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Mr Mike

Random question for French LAVA members: what is your outlet polarity?

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DISCLAIMER: THIS IS A PERSONAL REQUEST FOR HELP HAVING NOTHING TO DO WITH NATIONAL INSTRUMENTS. I'M ASKING YOU TO STICK METAL THINGS INTO OUTLETS, SO IF YOU'RE NOT 100% SURE OF WHAT YOU'RE DOING, DON'T DO THIS. I'M NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU HURTING OR KILLING YOURSELF (OR YOUR EGO).

I'm moving to France for 8.5 months and leaving in 3 weeks. I have two CEE 7/7 plugs that I'd like to wire up to a NEMA 5-15P female plug. I'll then connect a US-style NEMA 5-15P power strip to the female plug. This is safe because all of my electronics automatically switch between 120VAC/60Hz and 240VAC/50Hz. I did it before in Italy where the outlets didn't have a polarization, so there was no question of polarity.

However, I'm going to France now where you apparently have CEE 7/5 receptacles. I need to know what your polarization is. So, if you have a handheld DMM and you understand what you're doing, would you go plug it into your outlet? Please consider this socket and tell me which is the live and which is the neutral? I know the center (higher) prong sticking out is the ground. The voltage across the live and ground should be about 240VAC. The voltage across the neutral and the ground should be almost 0VAC.

DISCLAIMER: THIS IS A PERSONAL REQUEST FOR HELP HAVING NOTHING TO DO WITH NATIONAL INSTRUMENTS. I'M ASKING YOU TO STICK METAL THINGS INTO OUTLETS, SO IF YOU'RE NOT 100% SURE OF WHAT YOU'RE DOING, DON'T DO THIS. I'M NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU HURTING OR KILLING YOURSELF (OR YOUR EGO).

Edit: I know there are power adapters, but what else am I going to do with these plugs? I picked them up years ago in case I ever went to France or Germany.

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Hi Mr Mike,

in Belgium we also have the same plugs and the only thing I can tell is that this is not standardized.

One place live is left, other place live is right...

This socket also allows ungrounded plugs which can swap left and right.

It is AC so this shouldn't be a problem.

Edited by tnt

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Hi Mr Mike,

in Belgium we also have the same plugs and the only thing I can tell is that this is not standardized.

One place live is left, other place live is right...

This socket also allows ungrounded plugs which can swap left and right.

It is AC so this shouldn't be a problem.

I thought you might say that. The two plugs I have actually swap the live and neutral. Wikipedia says the plug is polarized. Guess not.

I know that since it's AC it's not a big problem, but I'd rather be right. :-)

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I thought you might say that. The two plugs I have actually swap the live and neutral. Wikipedia says the plug is polarized. Guess not.

I know that since it's AC it's not a big problem, but I'd rather be right. :-)

Switzerland uses polarised plugs and there is a convention that the live terminal should be connected to the right pole, if the middle earth pole is at the lower end. However it is specifically forbidden for a device to rely on this fact, so no connection of the left pole to any touchable metal part at all!!

Basically the only thing you can say for sure is that three poled connectors have a known earth connection and any electrical conductive parts on a device that can get in contact with a human or animal should be connected to that earth. Oherwise you have only two poles and the device needs to be double isolated for safety. Such double isolated devices should have the according sign somewhere on it's casing, a rectangle inside another rectangle, symbolising the double isolation.

The French and Belgium installations seem not to have any preference for which side to connect the live pin, despite the fact that the socket is actually polarised due to the unsymetrical earth pin.

Basically for any appliance that can handle unpolarised connection, such as used in the German "Schuko" system, it should not matter at all, if the outlet is polarised or not. The opposite is obviously not true, but I would think that any appliance expecting polarized connection, would be a total pita to sell outside of a few very limited markets.

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...if the middle earth pole is at the lower end...

post-181-0-13463400-1343322184.jpg

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well, judging by the language of this poster it is rather Śródziemie...

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post-181-0-13463400-1343322184.jpg

You had me wondering for a moment there, as initially there was only a white image with some meaningless text about "no softlinks" or so! But I'm sure Hobbits would use LabVIEW if they had computers. :P

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The French and Belgium installations seem not to have any preference for which side to connect the live pin, despite the fact that the socket is actually polarised due to the unsymetrical earth pin.

.

You are right, it is not obligatory to use one side or another, in France.

Mr mike: You should use a power adapter (like you suggested).

Off topic: what are you going to do in France? (apart from having a lot of fun and visiting Paris :yes: )

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You are right, it is not obligatory to use one side or another, in France.

Mr mike: You should use a power adapter (like you suggested).

Off topic: what are you going to do in France? (apart from having a lot of fun and visiting Paris :yes: )

I'm building my own adapter. :P

My girlfriend is studying at Sciences Po for her third year of law school. NI will allow me to work remotely for 9 months. With that perspective, it's not hard to figure out where I'd choose to be.

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My girlfriend is studying at Sciences Po for her third year of law school. NI will allow me to work remotely for 9 months. With that perspective, it's not hard to figure out where I'd choose to be.

Allow me to correct that: my fiancée. :D

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Allow me to correct that: my fiancée. :D

Congratulations :thumbup1:

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My girlfriend is studying at Sciences Po for her third year of law school. NI will allow me to work remotely for 9 months. With that perspective, it's not hard to figure out where I'd choose to be.

You should visit us at SAPHIR during this 9 months. We are in the french Alps at 3 hours from Paris in train.

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Most outlet have no polarity. There are no kind of problems using Us bi voltage appliance

New outlets shoud be polarised but you have no way to know if it is a new or an old one !

if you are leaving in an old flat ( more than 10 years old ) be careful with the earth. A good idea is to use only one wall outlet ( and a multi outlet ) for all the appliance who are connected by usb or ethernet. As you can have a volatge betwen earth of 2 outlets.

A friend of mine as a problem with the fridge and it cost him a printer a computer and a modem ( the fridge survive ) .

Félicitations for you girl friend She could try to enter ENA a " Grande Ecole ". ( Science Po is an Institut )

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