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Peripherals What makes power cables designed for projectors so special?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Main Scratcher, 6 Jul 2016.

  1. Main Scratcher

    Main Scratcher What's a Dremel?

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm new on the forum but have a problem with regards to power cables (Mickey Mouse style – 3 prong) that come with projectors and cannot find any information about what makes them "different" to a power cable that looks exactly alike. A particular user on another forum stated that the projector cables are different because they supply and limits a very specific type of electricity that is important to the proper function of a projector. What specifications is he talking about here?

    The reason I am asking is because I have two old identical projectors, where one is bought in Japan back in 2007 and the other one in Europe (bought used last month). The model is Panasonic TH-AX200 (Japan) and PT-AX200E (Europe) respectively. The US model is called PT-AX200U if anyone wonders.

    It comes with a power cable that is approximately 3m in length (it says exactly 3m in the service manual). The Japanese version ONLY supports 100v-120v (290W) but the European and US versions support 100v-240v (both 290W). However, it clearly states in the user manual that, if the US 100-240v projector is to be used in countries with 220v-240v, you have to use a separate cable that supports 250 voltage. With the Japanese version I got a 3m power cable that only supports a maximum of 125v, 7A. I still used it in Europe using a power transformer.

    With the used European (Continental) projector I got a power cable that was only 1.8 meters long. We are using a wall mount which isn't directly close to a power socket but that was no problem with the Japanese projector due to the longer cable.
    Therefore, I foolishly purchased a regular extension cord to be used with the European power cable. I asked in an "expert" hardware shop if that was OK to use with a projector, even though I had read in advance that it wasn't recommended. He said it shouldn't be a problem so I ended up buying the regular power extension cable.

    At home I excitedly connected the European projector using the supplied power cable and the power extension cord. When turning it on, I suddenly heard a slight clicking noise which resulted in the projector no longer being supplied with electricity. I became worried that I had blown the projector because I had tested it before without issues when plugging it directly into the wall.

    Knowing that the European projector supported 100v to 240v, I tested further with the Japanese 125v only cable together with the power transformer to see if it worked. It did, so luckily I now knew that the projector was fine and that just the European 250v power cable was damaged/fuse blown.

    According to the service manual for the model, all cables to come with every region should be 3m in length. Mine was used, so I might have been supplied with an “unoriginal” cable. I want to get hold of a 3m long cable that supports 250v but cannot seem to find it anywhere on the Internet. I am afraid to purchase a generic Mickey Mouse power cable in the shops because I also read that a projector should ALWAYS be used with the power cable that was supplied with the unit.
    How will I know, or how will I explain to a proper hardware shop, the exact type of cable with the correct specifications that I want to purchase? Do not want to risk blowing up the projector by buying a non-compatible cable even if it looks identical from the outside. Online I can only seem to find the US or Japanese 125v only cable counterparts.

    When I google the word “Mickey Mouse cable” I found an article on Wikipedia that shows the different styles of plugs that exists, but no further information on how much voltage they support, hence the reason I am worried about purchasing just any Mickey Mouse/Cloverfield style cable.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEC_60320

    These are the product codes for each regional cable for this projector:

    K2CG3FR00001 – US
    K2CM3FR00002 - Continental Europe (3m wanted)
    K2CT3FR00003 - UK (3m wanted if it can be used with an adapter)
    TXFSX02VKF7 – Japan

    If anyone can point me in the right direction or educate me on the special features that projector power cables have, I will be extremely happy for it!
     
  2. Main Scratcher

    Main Scratcher What's a Dremel?

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    I managed to get a replacement cable (original) from the seller that provided the used Euro projector. However, it was only 1.8 meter in length, so it's still too short to be used with the wall mount. I will update this post with specs on the supposed original 1.8 meter cable later.

    Is it actually possible that, due to the fact that a European 250v cable requires more electricity, it can't go over the same length as a cable that supports 125v? I.e., 3 meter is too long for a 250v projector-specific cable?
     
  3. phuzz

    phuzz This is a title

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    It looks like all you need is a standard C5 cable (see here). The actual power supply is inside the projector, and it should say in the manual what voltages the PSU needs. The internal PSU is the only bit that cares about what voltage you're using.
    It looks like you're in the US, so both projectors should work fine.
    If you just want a longer cable, there's plenty here that will all work. There's even an adaptor so you could use a standard kettle lead.
     
  4. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    This is correct. In addition, higher mains voltages will allow for slightly longer cables (not shorter) due to a lower current for the same carried power. Lower currents mean lower resistive losses, so less heating of the cable per unit length.
     
  5. Main Scratcher

    Main Scratcher What's a Dremel?

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    Sorry for not providing the specs yet of the original 1.8 meter cable. Have been away on vacation for more than a week.

    Thank you for explaining it further. So the assumption that mickey mouse style projector cables were somehow different than regular mickey mouse style cables was false? If that is true, I am still bewildered why the extension chord that I tried together with the first cable would damage it. Do extension chords have to be specific as well?

    Would you look at this cable here for instance. It's 5 meters long, which is perfect for our setup. Would you say that this cable should be fully compatible, and if it weren't, worst case scenario only the cable itself would stop working, and never potentially damaging the projector's PSU?

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/kenable-Po...=UTF8&qid=1469102199&sr=8-7&keywords=c5+cable

    The projector is to be used in Europe by my sister, so it is important that the cable supports 250v and is either a UK or Continental shaped plug. As long as it's a "C5 cable" supporting 250v, we're good to go?

    So if I'm not mistaken, the higher the voltage compatibility of the cable, the longer a cable is supported? I.e., meaning opposite to my initial assumption?

    Again, thanks a million for the responses.
     
  6. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    Not so much the cable but the mains supply is what is important.

    The TH-AX200 / PT-AX200E uses a standard IEC-60320 C6 power input port, and its internal PSU supports 50Hz an 60Hz, and 100-240V. This means that as long as you have a spec compliant cable with the correct plug on the end for where you are plugging it in (i.e. a UK plug in the UK, US plug in the US, etc) the cable will work.
    There is nothing special about a power cable for a projector over a cable for anything else.
     
  7. Main Scratcher

    Main Scratcher What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks again Edzieba. Based on your explanation (excellent), would you approve of the cable that is available on the amazon link I posted or any other identical cable for sale there?

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/kenable-Po...=UTF8&qid=1469102199&sr=8-7&keywords=c5+cable

    Really interested in buying a compatible cable as soon as possible :)
     
  8. Xir

    Xir Modder

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    Nothing special about the cable and no need for a special extension cable either.
    My in-laws have this projector, stuck it to a regular extensin cable no sweat.

    I have an epson, I cut off the original cable 20cm from the connector and hardwired it to a normal 5m lead with a wall plug in the old place, and directly to plug in our home.

    A normal european lead does not have a fuse or anything. Nor does it "do" anything with the power.
    In other words, any lead should do.
    The Amazon link looks good.

    That said:
    Does it say explicitly on the back that it is 100-240V? (it should)
    If it's US Spec, remember they have a 60Hz powergrid so it may NOT work in the EU.
     
  9. Main Scratcher

    Main Scratcher What's a Dremel?

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    Hi Xir. Thanks for helping me out further. Good to hear your in-laws have had no problems, even though they use an extension chord. Maybe the unofficial power cable we got with the projector was the issue and not the extension chord. Still, strange that it worked when hooking it up directly.

    Do you mean the projector or one of the cables? If you are referring to the former, then yeah, the EU projector (continental) supports 100v-240v.

    Since you're in Germany, you may understand the specifications for this item on the German Amazon.
    https://www.amazon.de/Netzkabel-Not...F8&qid=1469447084&sr=8-1&keywords=c5+cable+5m

    Is this a cable equally recommended? My sister would be able to order this one herself from Amazon Germany.
     
  10. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    Looks fine to me.

    The projector specifications state 50-60Hz in addition to 100v-240v, so will work just fine on both European and US mains supplies. The same is true of almost any piece of consumer electronics you can buy for the last decade or so that does not have the power supply moulded into the plug body: it's cheaper to build a switch-mode power supply that can handle all voltages and frequencies worldwide (and swap the cable for different territories) than it is to produce two or more separate models of PSU for different regions.
     
  11. Main Scratcher

    Main Scratcher What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks Edzieba. Yeah, I am happy they decided to go this route. I remember buying a Japanese Nintendo 64 and thinking I had to use a transformer when later giving it to a cousin who lives in Europe. We later realized that you could just buy the European N64 power supply and use it with the Japanese console. No need for a transformer. However, with the PS, Saturn, PS2 and Dreamcast, a transformer was needed if the Japanese console was to be used in Europe. For the Dreamcast, shops sold European internal PSUs which you could easily swap out with the Japanese internal PSU. This way you bypassed the need for a transformer.

    When importing the Japanese PS3, I was super happy to find out that the internal PSU was 100v-240v compatible, meaning a regular power chord was all that was needed to play it in Europe. A European friend of mine once brought his European Xbox 360 to the US when visiting so that he could use my local IP to download games/TV shows from the US Xbox marketplace. He only brought his Euro 360 and used my american 360's external power supply to power up his EU console. In this case, the external power supply would determine the compatibility :)

    Having to use transformers is annoying, so I hope that companies continue to create built in power supplies that are 100v-240v compatible.
     
  12. Xir

    Xir Modder

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    You might look for "c5 kabel 5m" on German Amazon (amazon.de) and find cheaper alternatives.
     
  13. Stanley Tweedle

    Stanley Tweedle NO VR NO PLAY

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    I see a lot of words in this thread.

    About wires.
     
  14. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    Wires are important!
     
  15. Stanley Tweedle

    Stanley Tweedle NO VR NO PLAY

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    I guess we all need them. I've never had a projector but I might get one just to see what the wires look like.
     
  16. Xir

    Xir Modder

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    Maybe he's a HiFi-luddite and used to listening to people saying WIRES MATTER and has moondustcovered speakercables.

    Anyway a power lead is a power lead, if it fits...who cares? I certainly never heared of projector specific power leads.
     
  17. Main Scratcher

    Main Scratcher What's a Dremel?

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    Am I being bullied on the forum for my incompetance? Haha, just joking.

    Yeah, I naturally assumed that cables for projectors were generically similar to other power cables but I did not find any articles that mention or confirm this. The very few forum posts (elsewhere) I found seemed to indicate that caution was advised. After the power cable stopped working when used with an extension chord I became unsure. I was therefore happy to find this forum because it obviously deals with a lot of technical aspects :)

    Plus, the advice given by you kind users has put my mind at ease, hehe.
    My sister ordered the power cable from the German Amazon site yesterday and will probably get it today or tomorrow. Will post the results as soon as she has tested the generic 5m C5 cable.
     
  18. Stanley Tweedle

    Stanley Tweedle NO VR NO PLAY

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    Yar, I had a friend called Bob who had a Linn Sondek and £900 cartridge. He'd spend £200 on phono cables and tell me how much better they sounded. He smoked a lot of weed though.

    Last time I saw him he had KRELL amps.
     
  19. Xir

    Xir Modder

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    Looking forward to it! :thumb:

    People believe this, people pay for it, their problem, not mine. If it makes then happy...
    These people are convinded it matters which way round you plug your plug into the wall (Europlugs can do that). I just smiled and waved from there on.
    Never argue with extremists :D
     
  20. Main Scratcher

    Main Scratcher What's a Dremel?

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    So, good results in from my sister. The 5m C5 Cable from the link on the German Amazon worked like a charm! Major thanks to everyone who provided advice. Bit-Tech forum saves the day :)

    My personal gripe with low quality cables is that they have a very poor longevity. The more often you unplug and insert a low quality cable, the quicker they get damaged. I remember in the past (10-15 years ago) buying super expensive Monster cables, but they were the only cables that always fit and would last a TON of video game tournaments. Cheaper cables started performing badly after 6 months of heavy use. Some seem to be shielded poorer as well, so many were not up to the task during major setups.

    In other words, in my mind and based on personal experience, cables do matter if you can afford it :)
     

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