This is one of the simplest gadgets I am writing about here. It is about the ubiquitous power strips or (as called in India) extension box. These are boxes that you use to plug a gadget to power when the cord doesn’t reach the wall outlets, or you want to connect more than one appliance to wall socket.
Disclosure: I write reviews about products that I have bought for my usage and paid in full. There were no sponsorship or advertisement, or commission of any sort involved in this post.
Till about two decades ago, I remember seeing our electrician or the local electrical shop making these extension boxes by hand – they start by cutting a mica-board for individual sockets and switches, then fixing it on top of a wooden box to make one like the one seen below.
After the arrival of Chinese imports the power strips were easily available off-the-shelves for very low-price. But the problem with (almost) all the extension boxes that are sold in India, they have the so-called “Universal Sockets” that was designed to be compatible with the USA standards, but they are not friendly for India where the plugs have (2 or 3) pins that are round, based on BS 546 standard and are not thin & flat like in US. In these universal sockets, when you plug in Indian Standard Plugs, they don’t firmly lock and sometimes if the pins in the plug are a bit thicker, they don’t get into the socket at all.
India uses Type C for two round pin 5A rating, Type D for three (with earth) round pin 5A rating, and Type M for three (with earth) round pin 16 A rating.
When I do electrical repairs in my house or office, I insist on Indian standard (Type C, D or M) sockets. The other day I wanted to buy a power strip, only the Universal Socket types were available in shops, both online and physical stores. After more searching, I found Anchor (owned by Panasonic) to be selling power strips with Indian sockets. The first one, the square outer and round inner, is called Dyna Flexicord made by Anchor India had Indian standard plugs (Type D for three rounds pins and Type C for two round pins) with round pins available online (Amazon and Flipkart) for about Rs.350-400 per piece. The second one, the rectangle model is called Anchor 22066 6A Spike Guard With 4 Socket, 1 Switch, sells in Amazon India for Rs 589.
Remember, to connect a US type charger in these Indian Power Strips, you will need a small conversion plug (flat to round) that are easily available and cheap – I like the ones made by MX or GM or Anchor for this purpose.