Ghetto Electrical Cord




Introduction: Ghetto Electrical Cord

About: "Black socks and Birkenstocks do not maketh the geek. I would argue that the essence of geekitude comes from within. To the true geek, it's not enough that things work. He or she must know how things work. A...

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 type of function.  IT IS WRONG.  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

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Step 1: 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.  You also have a US 2 Prong USB external drive that you need to get data off of it. 

Materials: You have a single C14/C13 cable.  You have a single 2 prong to 3 prong adaptor.

Tools:  You only have a LeatherMan Wave Multitool and a roll of electrical tape.

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

Step 2: Start the Operation

Open the 2 prong to 3 prong adaptor.  Just pry it open and it should all come apart nicely.  Save the ground tab for another project.  Cut the two metal tabs that extend from the adaptor.

Step 3: Start the Real Cutting

Cut the cord for the cable and strip the wires.  You can cut off the ground (green) wire as the USB drive only has two prongs and doesn’t use the ground.
Now cut a hole in the face plate of the adaptor, fish the cable through it and strip the inner two wires.

Step 4: Crimp It Together

Crimp the wire between the metal tabs for the plugs.  This may take some "doing."  work with it to make sure you have a good connection. 

Remember, a good electrical connection requires a good mechanical connection.

Step 5: Button It Up!

Now, put the adaptor back together and tape it up real well. Cut two slits where the plug will go into the adaptor.

Plug it in and see if it works. 

Enjoy the data on the USB drive!

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    13 Discussions


    9 years ago on Step 5

    I did something like this once... Needed an extension cord in a foreign country, and MacGyvered it with 2 travel adaptors, some wire, and electrical tape...

    Zaphod Beeblebrox
    Zaphod Beeblebrox

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    i didn't relize they gave out super-high quality cameras in the middle of afganistan-lol

    Zaphod Beeblebrox
    Zaphod Beeblebrox

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    ahh yes that would make some sense, he could sell pics to newspapers too


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I don't sell any pictures.  I do this more so people can see what is really going on here.  Not what the media wants you to believe (so they can sell more ad space.)

    In the end, wonderful things are going on here.  I'm meeting some great people.  In fact, I still keep in touch with lots of my friends from Iraq.  In the end, we are all people.  We all want the same things.  The media always tries to paint the "us vs. them" picture and it just isn' t the case.

    OK, I'll get off the soapbox now. Sorry.  8>)


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I brought my in.   In fact, I bought this camera last year when I was in Iraq so I could take better pictures for my blog.  I'm still learning, and it isn't the best "above water" camera by far.  But I can get a good shot every few thousand.

    Here is the blog from my Iraq deployment and you can see the exact post when I get a better camera if you start from the begining...

    here is my current blog using this camera...