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Using cable grommets for mains leads? Still legal?
Using cable grommets for mains leads? Still legal?
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Old 9th October 2017, 06:43 AM   #1
VenusFly is offline VenusFly  Australia
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Using cable grommets for mains leads? Still legal?
Default Using cable grommets for mains leads?

Can you still use mains leads and drilling a hole into your chassis then putting in rubber grommets instead of IEC sockets?

I'm going to tie it down inside my project with a cable fastener aka R-type cable clamp (that mounts to the chassis with a bolt, same bolt can then be used for an earth) so the cable doesn't come out.

Or should I simply use waterproof cable glands? I really don't want to have to make another IEC socket hole... then again I have been using a nibbling tool to make those holes. are there cheap IEC hole punches?
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Last edited by VenusFly; 9th October 2017 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 9th October 2017, 07:48 AM   #2
simon7000 is offline simon7000  United States
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Grommet and clamp probably will not meet many of the different world standards, but actual testing would be required.

Weatherproof cable clamp will be marked with the appropriate approvals and would be good under most standards.

IEC cord and socket is intended to allow a compliant power cord to be provided to meet all of the various standards. Not really needed for DIY.

As to an inexpensive chassis punch, depends on your idea of inexpensive. Some folks use a Greenlee 731R for under $150.00.
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Old 9th October 2017, 08:48 AM   #3
VenusFly is offline VenusFly  Australia
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Using cable grommets for mains leads? Still legal?
Thanks. $150 is a bit much for me for a single tool. I'll do a good job of cable and grommet'ing the mains cable though.
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Old 9th October 2017, 09:20 AM   #4
Big Cheese is offline Big Cheese  Netherlands
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Using cable grommets for mains leads? Still legal?
Default Meutrik Powercon

Hi Venus,

Have you considered Neutrik Powercon?

All you will need is a big enough stepdrill.

Powercon parts are not cheap, but not quite USD 150 either. and it will be legal and safe.

Cheers,

Laurens
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Old 9th October 2017, 10:36 AM   #5
Old'n'Cranky is offline Old'n'Cranky  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VenusFly View Post
Can you still use mains leads and drilling a hole into your chassis then putting in rubber grommets instead of IEC sockets?

I'm going to tie it down inside my project with a cable fastener aka R-type cable clamp (that mounts to the chassis with a bolt, same bolt can then be used for an earth) so the cable doesn't come out.

Or should I simply use waterproof cable glands? I really don't want to have to make another IEC socket hole... then again I have been using a nibbling tool to make those holes. are there cheap IEC hole punches?
No.
As far as I'm aware, earth bolts must be their own device.
As in a bolt purely for the earth.
Using a plastic (deformable) anything under an earth bolt can never be a good idea.
Think theres also something about having to use a spring washer ?
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Old 9th October 2017, 11:10 AM   #6
traderbam is offline traderbam  Europe
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What is a step drill?
Perfect holes. A little liquid/oil while drilling helps cool it.
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Old 9th October 2017, 11:49 AM   #7
VenusFly is offline VenusFly  Australia
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Using cable grommets for mains leads? Still legal?
Thanks heaps for your help everyone.

I'm already looking at buying a step drill and I've taken the advice regarding a second mount point for the safety ground.
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Old 9th October 2017, 01:17 PM   #8
Richard Ellis is offline Richard Ellis  Argentina
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Location: Mar del Plata, a BIG seasonal getaway city, can see the Ocean from our residence.
For a secure chassis ground, (6-8mm bolt) use star washers on both sides of the bolt, dab of grease (heatsink?) to "seal" the interface...the steel teeth on the washer digs into the chassis material, the grease seals the connection against Oxygen which can be a source of reaction from the dissimilar metals.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------Rick..........
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Old 11th October 2017, 09:40 PM   #9
chrisb is offline chrisb
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Step drills are not without their own issues of control, particularly in stock that is thinner than the steps, and as for the Greenlee punches - well there's more than one size of IEC input - i.e. with or without fuses and/or switches, etc.

For hand-bombed projects, I always use aluminum chassis, which drill easily enough with standard twist bits, and consider the time spent with small precision files as therapy.
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Old 13th October 2017, 03:47 AM   #10
Gnobuddy is offline Gnobuddy  Canada
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I've seen old rubber cable grommets that had gone brittle and fallen apart sufficiently to allow the cable to then abrade on the sharp metal edge of the hole, until the copper wire inside was exposed.

I loathe having to cut those irregular hexagonal holes in sheet metal for IEC receptacles. But I do think it's much safer than a cable grommet, particularly in the long term. (Though today's plastic cable grommets might be safer.)

I've found some IEC receptacles that also incorporate a fuse, and an on/off switch, and which fit quite well if you cut a simple rectangular hole in the chassis metal. The bigger flange on these allows this.

It may be worth noting that IEC cords can usually be found easily just about anywhere. Powercons? Not so much. In fact, I've never seen one!

Cheap step-drills are likely to be found at your local cheap Chinese tool importer, if there is such a thing in your corner of Australia. In my experience, they don't wear as well as Greenlees and Milwaukees and other premium tools, but the cost difference is significant, and the cheap ones will probably last many last years with the amount of use they get from DIY amp building.

-Gnobuddy
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