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Motortester (Electrical) (OP)
23 Jul 07 3:19

Can someone tell me what is the correct english name for the cheramical connection block (with six screws) where the motor connection leads usually are connected?

Skogsgurra (Electrical)
23 Jul 07 4:09
I have always used "terminal block" or just "motor terminals" and people usually understand what I mean. The protective housing around the terminal block is usually called "terminal box".

Gunnar Englund
100 % recycled posting: Electrons, ideas, finger-tips have been used over and over again...

Motortester (Electrical) (OP)
23 Jul 07 4:13
OK thanks!
Swervy (Electrical)
23 Jul 07 7:46
yes, i agree "motor terminal box" i have always used.
stardelta (Mechanical)
23 Jul 07 16:11
Being English......I concur. You may also see the term abbreviated to T-block or T-box.
jraef (Electrical)
23 Jul 07 22:11
Here in the US we call it the "Pecker Head"!
wde0665 (Electrical)
23 Jul 07 22:19
Thanks, jraef - I agree that's the common terminology - but geez Louise, in this day of political correctness and sensitivity training - the Human Relations people as well as the non-electrical types sure do raise their eyebrows high when that item is discussed.  But - that's entertainment for us electrical types.
jraef (Electrical)
23 Jul 07 23:31
Hey, there is no "political correctness" needed here! "Pecker Head" is a now commonly accepted term in much of the US for a motor termination box. As I learned long ago, the term was derived from "Picker Head" which was a protrusion off of a drum in old farm machinery which caught the material to be picked, be it an ear of corn, a sunflower head, a cucumber etc., and separated it from it's stalk or vine. Because the termination box on an electric motor looked very similar, it was called (probably) "that there picker head thang on the 'lectric motor"! Interestingly enough, in the South the term "Peckerhead" already meant a dullard and was also apparently derived from "Picker Head", but meaning someone too dumb to do anything on the farm but be a picker. With a Southern twang, "picker" can easilly end up sounding like "pecker".

The non-PC meaning of either term likely came along a lot later.

Hey what can I say. I did an etymology of common electrical terms once as a term paper for a class and the prof liked it so much he gave me extra credit to research oddball terminologies. I've forgotten most of them now but that one stuck because I later used it a lot.
Skogsgurra (Electrical)
24 Jul 07 1:55
My command of English is so rudimentary that I'm not even offended by that Peckerhead or was it Pecker Head? Or maybe Picker Head? word. And still, I am thinking of myself as one that can make myself understood in a few languages.

So, interesting and entertaining as it may be, the use of slang words brings with it a few problems. One of the problems is that the receiver doesn't get it at all. Worse, she/he gets the wrong meaning. And that can be dangerous in many technical fields.

Gunnar Englund
100 % recycled posting: Electrons, ideas, finger-tips have been used over and over again...

jraef (Electrical)
24 Jul 07 2:22
Yes, but if you are speaking to an electrician in South Carolina and tell him to make up his connections in the "T-box", he is likely to ignore you as a nut case or run the cables out to the tool box in the back of your pickup truck. If you say "Pecker Head", the job as a better chance of getting done right.

I was in Alberta Canada on a job site a few years ago and heard guys talking about the "potheads" at the motors. I thought they were speaking of the electricians themselves, but apparently that's what they call Pecker Heads up there.
Motortester (Electrical) (OP)
24 Jul 07 2:23
Are there free dictionaries available on the net by the way?
jraef (Electrical)
24 Jul 07 3:04
Lots of them. I always start with Google and use the term 'define" in front of whatever word I'm looking for.

Here's a specific one to the Electrical Industry in the US though.
Skogsgurra (Electrical)
24 Jul 07 3:14
That's OK Jeff - If you work in South Carolina. Or is writing for that area. But, given the way the OP spells his name (Stefan) it is more likely that he is European. Northern Europe, probably. Maybe even Swedish?

So I think he had better avoid the Pecker Head version. Good link, by the way.

Gunnar Englund
100 % recycled posting: Electrons, ideas, finger-tips have been used over and over again...

waross (Electrical)
27 Jul 07 17:44
Hi jraef;
Were the Alberta motors medium or high voltage? I am used to hearing "Pot head" used to describe a medium voltage or high voltage termination.
jraef (Electrical)
27 Jul 07 18:46
Medium voltage, on oil field compressors.
waross (Electrical)
28 Jul 07 1:16
describes a Pothead as the device that is installed on the end of a cable at the point where the individual conductors separate. It is used at voltages above 750V or 1000V. This usage predates the popular present usage of "Pothead" by generations.
My Alberta oil-patch times were about 30 years ago, I was working on DC drives that did not use potheads in any event,  and memory fails me. However there where probably termination potheads at the motor junction boxes (possibly built in to the junction boxes).
It would not be surprising if the terms motor junction box and pothead came to be used interchangeably in a particular region.
itsmoked (Electrical)
28 Jul 07 2:05
You guys must be smoking dope..

I'm from California and can verify a pot head is:


Keith Cress
Flamin Systems, Inc.-

Skogsgurra (Electrical)
28 Jul 07 2:14
I did, actually. But didn't know what it was. Great experience. Wanted more but the pusher had been taken care of. So I quit. This was fifty years ago, so I hope it isn't in my records any more.

Keith, the pothead can also be seen (usually under) the terminal box on large motors. MV cables and sometimes also LV cables needs to be terinated there, too.

In our language the potheads are called "cable boxes" although they are not exactly box-shaped. On the other hand, the pothead doesn't look like a pot - or a head.

Gunnar Englund
100 % recycled posting: Electrons, ideas, finger-tips have been used over and over again...

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