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It's not aluminium! I just wanted to clarify that, if you don't watch the whole video.
The earth busbar appears to be solid brass with a silver-like plating on one side.
This is a new and welcome twist on the traditional UK power socket. Instead of using screw terminals it uses spring loaded terminals in the same style of Wago terminals.
In use the spring mechanism tightly clamps the copper wire against a copper or brass busbar. It actually looks very robust, but time will be the true test.
The spring clamp removes the risk of people either under or over tightening the clamp screws. This is especially important in this era of profit-motivated Part-P deskilling. The colour coding of the terminals is also useful in this regard.
If you enjoy these videos you can help support the channel with a dollar for coffee, cookies and random gadgets for disassembly at:-
http://www.bigclive.com/coffee.htm
This also keeps the channel independent of YouTube's advertising algorithms allowing it to be a bit more dangerous and naughty.
#ElectronicsCreators

This should be interesting. It's a twin, socket, a double gang, socket uh that was sent to me by star delta, because he'd got a load to try out and it's made by a well. It's a uk branded it's made in malaysia, but it's made by a it's a uk branded mk and what makes it special is that, instead of the traditional terminals, where you've got recessed little brass terminals, with a screw going in from the side that you strip the Wire and either just put it straight down or fold it to actually fill up the terminal and then tighten the screw instead of that they have these wago style, pop-up terminals, so to terminate it all you theoretically have to do is get your twin nerf, which i've Formed to the perfect shape and size just like in these adverbs, you see for stuff like this uh strip it so that the wires are the correct length according to the gauge here and then pop the wires in one at a time, although i'm just going to Stuff the whole lot in at once like this pushing each down firmly and then click the terminal over click, the terminal over and click the terminal over, and that is effectively a cable terminated into they've, got three terminals to allow either radial circuits where the cable comes Along loops and goes out or the ring circuit has as popular in the uk, especially for these sockets, where you've got a continuous ring of cable that goes back to the distribution board. So it can loop in and loop out, but they've also got a third terminal to allow for spurs where you may have a fuse spur coming off.

That say, for instance, in a kitchen, you've got a row of sockets, but you want to add a spur for a switch to feed down to another socket for the dishwasher or whatever. This is what you can do with this. It's quite nice. It also has the little uh recessed probing terminals, so you can actually test for connection for the neutral.

There live there and then you've got the solid brass bar there for the earth. So i thought it'd be interesting to actually pop this open and check how it clamps onto the bus bars, presumably on the side if it's similar to the wiggly style connectors. So i wonder why they've got this little raised lip here. Is it to protect these from being lifted up accidentally, just particularly the earth ones, i'm not sure, or is it just because the earth connection has this little sleeve green on it, i'm actually seeing a little bite since i put those in it's got the little spring-loaded Terminal just like there we go that has clamped it and pushed it down onto the bus bar interesting.

So let's take this apart. I shall pop these screws out. This is a common approach in the uk. The screws are usually captive in the socket or switch or whatever you have just basically pushed into the plastic, quite precision that they do that it's held in by a couple of rivets, which i shall now drill out drill in.

I may have to push this down to do it. This is going to get noisy. Oh yeah, it's just snagged in the drill. That's fine, oh brass! On top, it doesn't look like brass.

Underneath, hmm intriguing is this just for show. I shall check this. Let's see if the same thing happens again i'll go slower this time that looks okay now is it going to come out easily, because i do see that there are significant clips here that it's got me intrigued, uh hold on where's a magnet. Where is that magnet? No, it's it's not uh, it's certainly not.

I shall explore that and see if i can work out what that is, i'm gon na scratch that it's not aluminium. Is it i'm not sure it's a silvery metal. Suddenly, it's going through a mind. How do i test this first is aluminium brass coated aluminium.

I suppose it's feasible right anyway. Let's see i can pop this off. Let's not, let's not go down the aluminium root. Aluminum, it's not an ideal electrical material.

So am i going to be able to pop this off? This may be destructive. I mean i'm taking the thing to bits anyway, so it doesn't really matter. I may have to pause momentarily. While i do this because uh i don't know if this is going to come off easily, but having said that, if i'm going to break it, i'm going to break it.

So, let's uh just like da this is going to be making really loud microphone. Popping noises, probably that's what usually happens to accompany the sound of the compressor on the back, because i forgot to turn the dehumidifier off this isn't coming out easily, that's! Okay! If it starts taking too long, i shall pause as i occasionally have to do. This is well preston, let's not peel myself in the process. Well, that's a good start.

It's actually coming up there. What about here? That's coming up there as well. This is where it all disintegrates into lots of little pieces suddenly, as i kind of expect it to happen, but the main thing is, i want to see what the bus bars are. Well, i want to see what they're made of now.

This is when, as i say, i'd like to know, i hope that's not how we met him. That would be a terrible direction to go. Let's see if i can impale myself in the process of trying to get this out. This is what happens ultimately, when people invest in metals like copper and brass that are essential to the electrical industry.

This has taken ages right. Tell you what i'm gon na pause momentarily: okay, ta-da! Yes, it is now opened and shared into lots of little pieces. Is this double pole? Switching? Oh, it's double pull! Switching look of it yeah. It looks like double pull.

Switching! That's nice! Uh! What about this uh? What are these made of? I mean they look like copper. I do hope they are copper, particularly the currents that we tend to use in the uk. I suppose you know ultimately not much different to the currents used elsewhere in the world, but the advantage in the uk is that at 240 volts a 13 amp socket which this is, which can be fused up to 13 amps and there's an a ring main rated 32 amps can deliver well, the socket can run uh three kilowatt appliance um, but uh. The total ring can run something like eight kilowatts.

So that's quite good all right. Let's pull these out just gon na experiment, just gon na zoom down. Actually so you can see. What's going on here, let's cantilever little terminals: oh, it just popped out actually yeah, let's not kind of leave a little terminal! Oh, let's grip this and lift it out so the same style of system that as it pushes it down it, pushes the uh terminal down.

So you can get the copper wiring and then it pulls it lit when you release it it. This is quite hard to push given it's quite sharp. When you release it again, it pulls it back up against the bus bar there so that you know that's it. Locked in place, but the spring the spring wire here is just purely hold it in place against that.

But these are uh coated. Is this copper? It looks like copper, let's scrape it, let us scrape this stuff, let's file it. These are the ones. I've been more worried about being solid, copper.

It looks like it's solid, copper. This is good, but it is plated with something there with a ace of white metal on the surface. I wonder what that is. How easy is it to get that terminal out? I think to be honest: to get out, you'd have to actually press it and at the same time as lifting it out so i'll.

Try that oh there we go another nibble at that, but i'm just taking it off short momentarily to give it a deeper file. Deep valve looks like copper to me. That's good uh right! So that's the earth is the only bit that's kind of like a bit weird here. The earth is a bit weird.

I mean it looks like the it looks like copper pins going over the end of that, but is the is that just brass finished aluminum? Let me just cut some off: i'm not sure, not sure that metal is, let's foul the top i'll. Just take it off shot again filing trying to file. Is it actually just coated, it might be actually brass with a white metal coating the inside? That would that's make me feel a lot better. That's just made me feel a lot better.

That they've just put some sort of uh electrode plating on it. I'm not sure why they're doing that must be a reason. It'll be scientific. Let me just follow through this thin layer of the white metal, and it looks as though i'm straight into brass yay.

That's good! That's good! That is such a relief. I thought there. It was like i thought that was a brass coated aluminum that wouldn't be nice, that wouldn't be nice. This is fine, so it's pretty much what uh? What we expected here um these little uh fingers here - are the bus bars and when you press it down it releases that metal spring down to let you get the wiring, then grips it back so that it can be pulled out.

It looks pretty solid. Actually that looks very acceptable and because uh these are all paired together. That's where it's seeing all the current flowing through the circuit, but all it's seeing here is the supply to the local socket. Although these are rated 13 amps, they usually say maximum of this current per socket.

It doesn't do the full um 13 amps, not sure that is i'm not sure what this socket is rated. It's not rated, usually to have a three kilowatt load plugged into each socket. Now can i want to get this out? Actually i want to get that out right. Tell you what one moment please interesting construction.

I thought that they'd. I was wondering how they'd got that small insert in there to go down and then spread out three terminals. It turns out there's a separate module clips on from, above, with the little cantilevers that, let's see cantilevers uh hinging down to actually push those things open. It seems okay, actually, i think i'm happy at this.

This looks alright indeed, after that little sort of concern about the bus bar metal and finding it is just sort of plated brass wonder why they've done that any idea of what they've done here is it silver? It could be silver think, that's a silver plate in the brass, not really sure, but it's the same arrangement. It's got the uh little cluster of terminals here that can be pushed down to actually clamp onto that yeah. It's neat, it's very good. This could well be the way ahead.

I wonder if they're just testing the water first by uh, putting out these sockets and then the switches will follow because it will effectively require quite a radical redesign of the sockets but uh. Certainly, this looks not bad and when you uh, the depth isn't really sort of significantly different to a normal socket. So there we go. The nk sockets, there's the little shutters by the way that when you put a plug in it uh it pushes these little uh.

Plungers down these little sort of keys what they got here for that if they got a different approach here - hmm i'm thinking, we've got a double parrot approach. Here, it's not just pushing straight down, i think uh. It will have to be pushed back as you push it in to actually slide down. Oh, i get it.

Oh, that's quite clever! Oh i've not seen that before uh when you push it in it's actually latching closed, so you can't push them down unless the pin goes in here, splays that apart and then it can pop down to actually uh cover the sockets. That's quite neat and it's pushed down by the sort of angular pins here by the look of it so yeah it looks like uh. It looks like a quite a radical redesign, but i like it um. It looks all robust enough.

It's got good, solid, uh brass and copper connections. Yeah, it looks good. It looks perfectly acceptable, so yeah interesting direction. I think i'm liking that direction they're going in, hopefully they'll introduce a lot more other components soon to actually match these.


15 thoughts on “Teardown of the new MK screwless socket”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Capn Pugwash says:

    What a shame. The old conventional sockets while not so adaptable for a 3 wire per terminal circuit could at least be stripped, cleaned and rebuilt. Perhaps not a normal need in the UK, but in the tropics where little ants seem to like to bring in concrete dust and then commit suicide the ability to strip down and refurbish is a great help.

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Călin Baciu says:

    I suppose that coating is applied to give us the opportunity to use both copper or aluminium cables.
    From time to time, someone might use aluminium wires because are cheaper. Not a good practice, but you know how greedy people are … especially when you hire somebody to make your electric circuit in your new house.

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Bystander333 says:

    I got a couple of LED roof mount flat lights with those connectors. Completely confused me as there were no useful instructions. Connections seemed weak as hell – first attempt they just pulled out, I treated them more gently the second time.
    Have been assuming they were just some new standard I wasn't familiar with that had somehow passed CE.

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Robin Wells says:

    I am not sure what you do dislike about aluminium as a conductor. It is not much less conductive than copper, is cheaper due to abundance and with plating you control the oxidation issues. We even use it for subsea array cable conductors and oxidation at the terminations is the only real problem to contend with.
    I think it might be silver plating at the terminals because the contact area is small and resistance might be a issue.
    Nice looking product.

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars UpLateGeek says:

    Not to worry, it's got a UKCA mark, so it's definitely certified to comply with something in the UK. The great thing about the UKCA mark is that nowhere else accepts it, so it costs more to produce the same product if they wish to export it to elsewhere, as it would require additional certification for no real reason. And because the UK government controls the standards for the UKCA, that allows them to create higher standards than other jurisdictions. Or, you know, lower standards. Which is also good, because it creates more opportunities for insurance companies to raise their prices when things start to go on fire.

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Mark Potter says:

    I have never liked MK because I personally found that on their fuse spurs I have to use a smaller screwdriver to get at the terminals 4mm instead of 5.5mm which I use as standard (Wiha slim fit) and I always feel I may damaged my screwdriver when using what I consider to small a driver for the terminations. Another concern I may have with these wago style connections is (I have not tried these so it's a question) could they accidently be opened by excessive cable length when fitting the socket back onto the box

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars siberx4 says:

    At first I thought these were going to be the awful push-in fittings they have on the back of some sockets/switches (at least we have them in North America) but I was pleasantly surprised to see the Wago-style ones you show off. Having had good success with Wago connectors in other applications, I definitely approve of this style being used in household wiring applications.

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Adrian Scarlett says:

    Finally, the uk electrical industry is catching on. I work globally and often have to modify or adapt electrical components, and I've seen these everywhere.

    I hope to see them integrated in IEC C13/C14 and C19/C20 rewirable connectors to replace the garbage often sold, even by reputable companies like rs components.

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Seb Brosig says:

    what's wrong with aluminium anyway? about half the conductivity of copper but twice as much as brass. Yes it's more prone to corrosion but it has its merits. Actully has the best conductivity per unit weight, by some margin as well, they used it for hight power cables in East Germany, presumabily because of supply of copper being more difficult.

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Danny Graves says:

    If you really, REALLY want to figure out whether something is Aluminium Clive, some Gallium will do the trick.
    Might not be all that easy to come by on the Isle of Man, but it's cheap enough, and it creates no toxic or dangerous byproducts when mixed with Aluminium, unlike a number of other methods one could use to determine which metal it is…

    Well, unless you add water to the Aluminium/Gallium mixture, but hey, who doesn't like a little whiff of Hydrogen to take the edge off after a long work day ? 😉

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Leonard Sorrell says:

    Unfortunately twisting wires together, when they are solid single conductors of any gauge from 1mm though to 2.5mm or greater is a flawed practice, those of you who know some history of electrical installation wiring back as far as the fifties and sixties will know that the smaller 7 series gaugeing numbers of British Standard Cable of those times were finer solid wires that actually composed a conductor made up of a small number of finer SWG solid wires, so an equivalent Lighting Cable of 1mm solid conductor today in imperial days twin or twin and earth(CPC) or Triple or Triple and Earth(CPC) for two way switch circuits, intermediate switch circuits for instance, would consist of something like 7 strands of solid wire of around 24 SWG or possibly 26 SWG to make a semi solid stranded conductor for Line and Neutral, The Earth (CPC), would also be Stranded,and was smaller in cross secton accordingly with 5 strands as an example, how do I know this fact, my Father was doing all Electronic and Electrical Dissciplines and I helped out, I do not Know the exact Number of Strands any size/Cross section composed of for that x section as an example above or the 2.5 mm equivalent Tand E(CPC) cable of those days or the 4mm equivalent, but being softer and more malleable as finer solid strands and most round hole terminals could accept a good 3/4 inch of bare conductors, the conductors of two or three cables would be twisted together, even with a rounded end, convex point to the screw, some strands would enevitably fracture, as would be discovered if a socket needed changing, and additionally the wires would be often too short to strip the insulation back on them to regain the unbroken stranded x section of each conductor there by maximising it's current carrying capacity and capability again. as they were finer, twisting the wires together got all the strands to go in the hole most of the time if the person was careful and concientous, better to twist each wire individually and with the same patience and care insert them in to the terminal hole in a parallel twin or triangle configuration and tighten the srcew on to them in that configuration, why ? , well you will not get the strands breaking, they actually compress across a greater Number of the strands spreading the Screw Point contact area evenly on the conductors with the same torque as before, by the time served, electricians feel of a self lubricating brass screw in a brass terminal, and they have an elasticity an engineer, eletrician, can judge before the point of too much torque and the screw fracturing.
    moving to the present I never will twist any of the conductors L and N or the CPC in groups of two or three of their respective designations of L, N and CPC together, very often when I have to change a socket even with brass terminals and brass screws with a rounded convex point, the Earth CPCs of 1.5 mm in a Twin and Earth Cable, 2.5mm L and N conductors, will at least one of of two or three CPcs twisted will have fractured within the terminal and one will be adrift as soon as the socket is withdrawn from the metal back box or a pattress/surface mount plastic box etc, connecting any of solid conductors in groups of two or three in a parallel side by side in the case of two conductors or a parallel triangle configuration prevents any of the CPCs breaking and in a round window terminal hole there will be a collective on two or three conductors a greater concentration of contact area of each group of two or group of three solid wires in contact with each other and the terminal hole and the screw clamping and compressing them over about three quarters of each conductor's diameters, be it the CPCs or the L and N conductors in their respective terminals and less chance of fracture of any solid conductor except if it is a sharp flat edged steel screw in those terminals, also not self lubricating with a brass terminal and prone to freezing in the brass terminal if the steel's plating is compromised.
    You can test this assertion out for yourself very accurately especially if you use a torque screwdriver to obtain very accurate screw tension/compression capability on each gauge and Group of Two or Three Conductors of either L and N or the Earth CPC Conductors in Groups of Two or Three, with brass screws and do the same test with steel screws in socket terminals with flat ended threaded screws on a socket with brass terminals, the steel screws will enevitably cause more conductor failure, due to sharp flatends acting like a burred sharp Guillotine.
    Leonard

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars David Evens says:

    If they're well made, I would think this style of termination would be superior because it's harder to get wrong that a well-made screw terminal. On the downside, if it's poorly made it's going to be pretty much impossible to get right while a poorly made screw terminal can, with care, normally still be made to work safely.

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Dave Lefevre says:

    Its MK Clive.

    What did you expect. some cheap chinese Screwfix essentials. Poundland shite that lasts 10 minutes

    mk stuff lasts forever.

    Send 1 to AvE,
    He thinks the cheap Chinese uk Socket receptacle pokey me thingy is the best in the world. this will blow his mind.

    Make Us Brits Proud

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Roger Lundström says:

    I am not sure what you meant by "lip", but one thing I usually do when I mount cords on lamps that are grounded; I clip the wires different length (more exactly; I make the ground wire a couple of inches longer)…. .. so IF!!! some unfortunate force succeeds to pull the wires out; at the very least the earth will be the LAST to go out, so the earth-fault connector WILL trip immediately.. IF something touches the metal.. (if a "yank" like that happens, probability is that someone is either working with the lamp, or tripped close to it, and most likely WILL touch it).. Any way the "lip" could help against such scenario?

  15. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Bernd S says:

    It's fascinating.. I've seen a bunch of different sockets from UK and US and they all look almost identical (obviously not comparing an US and UK socket, just each with their own).
    Here in Europe, several different manufacturers make different sockets, with easily detachable faceplate (one screw) which look all different, from different shades of white and black to even colours. Plus even more individuality with the frames – even glass is possible.

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