Power Details

Power Guide

Unless you go way back, any piece of old tech is going to need electrical power but what that power is can often be a confusing and baffling adventure, trawling through old websites and hoping that someone out there thought to make a note of things like voltage, ampage, polarity, plug type etc. For this reason the museum has, where possible, included details on the cable(s), power sources, batteries etc. needed to power various pieces of old rubbish. Given that there are a multitude of connectors out there, we've only opted to detail the more 'common' connectors (typically barrel connectors which supply a single power line) and anything that supplies multiple power lines (e.g. 12v and 5v) is beyond our scope (and will be noted by 'external PSU'). If you do feel the need to investigate these more 'complex' power sources, then you'll have to look elsewhere.

And now the safety/legal bit. Messing about with power and power supplies can be dangerous and can easily ruin your machine (or worse). For this reason, if you are not 100% confident in what you're doing, it is strongly advised that you seek out further help from a qualified person. Similarly the information presented here is intended as a guide only and, while as accurate as possible and as confirmed as possible, can't be guaranteed (and no liability will be accepted for damage, destruction or injury - basically, you follow the advice at your own risk and if it goes wrong, then it's your problem). As before, if you have any doubts whatsoever, it is strongly advised that you seek out further help from a qualified person.

Power Supplies

Where possible, it is strongly advised that you use the power supply supplied by the manufacturer - this should be guaranteed to work. Sometimes though, especially with old hardware, the PSU is either missing or broken which means that there's no alternative but to either source a new one or use an alternative. To avoid damaging your hardware, you should match voltage, ampage, polarity and DC/AC.

 Polarity Symbol Meaning
  Centre/Tip negative
  Centre/Tip positive

Power Cables

Mains powered machines (i.e. those with an internal PSU) can be connected via a wealth of cables. The table below details the ones that we use on the site.

 Cable AKA Shape Description
 C5 Cloverleaf, Mickey Mouse Sometimes found on some laptop PSUs and some (later) Apple hardware.
 C7 Figure-8, Shotgun, euro-connector Typically used for lower power devices such as laptop PSUs, tape recorders and older/lower powered games consoles.
 C19 Typically used for high-power servers and workstations, UPS devices and enterprise level hardware.
 IEC C13 The most common type of connector - the 'standard' 3-pin 'kettle.
 Wired The machine has a cable wired directly into the internal PSU.


Machines which use batteries fall into two categories: those that use bespoke batteries (in which case, good luck) and those that don't. Detailing every bespoke battery being used would be impossible but, to avoid confusion, the table below details the various non-bespoke batteries that we refer to on the site.

 Battery AKA
 AA Penlight, Mignon, MN1500, MX1500, LR6, R6, FR6, HR6, KR6, ZR6, 15A, 15D, 15LF, 1,2H2, 1.2K2
 AAA Micro, Microlight, MN2400, MX2400, LR03, R03, FR03, HR03, KR03, ZR03, 24A, 24D, 24LF
 C Baby, MN1400, MX1400, LR14, R14, HR14, KR14, ZR14, 14A, 14D
 D Mono, Goliath, Flashlight, MN1300, MX1300, LR20, R20, HR20, KR20, ZR20, 13A, 13D
 9-volt PP3, Radio, Smoke Alarm, MN1604, 6LR61, 6F22, 6KR61, 6HR61, 1604A, 1604D, 1604LC, 7.2H5, 11604

Site designed and maintained by TheNeil. While all content is checked and updated regularly, the author cannot be held responsible for any broken links, incorrect information or damage caused to hardware or software. Comments, contributions and criticism always gratefully received.

See that? That's the number of fools that have found their way here

Site Last Updated: 10/02/2016 15:35:29