Introduction: Make a Power Strip With a (C14) Plug for a Standard UPS (and Save Hundreds of Dollars)

Picture of Make a Power Strip With a (C14) Plug for a Standard UPS (and Save Hundreds of Dollars)

Before I even begin with this ‘ilbe, I have to say electricity is a DANGEROUS element. You can burn your house down, or even kill yourself. If you aren’t 100% sure of what you are doing, DO NOT TRY THIS.

Even beyond that, this ‘ible is NOT a proper way to do this job. It will work if done correctly, but if done incorrectly, the results can be disastrous. But, I am stuck here in Afghanistan and I have very little to work with, so this is what I had to do to make it work. I have taken many other mitigating actions to make this work safely. Also, this product will be recycled as soon as it can be replaced with a proper cord.

With all that said, let’s start the fun 

Step 1: Standards Are a Great Thing. There Are Always So Many to Choose From!

Picture of Standards Are a Great Thing. There Are Always So Many to Choose From!

Standards are a great thing. There are always so many to choose from! (That is an ironic joke for those lacking in a sense of humor.) Well, UPS manufactures have decided to agree to use a standard that no one has cords for. So that leads me to this ‘ible.

Situation: You have a UPS that only has C14 panel mounted male connectors for outlets. But the devices in your server rack are from 3 different countries, all with their own power cords.

Materials: You have a single C14/C13 cable. You have an ‘international style’ power strip that takes any of a number of plugs in it.

Tools: You only have a LeatherMan Wave Multitool and a roll of electrical tape. You most likely need a solder iron and solder, but, depending on your power strip, you might be able to get away with just the multitool.

Mission: Make “Tab A” fit into “Slot B” as it is. 

Step 2: Let Us Get Started

Picture of Let Us Get Started

This is the easy part. Flip the power strip upside down. Now take out all the screws and open it up. Note the wires that are coming from the existing plug. (Sorry about the photo quality, I didn’t realize it until after I put it all together.)
 

Step 3: Let Us Get Cutting

Picture of Let Us Get Cutting

 Cut the wires coming from the plug. Leave a little of the wire still on the power strip, so you know which wires go where. If there is a “grommet” or other device on the old plug cable to keep it on the edge of the power strip, remove it as well.

Step 4: Cutting the Cord

Picture of Cutting the Cord

Cut off the male end of the C14/C13 cable (the C13 end), and strip the wires. 

Step 5: De-Solder and Solder

Picture of De-Solder and Solder

First you need to “de-solder” the old wires off the power strip. There are a few ways to do this and it’s outside the scope of this ‘ible. Please search for “de-soldering” here and you will find lots of good tips.

Make sure to route any wires from the new cord at this time before you solder. Also, put the grommet on the wire before you begin to solder.

Now, solder the wires from the cable to the power strips. Be careful to match the correct wire to it’s counter-part on the power strip. If the color scheme is different, use a multi-meter to ring out the wires. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you might want to get help from someone with some experience at this point. 

Step 6: Put It All Together.

Picture of Put It All Together.

 Flip it over, put the bottom back on, screw the thing together and test. Make sure it works before you put it into “production.”

Now enjoy the hundreds of dollars you just saved by not having to buy APC’s propriety power strip!

Comments

twocvbloke (author)2010-08-09

I made something similar a while back, I just bought a rewireable C14 plug and a regular extension strip (UK of course, rather than a universal deathtrap like that one in the pictures (not your fault of course!!!)), just remove the plug and wire on the C14 plug... :)

I still have it somewhere actually, haven't needed to use it cos I no longer have a UPS, but kept hold of it just in case... :)

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