Cable Pinouts

This page contains wiring diagrams for various cables used in the labs.

Bulgin Connector

This type of connector is used in the entertainment industry. (A more common professional cable, uses a Socapex connector to carry 6 circuits. This larger 19-pin connector has an independent neutal connections for each circuit and is usually rated as 16A per circuit).

An 8 way connector connects 4 circuits (L1-L4). There is one earth and two shared neutral/return circuits (N). The total loading must not exceed 12A, with no more than 6A per circuit.

Figure:Part numbers PX0957/PX0552 (solder outlet), PX0551 (inlet cable plug), PX0959 (solder inlet plug)

1 (Centre) Earth
2 L1
3 L2
4 L3
5 L4
6 N/C
7 N - Common with 8
8 N - Common with 7


They can also be rather tricky to apply to cable ends, because they often have a very compact housing.

Check which wiring standard is used. This connector is notorious for being used with two common wiring configurations (another common configuration uses pins 2 and 3 as neutral!). Be careful!

Some older uses of this cable used the same sex of connector at both ends - leaving an exposed mains contact when not connected, this configuration is strongly discouraged. My advice is do not use other people's cables before you have thoroughly checked both ends of the cable!

Wiring for a Bulgin Cable Breakout to connect Four Lights.

The breakout cable uses a male socket input to accept a Bulgin power cable. This is normally a chasis-mounting socket mounted in a plastic enclosure (or earthed metal enclosure) with 4 output cable glands, one for each of the four output cables.

Each output cable has a plug. Each output plug is wired to a common earth (wired to pin 1). Each output plug has a common Neutral (i.e. the bulgin connector pins 7 and 8 are connected and supply the neutral signal for all outputs). All plug has a common earth (pin 1). The outputs will be terminated in IEC plugs, or 15A power sockets.

Note 1: When testing this cable, the technician should check each circuit one at a time using another Bulgin cable that allows 4 separate input circuits. When performing this test, it must be noted that all neutral pins will be common, hence unused input cables will have a neutral voltage even when not powered.

Note 2: Each output cables should carry a label: 1,2,3,4 respectively corresponding to the four input circuits. Correct labeling needs to be confirmed using a Bulgin cable that allows 4 input circuits.

Two warning notes are required to be attached to the breakout cable:

A Rough Guide to cable ratings (single phase) - Check specific cable/local regulations

Cable Type mm2 Rating Free Air Comments
Flexible Cord (BS 6500) 0.75 6A Voltage Drop ~62mV/A/m
Flexible Cord (BS 6500) 1.5 16A Voltage Drop ~32mV/A/m
Flexible Cord (BS 6500) 2.5 25A Voltage Drop ~20mV/A/m
Flexible Cord (BS 6500) 4 32 Voltage Drop ~20mV/A/m
PVC Solid Flat Cable 2.5 27A 17A covered by 100mm insulation ( ~13A within insulated stud wall)
PVC Solid Flat Cable 4 37A 27A covered by 100mm insulation ( ~22A within insulated stud wall)

9-Pin D-Type Connector

This connector is used in the teaching lab to connect equipment to DMX Receivers.

It uses a 9-pin D Connector at TTL levels, with 8 outputs, and a common ground.

Dimmer 1



Dimmer 2



Dimmer 3



Dimmer 4



Output 5



Output 6



Output 7



Output 8



Connector pin 9 is a common signal ground.

This page is:

Prof. Gorry Fairhurst, School of Engineering, University of Aberdeen, Scotland. (2023)