging.

The best one would be to replace the outlet with one that has been adjusted inside to grip the thinner blades. But to do that you must be able to disassemble the outlet to bend the inside contacts a bit. Be sure to switch off the mains supply before working on the outlet, though. That is an important safety requirement.
 

Hymie

Joined Mar 30, 2018
846
For clarification, my photo attached to post #16 shows one of these universal mains socket adapters plugged into a UK mains socket outlet. Plugged into the adapter is a UK (BS 1363) mains plug, such that the Earth pin of the mains plug is connected to the Live outlet socket of the adapter.

Some of these universal adapters also allow connection of a class I product (requiring an earth connection), where the universal adapter plug pins have no facility to make an earth connection (such as that shown in the OP’s photo in post #6).

This is why these universal mains adapters should be used with caution.
 
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