Thingie? Doohickie? Whatzit? WTF!!!
June 18, 2007 8:13 PM   Subscribe

MacUsersFilter: This seems like a fairly simple Google search, but I'm coming up short all over the place; what is the name of the little part with the actual power prongs that interfaces into the power brick shipping with all Macs, and will interface with any power brick (post Yo-Yo), any AirPort Express, or any iPod charger brick?

I need one of these for the UK/IE power outlets, and refuse to pay $40 for 8 adapters when I need one, two at most. I'm sure someone on eBay (either in the US or in Ireland/UK) sells these for way cheap, and I'd like one. So, what is it called, or what do I search on to find them? I've tried "duckhead", "power adapter prongs", etc., but they all come up short, both on eBay and Google. MeFites, help! (BTW - eBay has come up empty just looking for the UK/IE adapter, sold separately from the international adapters package.)

BONUS: If you can find me the UK/IE version of the extension cord, as well, I'll really love you forever and be your bestest friend for life.
posted by plaidrabbit to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I had suspected this for a while, and just tested it: the jack that's actually on the power brick, and that the removable plug/thingy/whatever slides into, is a standard 2-pin power cord. It's used (in the US, anyway) on everything from stereos to electric shavers. I just tried replacing it with the cord from my IBM Thinkpad (the cord that runs from the wall to the power brick) and it fit and worked fine.

After doing some Googling, I think it might be called a "VDE" connector, but I'm not positive. Here is a European one, if you want to buy 5000 units. (With photo.)

So you don't have to look specifically for an Apple part, although that would fit perfectly ... anything that has a UK plug on one end, and this 2-pin connector on the other will work. It just won't lock in to the strain relief mechanism, so you'd want to be careful of pulling it out.

I'll keep looking and see if I can find one for sale online, but I think you'd have better luck going to a store in Britain and just buying one locally.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:40 PM on June 18, 2007

I was trying to find a US version of the official snap-on extension cord a while ago, and came up empty. As far as I can tell, Apple doesn't seem to sell it separately.

This page agrees with Kadin2048 that you can plug in any standard 2-pin interface.
posted by zamboni at 8:49 PM on June 18, 2007

On further research, I think it's called a IEC C7 Line Plug/Socket.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:02 PM on June 18, 2007

Yeah, they're a standard plug. You can find them all over the world, from street markets in Yemen to your mother's stereo. And the power bricks take 110-250V 50-60Hz power, which covers you for pretty much anywhere in the world.

Don't bother with the apple "travellers pack" or whatever, just go to a market or hardware store wherever you're going (or just dig through your old cords at home).
posted by claudius at 11:16 PM on June 18, 2007

These are known as figure eight plugs around here.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 12:03 AM on June 19, 2007

Best answer: Yeah I've been looking for the same; I bought a US MacBook Pro (the Apple UK keyboard has the @ in the "wrong" place anyway so I didn't see that it made any difference), and the cable that goes from the wall to the power block is obviously US-style.

Haven't been able to find anywhere that sells only a UK version of this (and it actually seems like if you buy a new Apple power supply you don't get this part either), so your only hope is eBay and the like I guess. Searches on there seem fruitless also, however.

zamboni: as I said, I have a US version of this cable, if you're interested ;)

As for people suggesting using a "standard" cable; anyone who owns a Mac is very unlikely to want a bodged alternative to the sleek and stylish real thing, IMHO ;)
posted by jon4009 at 8:12 AM on June 19, 2007

Best answer: Well what do you know... I just found someone selling them. They also seem to have the US equivalent and some other useful bits. I've not used them before so I have no idea if they are reputable at all, but they seem fairly cheap.

Typical, after I spent hours looking at the weekend, I spend 5 minutes now and find it at random!
posted by jon4009 at 8:27 AM on June 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

Apple calls that part the "power cord," and the part of the cable which includes the transformer the "power adapter." I just had a conversation with AppleCare about this nomenclature.
posted by lostburner at 9:09 AM on June 19, 2007

Response by poster: As for people suggesting using a "standard" cable; anyone who owns a Mac is very unlikely to want a bodged alternative to the sleek and stylish real thing, IMHO ;)

You are my new best friend, not only because you found the extension cord for me, but you totally understand why I was asking in the first place!

Thank you all for your contributions!
posted by plaidrabbit at 2:06 PM on June 19, 2007

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