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What is a Right Angle Cord?

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  • Written By: H. Bliss
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 12 September 2016
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A right angle cord is a cord with a plug that connects the cord at a 90-degree angle from the plug. This type of cord connector takes up a narrower space than standard plugs and guides the cord to run along the wall or device. Right angle cords can also be known as right angle cables, and may have right-end connectors on either end of the cord. Right angle cords are generally power extension cords. Other common types of right-angle connected cords include Universal Serial Bus (USB) cables, High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) cables, musical instrument cables, and audio-video cables.

Right angle cords can help protect people from injury while helping to guard the plugged-in device from accidental damage. Often, the best position for a cord is parallel to the wall. Because a right angle cord connects to the plug at a 90-degree angle, it will run parallel to the wall more naturally than a power cord with a straight plug. A right angle cord is a popular choice for power extension cords placed behind furniture or in areas with high foot traffic.

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Cords with a right angle connector are also used for internal computer hardware component cables, connecting parts such as hard drives and optical drives to the motherboard. A connector positioned at a right angle can help make room for hardware cable connectors, even in tight spaces where a standard connector will not fit. Right angle cables can help keep computer case cables tidy, reducing problems with tangled cords and bumping cable plugs.

Musicians often use right angle cords to connect electric instruments such as guitars and amplifiers. A right angle cord lies flat against the body of a guitar, parallel with the input plug, which may be on the front or side of the lower part of the body of the electric instrument. The lower profile of the right angle cord keeps the cord out of the way, reducing the chance that it will interfere with with the musician's playing. When used with an amplifier, a right angle cord brings the plug assembly closer to the body of the amplifier, reducing chances of tripping, bumping, or yanking that may damage amplifier inputs.

For straight cords that would benefit from a 90-degree plug, right angle adapters change straight cords into right angle cords. These types of adapters plug into the device or wall plug and provide a connector parallel with the plug. Right angle adapters for extension cords can be bought at most hardware stores. Adapters for music cables are available online or at stores that sell guitar accessories.

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