|Why spend $$....||When you can make them yourself so cheap?|
"Liberators" are a commercially available product that helps solve the problem of bulky transformers obscuring adjacent outlets. Rather than spending the $2-3 plus shipping and handling, I decided to crank out my own for about a buck each. You could build them yourself from scratch by buying the necessary plug ends from Home Depot, but it would end up costing you close to $10 each. Instead I hacked up 6ft extension cords that were $0.97 from Walmart and shortened them to be about 10inches long. Here's how:
|First cut the middle out of the cord so that each end of the plug has about 6" of cord. This way our finished cord will be about 10 inches long. If you are going to finish your cord with heat shrink tubing, slip it on now so you won't forget it later.||Split and stagger the ends. *pay close attention!* In order to maintain the polarity of your finished cord, make sure that you are lining up to the same wire you came from. You can tell the difference between the two wires by looking closely. One side will have a few nickel plated strands in the bundle, or the insulation will have grooves versus the other being smooth.|
|Strip and twist the ends.||Twist each strand together and solder them. The stagger ensures that the cord will not accidentally short, and the solder adds strength to the cord so that it wont just pull apart.|
|Slide the heat shrink tubing to cover your splice and heat it to shrink. Alternatively you can use Electrical Tape, but it's not as slick. The heat shrink tubing adds $0.30 to each one, which is pretty significant if you look at the percentage price increase of the finished cord, but I still like it better.|
Now I'll be the first to admit that my design is only 2 prongs and doesn't include a ground, but every transformer I've ever seen doesn't have a ground either. If you found 3 pronged extension cords cheap enough it would be easy to do the same thing with them. But at my store, the cheapest 3 pronged extension cords were $6 and were 25 feet long. I have to say that most of my projects where I try to duplicate a commercially available product I'm lucky if I end up breaking even. This is one of the few times where I was able to make something you can buy for cheaper. Yay.