Mystery symbol on 3DS
July 12, 2011 10:53 AM   Subscribe

What does this symbol mean? It's a rectangle with two circles on the bottom like wheels, and a squat diamond on top. It's on the back of a 3DS.

As well as my 3DS, it also appears on the back of other Nintendo portable consoles. I'm in the UK, and looking online it doesn't seem to appear on every 3DS, so I think it's probably a European symbol.

I've been trying to google it for nearly an hour, and for the life of me I cannot figure out what it means.
posted by lucidium to Technology (20 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I've seen very similar symbols used to represent mining, but I don't think that's what this is.
posted by Electrius at 10:56 AM on July 12, 2011

It is likely some kind of Conformance Mark.
posted by arveale at 11:04 AM on July 12, 2011

The symbol below the mystery symbol is Australia-New Zealand C-Tick
posted by arveale at 11:18 AM on July 12, 2011

Here's another picture of the full backside of the 3DS for more context. I searched the back of my Nintendo DS and all the documentation for it, and it wasn't present.

For more context, here's a pic of the bottom of a Wii console showing the same symbol. An Xbox360 console shares some symbols, but not the one you're searching for.

TinEye didn't have a search result for it unfortunately.
posted by sambosambo at 12:12 PM on July 12, 2011

My first theory was some sort of combined conformance mark - the diamond at the top looks a bit like UL's PSE mark for Japan, but their combined mark looks pretty self-evident. Possibly a manufacturer's mark of some kind?
posted by jquinby at 12:16 PM on July 12, 2011

This is driving me nuts, because I've seen it before. And I'm pretty sure I should know what it is. But for the life of me, I can't think of anything other than an image of a little trolley bus.
posted by HFSH at 12:18 PM on July 12, 2011

I doubt it is a conformance mark. It is more likely an electronic information symbol, similar to electrical insulation symbols.
posted by Jehan at 12:37 PM on July 12, 2011

Agree with Jehan. I don't remember what it means, but there were similar symbols all through my electronics workbooks back in school.
posted by MexicanYenta at 12:46 PM on July 12, 2011

Also found on DS Lite Power Supplies and the Wii power supply. Perhaps this is a Nintendo-specific symbol?
posted by MiG at 1:07 PM on July 12, 2011

It's not nintendo specific, and it's been around for a few years. Here it is on a power supply for Scalextric.
posted by kg at 1:59 PM on July 12, 2011

Could it possibly be a symbol indicating portability?
posted by Max Power at 2:52 PM on July 12, 2011

If I was a betting man, I'd place a small sum on it indicating that a grounded power supply is needed. It seems to always be near other symbols which indicate that.
posted by maxwelton at 2:59 PM on July 12, 2011

Perhaps it has something to do with recycling of electronic goods...? It looks like a recycling cart to me.
posted by tacodave at 3:11 PM on July 12, 2011

maxwelton: They don't seem to require a grounded power supply though. Look at the big plastic not-doing-anything-electrically prong on the wall wart.
posted by aubilenon at 3:46 PM on July 12, 2011

What an annoying thing, it seems so familiar but nowhere can I find what it means.

In the UK, it seems to be on everything Nintendo makes that plugs into the wall or into a charger. It's on the gamecube console and power supply, on the wii and power supply but not the wiimote (or the motionplus). It's even printed on the box for the Wii, DSi and 3DS. From the Wii box it seems like it's deliberately not applied to the wiimote - piccy here. It's not on the GBA (which took AA batteries).

It doesn't appear to be on Japanese or US devices judging from photos on the web, so it's something either UK or European.

It seems to be on Hornby power supplies too. At least there it could actually refer to a model train.
posted by samj at 5:19 PM on July 12, 2011

samj's photo has to be a major clue that this is a symbol for "mains power" or "wall outlet" or something, but a google image search turns up zero examples.
posted by maxwelton at 6:22 PM on July 12, 2011

Best answer: It seems to be a symbol meaning "toy transformer."

Both this page and this page have it listed as such (translated from German).
posted by (alice) at 9:02 PM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Yes, it's called the "safety isolating transformer for toys" symbol. See page 63 of this standards document.
posted by gubo at 9:11 PM on July 12, 2011 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Spielzeugtransformator was the magic word (googleing transformer is so doomed because it gives nothing but a*tobots vs d*cepticon!). Thank you (alice) and gubo, I can stop wondering.

EN 61558-2-7 seems to be the standard, and the symbol is "IEC 60417-5219 Safety isolating transformer for toys"

It mostly includes stuff like using the "small test finger" instead of the "standard test finger" and some extra drop tests (no drool proofing test though!).

I would love to know what it originally represented, but it looks like "toy trolley bus" might be close enough.
posted by samj at 4:56 AM on July 13, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Oh wow, thank you! That would have driven me mad. Thanks to everyone who helped with extra context as well. It's surprising there isn't a more friendly database of these symbols, but I suppose they're intended more for industry use.

I hope it is actually supposed to represent a toy, because my first thought when I saw it was that it was a tiny tram.
posted by lucidium at 6:22 AM on July 13, 2011

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