I've got a device with a 12V input requirement like this:

Power Inputs

But I've got no idea what the name of this input type is, and after searching for the correct supply (needs to be powered from a 240V mains socket) found this:

Power supply

It meets all the spec requirments for the device, so is it a simple matter of stripping the connector off of the power supply, stipping the wires and wiring them into the device?

Or have I missed something obvious, is there a name for the type of connector I need?

Thanks Matt

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You need to tell us what your "device" is and provide a link to the manufacturer's datasheet for it. I'm not convinced that what you see as "12" is not actually the separate numbers "1" and "2". \$\endgroup\$ – Elliot Alderson Mar 13 at 16:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ The 1 & 2 on the picture refer to the terminal numbers which are the negative and positive DC connection. The spec sheet says 12V current recommended, but it can work anywhere between 8-32V and as 12V seems to be quite common I thought id look for a 12V supply? \$\endgroup\$ – Matt Mar 13 at 16:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ That type of connector is called a terminal block. (specifically, a wire-to-board terminal block) It's used for connecting bare wires directly to a board. \$\endgroup\$ – Hearth Mar 13 at 16:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ As long as there's not a motor involved, you're probably OK. If there is a motor involved, there may be surge currents involved when the motor starts (and possibly stops) that would mess up your wall-wart, or at least cause odd system behavior. \$\endgroup\$ – TimWescott Mar 13 at 19:43

This type of connector, which is designed to accept bare wires, is called a terminal block, specifically a wire-to-board terminal block. They're a cheap way to make non-permanent connections that don't need to be easily broken and re-made.

The specific type you have here seems to use screw terminals, where you insert the wire and then twist down the screw until the wire is firmly held in place. You should not rely on this connection mechanically, but it is a good electrical connection. If you use a power cord with this, I recommend applying some sort of strain relief so that any accidental tugs on the power cord don't cause problems.

While they aren't necessary, it may be useful for you to put ferrules on the ends of your wires, which will help keep the strands together and, to a minor extent, help prevent the wire from breaking if it gets pulled out. As this requires a crimp tool (which many amateurs don't have, in my experience) I'd like to make it clear that this is by no means a necessary part of the connection. It just improves reliability.

As for what power supply to use, there are other questions on here with answers that cover that much better than I could.


If your power supply meets voltage and current requirements, that should be fine, you may want bootlace ferrules if the conductors are stranded and you're putting them in a screw terminal.

They look like phoenix contact screw terminals.


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