Museum of Plugs and Sockets logo, small Wylex
Clock Connector
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Wylex has also developed a special clock connector. This 2-pole plug and socket is considerably smaller than the 13A, 5A and 2A types for 'standard' domestic use, shown on the previous page.
It is unknown when the clock connector has been produced. The specimen shown below was wired with lead sheathed cable, material that became obsolete at the end of the 1940s. The plug is fused, which became compulsory with the introduction of ring wiring in 1947. These two facts suggest that Wylex has designed clock connectors shortly after WW2.

The Wylex clock connector was mounted in a pub in Little Easton, Essex, where it was noticed and rescued by Michael Milne. The museum is grateful to George and Rose Weston, landlords of the Stag, who agreed to donate this rare connector to the museum.


Wylex clock connector
Wylex clock connector, socket and plug


Wylex clock connector, socket
Wylex clock connector, plug

1 Wylex clock connector consists of a Bakelite socket and plug. With screw and nut, essential to keep plug and socket connected, the total height is 41 mm (1.61"). Diameter is 40 mm (1.57").
2 Separate views of socket (left) and plug (right). A 20 mm long screw keeps the two parts of the plug together (see also no. 4). The screw protrudes beyond the plug base and fits in an off-centre hole in the socket. This feature prevents that the plug can be inserted in two positions. The plug is therefore polarized, but L and N poles are not defined.

The plug has two identical pins, both are fuses. Since plugs are polarized a single fuse is sufficiently safe, if L and N poles would have been clearly indicated. It is remarkable that a Wylex clock connector with a single fuse/pin existed also; see the image below the caption. The reason why a twin fuse clock plug has been made is not known.
3 Clock socket in detail. Plug pins make contact with springs, rather than slots. This unusual method requires that plug and socket are kept firmly pressed together, hence the long brass screw visible in images no. 1, 2 and 3. Plug and socket screwed together prevents an easy and possible untimely disconnection; an advantage for clocks. The use of fuses rather than solid metal pins could have been another reason for using contact springs (see problems reported with fuse/pins in Dorman & Smith plugs).
The underside of the socket base has the text: BCM / WYLEX.
4 Clock plug in detail. Fuses are simply pushed in holes in the plug base. They are fixed when top and bottom part of the plug are screwed together (see no. 2). One metal end of the fuse is larger than the diameter of the plug base hole. That end makes contact with the copper strip in the top half of the plug. Wylex fuse/pins differ from Dorman & Smith fuse/pins. Common plug fuses are unsuitable because they have different dimensions and do not have a larger cap at one end.


Wylex clock connector with single fuse

Wylex clock connector with a fuse/pin (L) and a rectangular brass pin (N).
This type is not (yet?) in the museum collection.
Image source: UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Discussion Forum, section "Other Vintage Household Electrical or Electromechanical Items"; image posted by 'Tractorfan' (click link).


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