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Windows 7: Power Supply Cord Substitutes?

25 Feb 2010   #1

Vista
 
 
Power Supply Cord Substitutes?

Let's say I have an applicance, like a computer speaker, microwave or vacuum cleaner, and one of the power cords for those items stopped working or I couldn't find them, and I believe I have other power cords in the house that are OF THE SAME TYPE.

How do I confirm if I have another cord that is of the same kind? I can confirm a USB cord, Ethernet cord, coaxial cable, etc.

But how do I find out if two power cords are the same? I recently found out a wireless phone charger was the same as the charging cable for my game boy color...and my Original Xbox Wireless Adapter charging cable was the same as the charging cable for my PSP, etc.

However, with the cell phone and the game boy, I just "went and did it" and it happened to work.

But I didn't attempt the Xbox adapter cable and the PSP, but the ports looked the same. I don't want to keep doing this to everything since I risk damaging something, on the inside and on the out.

Is there something I can reference to tell me power cord A functions the same way as power cord B? I guess it's the writings on the plug that goes to the wall...but what do I refer to on those writings that tell me two power supplies are the same? Also half of them don't have fat power plugs with a lot of writing on them, actually they have no writing.

...Actually, I think the ones that have to writing are then not power adapters...and are attached to the device and is not seperable...right?

I went on a forum once and read something saying, as long as the power adapter provides the minimum voltage and has the right plug (some are so similar and barely fit..kind of hard to tell if a cord is fully compatible with a device for this reason...but I did read something about there being a power cord jack that was "positive inside and negative outside" for a Linksys router or something like that...)

Does any of this info ring a bell? I'm really obsessed with not messing up by electronic devices by putting in wrong cables and power supplies...I once inserted my PS2's RCA plugs into the back of my 3.5mm computer speakers...and something went wrong.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Feb 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Wandering Flame View Post
How do I confirm if I have another cord that is of the same kind?
I don't know about others, but I find looking at it is the best way.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Wandering Flame View Post
But how do I find out if two power cords are the same?
Again, that great gift of vision.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Wandering Flame View Post
However, with the cell phone and the game boy, I just "went and did it" and it happened to work.
If the input and output wattages and what not are the same on the actual plugs, it probably will, and even if not, it may still work, but the question is, for how long?

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Wandering Flame View Post
I don't want to keep doing this to everything since I risk damaging something, on the inside and on the out.
I'm all for cable management, but you have to draw the line somewhere, so stop doing it, as you don't sound like you've got the best aptitude to be trying it.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Wandering Flame View Post
Is there something I can reference to tell me power cord A functions the same way as power cord B?
If cable A has 3 different coloured wires running through it, and cable B doesn't with thinner wiring, then that's a clue, if cable C has the same coloured wires and same thickness as cable A, then you've found a match.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Wandering Flame View Post
I guess it's the writings on the plug that goes to the wall...but what do I refer to on those writings that tell me two power supplies are the same?
If it says the same on both, then you've got a pair, if it doesn't, then they're not the same.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Wandering Flame View Post
I'm really obsessed with not messing up by electronic devices by putting in wrong cables and power supplies
Then use the cables supplied with whatever devices you have. If you've got limited sockets in your house, buy one, or a few of THESE

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Wandering Flame View Post
I once inserted my PS2's RCA plugs into the back of my 3.5mm computer speakers...and something went wrong.
That will happen, when you don't know what you're doing.

Can I ask why you would want to be chopping and bodging the wiring of things that don't need it in the first place?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2010   #3

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

For power cords:
Substitute a 3-pin cord for a 3-pin cord and you are ok, assuming that you haven't traveled to another country. Substitute a 2-pin cord for a 2-pin cord. In case, you are wondering that third pin in the center-bottom of the connector is for the safety ground and the other two are for supplying current to your equipment. I'm trying to avoid being technical and its difficult. (I'm an Elec Eng..)

At the amperage levels used by computer equipment, you will have no problems.

If you are talking about USB cords, then for the most common flat usb connectors for usb 2, then all expect for the cheapest of cords are interchageable. A USB connector has two power and two data pins and their assignment is standardized. For example, right now I'm charging up my bluetooth stereo headset from my laptop using the usb connector for my external usb harddrive. True that cable has an extra noise/interference filter in for the external drive but still works fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Feb 2010   #4

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

I just noticed that you mentioned microwave and vacuum cleaner.

Your microwave can draw as many as 15 amps whereas you normal computer won't even come close to that.

Any other words, you can use a heavier cord on a piece of equipment with a light load but don't try to use your normal cheap 99 cent store extension cord to power your microwave.

My Toshiba laptop, under extreme conditions, won't even use as much as 1.5 amps from the wall outlet.

Hope this helps,
karl
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

karl obviously knows a bit more about this than me... but what i do is check the Voltage/Amp rating and also where applicable i pay attention to the bit that has a +(- or -(+ (its actually more of a C but the +/- is inside the C shape thought that looked better) as i found out (really should have thought about it) that if you get them the wrong way round, BAAAD things happen, on a slight side note, PC Power cables (such as those used for Monitors, PSU's and speakers) tend to be more or less identical in specs... i honestly couldnt tell you which power cable conencted to each of those things came with which device but it all works hope this helps

oh DONT hook the xbox power cable up to the PSP, i learnt the hard way the PSP is only compatible with PSP power cables
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2010   #6

Vista
 
 

"I don't know about others, but I find looking at it is the best way."

With an ethernet, standard phone cable, USB or HDMI, maybe. Power adapters plugs however can look so similar yet be very different in how they work...I found out the hard way like another person on this page.

"Again, that great gift of vision."

It's really not enough...I literally had 4 or 5 power adapters with what seemed to be similar plugs to each other that fit into my Linksys router. Only one of them powered it up the way it should. Vision doesn't help in this case.

"If the input and output wattages and what not are the same on the actual plugs, it probably will, and even if not, it may still work, but the question is, for how long?"

I think the problem with those numbers is, some adapters will say on them 100W - 120W (indicating it's somewhere in between) or, something of the like, unlike ones that have an exact measurement like 120W. In this case how do you know which cable this is equal to?

"I'm all for cable management, but you have to draw the line somewhere, so stop doing it, as you don't sound like you've got the best aptitude to be trying it."

Or I could just learn what power adapters match what from people...in case I lose a power adapter, which is the situation with my router at home (actually I luckily found it now but this is besides the point).

"If cable A has 3 different coloured wires running through it, and cable B doesn't with thinner wiring, then that's a clue, if cable C has the same coloured wires and same thickness as cable A, then you've found a match."

I guess...

"If it says the same on both, then you've got a pair, if it doesn't, then they're not the same."

Sometimes it's hard to tell for instace, if one is 204444...ok this is the part I left off from last night when I was extremely tired...I don't know what 204444 is or why I wrote it rofl.

"Then use the cables supplied with whatever devices you have. If you've got limited sockets in your house, buy one, or a few of THESE"

Of course I would use the cable a device comes with...only I didn't know where it was until I found it. I want to know what I should do in the case where I never found a power adapter. I saw some contradicting answers online, people saying as long as a power adapter provides the minimum or above the minimum voltage for a device, it should be ok. Others saying watch out for what the input and/or output voltage says since it might fry your device or something similar, and I read one person saying "check for where is + or -"! whatever the hell that means.

"That will happen, when you don't know what you're doing."

I would like to know from people how I can be certain if a power cord will not harm (to any degree) a device that the power cord just so happens to fit inside. It seemed you were saying earlier that as long as a power plug fits in a device, everything should be ok. I hope you were joking with the statement.

I used the vision method with the PS2 RCA cables and the 3.5mm computer speakers 6 years ago (omg it fits and/or the places look like they match!). It failed.

"Can I ask why you would want to be chopping and bodging the wiring of things that don't need it in the first place?"

I was just trying to know what I could use to power up my router dude.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Power Supply Cord Substitutes?





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