While in the process of rejigging the multimedia equipment at New Zealand Vintage Machinery Club, of which I am a member, the DVD player (a Bauhaus model DVD-4900A) decided to stop working. When I got it on the workshop bench I quickly discovered that the power cord had an open circuit wire. There was no signs of physical damage so I tried to find out where it had failed by slitting open the sheath. Power cords often fail at the strain relief although that would not have been likely with this item given that the cord would have had very little flexing.
It turned out that there were actually two separate breaks in the one metre long cable, and all the evidence pointed to poor quality manufacturing. Incidentally, the colour coding was brown, black, and blue with the earth conductor being blue Now here in New Zealand I am quite sure that earth conductors must be the green or green/yellow colour coding, and I am sure that the regulation applies to cords as well. So I spent quite a bit of time poring of the legislation and the regulations but could not find a definitive answer. Even the experts at Energy Safe NZ and the Electrical Workers Registration Board could not give me a straight answer.
The cable, as with many others, had a long string of letters, numbers, and symbols along its length. I could recognise some of the information but the rest needed some research to find out what they meant.
- HO3VVF – an industry specification for cord sets
- 3G 0.75MM 2 – this is quite obviously the diameter of the individual wires but the meaning of 3G is unclear (possibly something to do with three wires making up the cable?)
- VDE – Verband der Elektrotechnik, Elektronik und Informationstechnik e.V. (VDE Association for Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies), a European technical-scientific association
- KEMA-KEUR – a European appliance safety certification
- Series of three “+” and sideways “S”s – unclear
- Series of symols and letter – unclear
- CEBEC – a Belgian rating label for the quality assurance of electrical appliances
- IEMMEQU – what this means is unclear after a short search but it is likely to be another certification.
- SABS 1574:1994 – it looks like there is a spelling mistake on this one and it should be SANS 1574:1994, a South African standard for flexible cables
- S N D Fi – these sort of look like country codes
- Baohing – the manufacturer
- LTSA-3 – a type number
- N14586 – possibly another type number
- 227 IEC CE – probably a reference to the IEC 227 standard
Judging by all of these markings you would think that the cable would be top quality but obviously not. So is the cord falsely labelled or all of these standards of no use? Given the spelling error and the incorrect method of describing the standards I would say this is a cheap and nasty bit of Chinese manufacturing and all of the labelling is just there to make the cable look good. Come on manufacturers – you can do better than this!
Anyway, I replaced the power cord and our club now has the DVD player back in action. According to a fellow club member there were quite a few of these DVD players with faulty cables. He had acquired them and fixed them up but somehow the one supplied to the club was overlooked or not fixed because it was not faulty at the time.