PS2/Dreamcast AC Power: Polarized vs. Nonpolarized

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  #1  
Old 12-01-05, 06:52 PM
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PS2/Dreamcast AC Power: Polarized vs. Nonpolarized

I replaced my two (rabbit-destroyed) power cables, both of which were universal polarized cables, with universal replacement cables (which are nonpolarized). Both devices (the PS2 and the Dreamcast) were listed on the front of the package as being compatible.

I don't notice any problems, and the vast majority of replacement power cables are indeed nonpolarized. Other game consoles (like the XBox, I believe) are nonpolarized in their original configuration.

I may be naive, but I'm guessing that if most replacement power cables are nonpolarized then it's not an issue. Is there anything wrong with using them instead of polarized cables?
 

Last edited by flintsilver7; 12-01-05 at 07:29 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-01-05, 07:05 PM
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Yes, there is a problem. When a device has a polarized plug and you need to replace the plug, it should be with a polarized plug. If it didn't make a difference, then the manufacturer would not have used a polarized plug in the first place.

The problem is that if you plug it in backwards from what was intended, you will end up with line voltage where the manufacturer intended for ground to be.

Go back and buy polarized cord and plug assemblies and try again.
 
  #3  
Old 12-01-05, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by racraft
Yes, there is a problem. When a device has a polarized plug and you need to replace the plug, it should be with a polarized plug. If it didn't make a difference, then the manufacturer would not have used a polarized plug in the first place.

The problem is that if you plug it in backwards from what was intended, you will end up with line voltage where the manufacturer intended for ground to be.

Go back and buy polarized cord and plug assemblies and try again.
What you're saying makes sense. I just find it odd that an extremely limited-application product - this nonpolarized power cord, found in a video game store and listed as applying to PSX, PS2, Dreamcast, and Xbox- would be somehow incorrect. I know it's nonpolarized so it will work on all the devices, and I have a hard time believing that a game accessory manufacturer that's been around nearly as long as console video games themselves wouldn't have thought of something like that.
 
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Old 12-01-05, 07:42 PM
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Why oh why would you want to do it incorrectly when doing it correctly is no more difficult?
 
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Old 12-01-05, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by John Nelson
Why oh why would you want to do it incorrectly when doing it correctly is no more difficult?
It's not that I want to do it incorrectly. The cost for the cords I bought and for the potential replacements is next to nothing.

I'm just at a loss to explain why an object intended for four devices would improperly fit three of them if it caused a problem. It's not as if I'm trying to jam a plug in backwards. It's a cord specifically intended for use with both devices. Also, when I build circuits and devices, I always use voltage regulators and polarity protection.
 
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Old 12-01-05, 08:04 PM
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Companies sell whatever they think they can make a buck on. There are a lot of products on the market that are not safe.

What if I ask you why the manufacturer put a polarized plug on it in the first place?
 
  #7  
Old 12-01-05, 09:36 PM
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My guess would be additional safety protection.

Just for clarity, this is what the PS2 and Dreamcast originally have:
http://store.yahoo.com/abccables-store/505-395.html

And this is what the "universal replacement" cables are that I now have:
http://store.yahoo.com/abccables-store/505-390.html

I can see why you couldn't use a polarized plug in a nonpolarized setup, but if the opposite were true, wouldn't it make more sense to have the shapes be incompatible?
 
  #8  
Old 12-02-05, 05:11 AM
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I presume that you have the original (damaged) cords. You should double check that the original is actually polarized.

Examine the side of the cord that plugs into the console. Try plugging it into the console, then try flipping it around and plugging it in the other way. If the console end is symmetric, meaning that you could plug it in either way, then the _cord_ is not polarized, even if the opposite end just happens to have a polarized cord cap.

-Jon
 
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Old 12-02-05, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by winnie
I presume that you have the original (damaged) cords. You should double check that the original is actually polarized.

Examine the side of the cord that plugs into the console. Try plugging it into the console, then try flipping it around and plugging it in the other way. If the console end is symmetric, meaning that you could plug it in either way, then the _cord_ is not polarized, even if the opposite end just happens to have a polarized cord cap.

-Jon
No, check the above pictures. The shape of the original cord - the console end - is asymmetric, so it is indeed polarized. Both console manuals list the polarized plug as a safety feature.
 
  #10  
Old 12-02-05, 07:30 AM
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Yup. I missed the fact that you (the original poster) had also posted the cord pictures.

It does seem silly to me that the _nonpolarized_ cord was designed to fit into the polarized socket, rather than having a system where a polarized cord could fit a non-polarized socket, but not the reverse. Any devices that is safe with either polarity would be safe with a polarized cord, but not the other way around.

-Jon
 
  #11  
Old 12-02-05, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by flintsilver7
What you're saying makes sense. I just find it odd that an extremely limited-application product - this nonpolarized power cord, found in a video game store and listed as applying to PSX, PS2, Dreamcast, and Xbox- would be somehow incorrect. I know it's nonpolarized so it will work on all the devices, and I have a hard time believing that a game accessory manufacturer that's been around nearly as long as console video games themselves wouldn't have thought of something like that.
You misunderstand the people making the cord. they don't care about safety, just money. It wouldn't supprise me if the cord has no UL listing or if it does the sticker is fake. Not uncommon at this point. Either way your exposure to danger is minimal but real.
Why is it that you can get three prong to two prong ground lift adapters at pretty much any store in the country even though they are never installed propery and pose a much greater risk than using a non polorized cord? Safety is not their concern. period.
 
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Old 12-02-05, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by speedy72
You misunderstand the people making the cord. they don't care about safety, just money. It wouldn't supprise me if the cord has no UL listing or if it does the sticker is fake. Not uncommon at this point. Either way your exposure to danger is minimal but real.
Why is it that you can get three prong to two prong ground lift adapters at pretty much any store in the country even though they are never installed propery and pose a much greater risk than using a non polorized cord? Safety is not their concern. period.
The product itself is manufactured by Nyko. It is listed as being UL/CSA approved. I believe the packaging states it is "UL/CSA approved to ensure long-lasting safety and reliability." Pelican and MadCatz, other long-standing game accessory manufacturers, make identical cords. Polarized power cords are significantly harder to find. Searching for "PS2 power cord," for example, will give you largely nonpolarized cords.

I don't think it's fair to say that they don't have safety in mind, because they wouldn't be operating a business for this length of time if they produced demonstrably unsafe products. (This statement does not apply to tobacco companies).
 
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Old 12-02-05, 10:24 AM
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I don't think it's fair to say that they don't have safety in mind, because they wouldn't be operating a business for this length of time if they produced demonstrably unsafe products. (This statement does not apply to tobacco companies).[/QUOTE]

well I just looked at your link and it says Panasonic power cord? Use the cord, you've got a far better chance of getting wiped out in your car then sustaining serious injury from using a non polorized cord. Seriously, two prong devices are built to have extra layers of protection compared to three wire grounded devices(double insulated). But I doubt that the manufacturer agrees that a non polarized cord is the proper replacment for the product. The UL listing is negated the second the product is used in a non comforming situation, which this is.
 
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