Kill A Watt: IEC Adapters

I should have done this a long time ago:

Kill-A-Watt - IEC plug and socket
Kill-A-Watt – IEC plug and socket

It makes measuring PC power consumption much easier!

I picked up some cheap AC plugs and sockets, cut a short IEC extender cable in half, and wired ’em up. If the IEC extender link breaks again, search for something like “computer power cord extension” and rummage around.

IEC color code hint: brown = hot, blue = neutral (unless they cheat).

US NEMA 5 plug / socket hint: the blade marked W is neutral. More expensive hardware will have dark brass = hot, light brass = neutral, but don’t bet your life on it.

5 thoughts on “Kill A Watt: IEC Adapters

  1. That’s a neat trick! I think I have a short IEC extender left over from my cuneiform-era HP150. Must search the stash.

    FWIW, the Ryobi power meter (sold in the orange Big Box store) has most of the function of the Kill-a-watt (it lacks VA and power factor, but you get the battery backup), but if what you need is watts, kwh and amps (with a price per interval calculation), it does the job. My first go-round was disconcerting, with the display waking up in something resembling hexadecimal, and other glitches. Once I realized the display bore no relationship to any reality (2 * 5 hours wasn’t A hours), I removed the cells to check them–fine, but it gained sanity on the restart. If the price per kwh gives you hex, pop the battery and reinsert.

    We were looking into solar backup power for the house. Feasible, if you have $13K for the bits and pieces to handle 2 15A 110VAC circuits. (Ignoring costs for the stand and a transfer switch.) That’s a lot of money to run a conventional refrigerator and freezer the way the manufacturers think they should be powered. (1 appliance per 15A circuit. With the hefty startup spike, I agree.) The offgrid versions don’t thrill my wife…

    1. If the price per kwh gives you hex, pop the battery and reinsert

      When in doubt, reboot that sucker… [sigh]

      1. Yeah, I assumed the tool was broken on arrival. How hard is it to get an embedded processor to boot right? [resigned sigh]

  2. Ed –

    The IEC extender cable link needs to edited…

    Regards, the OCD proofreader :-)

    1. Done!

      Beats me, though, because I can’t see any difference between the broken link and the one that works now… which means it’ll probably break tomorrow when they change the target page again.

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