Using a UK librem in mainland europe, IEC standards for power cables

Ok, this is pretty obscure, but i got caught out by this.
The standard power cable shipped with the librem 13 to the UK, connects between the transformer and the wall socket with an IEC 60320 Appliance coupler. The C5/C6 one, with three pins, nicknamed the Mickey Mouse connector.

This cable is NOT STANDARD in Switzerland (and I’m pretty sure it’s not standard in Germany or the entire rest of mainland Europe), which uses the C7/C8 standard which has two pins, the figure of eight connector.

So make sure you bring an adaptor plug if you are travelling in mainland Europe as the C5/C6 to wall socket cable is quite annoyingly expensive there, and you can’t just borrow the cable off household applicances of any friends or family you might be visiting.

While a Plug Adapter ‘IEC 60320 C6 Plug to IEC 60320 C7 Connector Block Adapter’ exists, they seem to be pretty obscure and/or not that easy to find while travelling.

Interesting. I suspect this might be a Swiss thing, rather than Europe in general, though having never been to Switzerland, or indeed Germany I am not really qualified to say.

Switzerland’s plug and socket standard is fairly unique, but if a laptop uses an ungrounded C7/C8 arrangement, and the power consumption is less than about 500W (most laptops are), then the plug can be a two-prong Europlug, which is compatible in most of Europe. It’s only the grounded/higher current plugs that vary, so it would make sense to prefer the ungrounded ones for better compatibility while travelling.

I’ve seen university students using laptops with German/French style CEE 7/7 grounded plugs connected to C5/C6 couplings, so there is such a thing as a European C5 lead.

Laptop PSUs with C8 inlets exist in the UK too, but anecdotally I’ve found they can sometimes result in getting a bit of a (safe) tingle when you use the touchpad or touch grounded parts of the laptop, whereas the C6 ones ground it to mains earth so that doesn’t happen.

In France I have many grounded devices with the “mickey mouse” connector. Seems pretty standard.