Gigantic Electronics extension cable

“Safety First!”, you may think while watching the following video, but if the cheap (Chinese) polyethylene (?) extension cables just break too often due to rough handling and their low quality, chances are that someone will come up with an alternative. Like this young man in Kenya:


(no subtitles available on this one, sorry)

A young man from Kiandutu slums in Thika had always wanted to be an electrical engineer, but lack of fees denied him a chance to further his studies. And yet this has not dampen his resolve to put his mark on the world of electrical engineering.For starters, he has devised a way of making wooden extension cables, which as NTV’s Jane Ngoiri reports, is causing quite a stir in his neighbourhood. (src)

A max current set by the fuse and wooden frames that may easily burn or conduct electricity while wet probably aren’t the best conditions for this hardware hack, but hey: there’s obviously a demand for such an extension cable.

11 comments » Write a comment

  1. I was so intrigued by the idea of a a cable in wood from the email, that I had to see the whole post. I had visions of splitting bamboo and laying conductors in the lengths. Now I understand :-)
    This should be an example of what marketing is: he saw a need and gap in the market, and then came up with something that filled that gap.
    I might have more than a few reservations about the hairdressing – “… heaters kwa hairdryers …”. It seems it would be a little too easy to go over 3kW, even if the cabling would stand that. Can somebody come up with a very cheap, simple way of limiting the current according to demand? I suspect many people have done that already. I’m not so worried by the wood. It withstands thermal deformation a lot better than the original plastics and emits fewer noxious vapours if things should go wrong.
    The mobile application looks good. Next question is: who will invent a universal charger interface for mobile batteries?

  2. I’m sure UL, CE and insurance companies all over the world will love this one!

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  7. Гениально. Дерево начинает дымить при 250°С. Это довольно безопасно.Странно, что они надевают маски. Они не догадываются, что такая маска не спасает от паров краски.

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  9. Pingback: Kenya: Young Man Invents Wooden Extension Cable · Global Voices

  10. This video was so intriguing! As an aspiring engineer, I enjoy reading about the innovations displayed on Afrigadget and seeing how creativity is flourishing in other parts of the world, especially in disadvantaged areas. It is unfortunate to see that very intelligent people cannot continue their education because of lack of money. But people like this man show that ambition and innovation can never be completely subdued. Even though he could not study engineering in a college or university, his dream of being an electrical engineer was actually fulfilled through his marvelous invention.

    Concerning his invention, I never would have thought that extension cables and power strips could be made out of wood. From an economic perspective, this man saw the need for a cheaper, more efficient way to distribute electricity in his community, and he responded to that demand. The only thing I worry about is if the wooden cables and power strips will actually be sustainable and if there are any real safety hazards to watch out for. The invention seems to be gladly received, but I hope that people are warned about any possible dangers if there are any.

    This post really shows how everyone has the potential to create something that can benefit the society they live in. I believe that the last couple of words in the video ring true – “One’s fate could possibly lie in one’s hands.”

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