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Plug identification

Name of appliance on molded plug.
  [vote for,

Under the desk I am sitting at is a medusa's head of cables. Three surge protectors with 5-6 cords plugged into each. If I want to unplug the pencil sharpener or the phone, I've got to pull a little Sherlock Holmes, tugging, following cables through narrow cracks (between my desk and the wall and the file cabinet, etc.) and occasionally unplugging the wrong device. God help me when I rearrange my office or if I put something in storage and separate the power cord from the device. Which power cord goes with the printer and which with the scanner?

To solve this problem, I propose simply etching the name of the device on the molded plastic of the plug. "Monitor" "Tower" "Phone" "Lamp".

A universal system of picture could be used though the television symbol may be easily confused with a monitor symbol, etc.. And I'm very suspicious of the whole symbol system used on clothes tags.

grip, Dec 13 2003

Plugs! http://www.mpawson.demon.co.uk/plugs.html
Not really related to this idea, but I just found this: A collection of UK plug wiring diagrams. [hippo, Oct 17 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Power Plug Identification Stickers, $6/sheet http://www.spoonsis...4901&Category_Code=
Come in "office", "electronics", and "household" flavors. [jutta, Mar 31 2007]

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       I'm sure someone has small labels to place at the connector end, or SOMETHING ... I know modern mothermoard manufacturers color-code their connections, and other product manufacturers are following suit with the corresponding colored connector ends.
Letsbuildafort, Dec 13 2003

       +1 you have a grip! sorry to be cryptic.   

       I write the name on a small square of masking tape!   

David=I forget...
po, Dec 13 2003

       Po - I see you shop at Ikea...
Freefall, Dec 13 2003

       Loen= bed :)
po, Dec 13 2003

       I tried labeling at various occasions but never got anywhere because the cable can also be unplugged at the device. To make it more generic cables could have a random number at each end, lets say seven digits like a phone number. That way it is very unlikely that two cable have the same number and you can still switch cables between devices. Ikea fans can still assign names to the numbers.
kbecker, Dec 14 2003

       That's a good idea jutta. I particularly want to see how that plays out with mains-powered sexual devices.
cpt kangarooski, Dec 14 2003

       it is a nice idea, jutta but they must all tessellate together tidily for multi-plug sockets. a job for the likes of Escher but well worth the end result
po, Dec 14 2003

       [Rods] The flex and plug for my iMac are groovily translucent, like the iMac itself.
hippo, Dec 14 2003

       Hey, [kbecker]'s idea could logically be extended to have an agency like ICANN (the agency that controls MAC and IP Addresses) to generate guaranteed unique (like MAC addresses) identifiers for cables.   

       The other advantage of this would be that you could use the first seven digits of the cables ID number to determine the manufacturer.
mwburden, Dec 14 2003

       Damn. There goes that plan.
thumbwax, Dec 14 2003

       Clever, UnaBubba - almost too clever...
hippo, Dec 14 2003

       Now we are into big brother fantasies, but normal, little brothers may also appreciate a unique ID if it makes the cable smarter.   

       You can log onto the web site of the power company, enter the ID of a cable. The power company modulates the ID onto the main power line. If the cable is plugged it sends back a report about the electric current that it carries. Then you know if a cable is plugged in and if it is in use. No more worries like "Is the TV off?"
kbecker, Dec 14 2003


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