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Help Converting 2 Prong Power Cord to 3 Prong Cord (No Colors on 2 Wires)

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By charles4400

2 years ago


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  • Started 2 years ago
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  • Latest reply 2 years ago by Pin-it

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#1 2 years ago

So I decided to finally convert all those 2 prong cords to 3 prong to properly ground some older machines which have had the ground cord cut off or just not wired in. (tired of feeling the 'buzz' on the siderails when not wearing shoes and figured it would help on some minor issues with static sounds in speakers etc.)

I am using this receptacle from home depot which makes life easier as the wire receptacles are labled 'black', 'white' and of course green for the 'ground' which should correspond to the wire sleeves in the power cord.:

Img_3268.jpgImg_3268.jpg (Click image to enlarge)

BUT what happens when the wire sleeves are not color coded (only the ground was color coded green)? There is at least writing on one of the wires and the other just black. In the pic you can't see the writing (bad shot) but it is on the other side of the left wire:

Img_3267.jpgImg_3267.jpg (Click image to enlarge)

Here is a pic of the inside of the cab where the power cord connects to. The wire with the writng is connected on the far left and the solid black wire is on the far right with ground in the middle:

IMG_3262.JPGIMG_3262.JPG (Click image to enlarge)

So which wire is the one with writing on it considered...black or white?

And what would happen if I accidently wired it incorrectly (i.e. switched the 'black' and 'white' wires)and plugged it in?


#2 2 years ago

replace the whole wire, in modern times it should be double insulated, which this old stuff is not.


#3 2 years ago
epotech said:

replace the whole wire, in modern times it should be double insulated, which this old stuff is not.

+1 Those flat cables are Sh#t. Can't tell you over the years how many damaged one's I've replaced on arcade games. The insulation tears to easily if they ever get pinched, especially if it happens to get a leveler run across it!
And stay away from that style of plug as well. Too easy to pull out the cable. Best to get a new cord with a plug molded onto it.


#4 2 years ago

LOL
Just pick up a 15' 16/3 extention cord cut the female end off for $8 and solder black on the brown wire side and white on the blue side of the filter and obviously green to the center ground lug.
Just do it right the cords are 20-30 years old is it worth burning your house down or shocking someone over?


-1
#5 2 years ago

...but in answer to your question, and perhaps someone here can confirm, but I don't "think" those old Bally's are polarized. So, aside from the ground, it shouldn't matter which wire connects where.

I did some research on this a while back when I got my Paragon. Realized the hot and common were reversed when compared to my other Bally's when some Led's I popped in didn't work. But, the game boots up and plays fine. No issues and all test points check out okay. I replace the power cords on all machines I buy. Generally with the older Bally's, I go with the original cord, but I'm a bit of a purist with that stuff. A more modern day cord will work as well. For home use, either is fine.

I can take a closer look when I get home from work tonight and let you know which wire goes where, normally.

Aaron


#6 2 years ago

The original bally cords are polarized it why one side of the jacket is rough with raised lines and the side is smooth thats how they determined polarity on these on older molded cords you will even see it on current day molded cords on side will have a texture side and a smooth side or one side will have a white line or printing to show its polarity.
the smooth side signifies black/hot
The textured or lined side signifies white/neutral
And in a 3 conductor wire the center is green/ground


#7 2 years ago

"Ribbed" side is neutral (white) and "smooth" side is hot (black). Green is ground.


#8 2 years ago

Thanks for the replies and clarification!

I did not even realize the textured and smooth side of the wires untill all of you pointed that out!

Ok so will get another cord and just to make sure I connect it correctly to the terminals in the cab could you all confirm that the orignal cord was wired correctly and that this is what I am going to do (black/hot/smooth wire on the LEFT terminal?):

Img_3262222.jpgImg_3262222.jpg (Click image to enlarge)

The only thing throwing me off now is that I see a blue wire coming from the bottom left and a brown one coming from the bottom right. I thought blue was neutral and brown was hot?
Or do those bottom wires have nothing to do with the top ones?


#9 2 years ago
charles4400 said:

The only thing throwing me off now is that I see a blue wire coming from the bottom left and a brown one coming from the bottom right. I thought blue was neutral and brown was hot?
Or do those bottom wires have nothing to do with the top ones?

Just for removing doubts about what they do.
Stab a meter probe in one of those wire caps and the other probe to the ground, set to volts test repeat for other cap to compare.
Result?


#10 2 years ago

Ok will test when I get back home... Will the test work since it is unplugged?


#11 2 years ago
Hellfire said:

LOL
Just pick up a 15' 16/3 extention cord cut the female end off for $8 and solder black on the brown wire side and white on the blue side of the filter and obviously green to the center ground lug.
Just do it right the cords are 20-30 years old is it worth burning your house down or shocking someone over?

+1 Yes, take the age of the cord into consideration (not just decay, but accumulative damage).
I've also found that a computer power cord works well. Just cut off the power supply connector end, strip it and connect it. But take care when you use the extension cord or PC power cord, that when you trim off the outer jacket not to nick the wires inside the cable.


#12 2 years ago

Get an outlet checker. Handy for checking wall outlets to see if hot/common/ground are wired right and working.

And you can plug into the service outlet on your game and that will tell you if your game is wired right.

LTG : )


#13 2 years ago
LTG said:

Get an outlet checker. Handy for checking wall outlets to see if hot/common/dround are wired right and working.
And you can plug into the service outlet on your game and that will tell you if your game is wired right.
LTG : )

Never thought of that. thanks for the tip.


#14 2 years ago
Hellfire said:

The original bally cords are polarized it why one side of the jacket is rough with raised lines and the side is smooth thats how they determined polarity on these on older molded cords

I know the cords themselves have a polarized marking, but I'd like to know if the game requires it. My hunch is no given my experience to date, but I'm not positive.


#15 2 years ago
LTG said:

Get an outlet checker. Handy for checking wall outlets to see if hot/common/ground are wired right and working.
And you can plug into the service outlet on your game and that will tell you if your game is wired right.
LTG : )

Great tool for future use thanks!

Well for now, since I don't have an outlet checker I am just going to assume that the cord wiring was properly installed since it was working fine before I decided to add a ground to it.

I now understand the smooth and textured wire coding instead of color coding of the old power cord. The blue and brown wires in the cab just threw me off but for now I will just replace the cord following the existing wiring.

Since it was working fine before, I assume that I don't have to worry about it catching fire or other catastrophe on it just by adding ground right?

Thanks for all the help, I have many pins but I still have alot to learn about electricity (obviously!) .


#16 2 years ago
charles4400 said:

The only thing throwing me off now is that I see a blue wire coming from the bottom left and a brown one coming from the bottom right. I thought blue was neutral and brown was hot?
Or do those bottom wires have nothing to do with the top ones?

What I was saying before was that if you had power( before you cut the plug off) and you test probed the blue wire to ground then the brown wire to ground you would see which one had the feed (hot) & return (neutral) because it sounded like you wanted to know which was hot and which was neutral after that emi box.

I believe that the new cord has to be installed the same as the previous old one hot to left and neutral to the right as seen on the photo you posted.

Another good safety feature to use is a GFCI outlet.(protects against shocks)

One other thing on hot & neutral in relation to a 3 prong receptacle or plug is looking at it head on it looks like a smiley face.
The small vertical slot(r/s) is hot (feed)the longer vertical slot(l/s) is the neutral (return)plus if you look at the screw terminals (on most receptacles or plugs) you would usually see a gold colored screw (hot )and a silver colored screw (neutral).
Its just standard for wiring.(safety reasons)

Like LTG said its a good idea to check your wiring anyway.

LTG said:

Get an outlet checker. Handy for checking wall outlets to see if hot/common/ground are wired right and working.
And you can plug into the service outlet on your game and that will tell you if your game is wired right.
LTG : )

charles4400 said:

I have many pins but I still have alot to learn about electricity (obviously!) .

Here you go.
More info>>http://bellevuecollege.edu/distance/cs110rh/it217/week02/21_electricity.htm
Good luck.


#17 2 years ago

Thanks Pin-It, very helpful article!

Yes to do it right I should of tested before cutting the cord lol! But glad I learned from this thread, thanks appreciate all the input everyone, I am sure to put this to good use in the future!


#18 2 years ago

White should goto the blue side and black should goto the brown side of the RF filter the in/out run parallel
Just becouse it came this way from the factory dont meen it was hooked up properly to begin with.


#19 2 years ago
charles4400 said:

Thanks Pin-It, very helpful article!
Yes to do it right I should of tested before cutting the cord lol! But glad I learned from this thread, thanks appreciate all the input everyone, I am sure to put this to good use in the future!

+2 Pin-It. Nice article on power and power protection. thanks...


#20 2 years ago

Thanks for the info. I'm currently wanting to replace the power cord on my machine since someone broke the grounding pin off the plug and like op the siderails deliver a small shock if you're not wearing shoes.

I went to Home Depot and bought a appliance/tool replacement cord (not an extension cord - one end of this already has the black/white/green wires exposed.) The purchased cord says that it is rated at 15 amps/125 V. The info on the inside of the pin says 8 amps/115 V.

Can I use this cord with the pin or do I need a different one? My knowledge of electricity is a bit lacking in this area!


#21 2 years ago
canea said:

Thanks for the info. I'm currently wanting to replace the power cord on my machine since someone broke the grounding pin off the plug and like op the siderails deliver a small shock if you're not wearing shoes.
I went to Home Depot and bought a appliance/tool replacement cord (not an extension cord - one end of this already has the black/white/green wires exposed.) The purchased cord says that it is rated at 15 amps/125 V. The info on the inside of the pin says 8 amps/115 V.
Can I use this cord with the pin or do I need a different one? My knowledge of electricity is a bit lacking in this area!

That cord is ok as you are putting a higher rated amperage cord on than what the pin will draw. But honestly, if the cord was ok, you could buy just a highest quality end (HD and others usually sell varying grades of quality/price) and put it on. That's what I've done. I mention this as the cord you got I believe won't just screw into your cabinet but I could be wrong.


#22 2 years ago

And the voltage is fine. US voltage for most regular residential outlets have 115 to 125 VAC. I, once again, could be wrong but believe they rate them for the high end of the voltage.


#23 2 years ago

I got the new cord on and it works fine now. No more shockies.

The cord I bought did work well, but it was a little fatter than the previous one so it was very difficult to get back into the plastic retention clip thingie. Many bloody knuckles and curses later, I did manage to get it in there. Hope no one ever has to take it out again!

Couple pics of the cord I used.

cord.jpgcord.jpg cord2.jpgcord2.jpg


#24 2 years ago

Perfect.


#25 2 years ago

Does anyone have a source for these 3 prong extension cords in bulk? I'm hoping to change out all the cords on my EMs and SSs to 15 foot long grounded cords and I would need about 50 of them. I keep hearing the dollar store has cords but I've only ever found two prong.

Thanks,
Art.


#26 2 years ago
MrArt2u said:

Does anyone have a source for these 3 prong extension cords in bulk? I'm hoping to change out all the cords on my EMs and SSs to 15 foot long grounded cords and I would need about 50 of them. I keep hearing the dollar store has cords but I've only ever found two prong.
Thanks,
Art.

If you dont mind orange indoor /outdoor extension cords Walmart 100 foot $16.77 ea. Ge 3 prong plugs W-m $1.97 ea. cut to 15 feet long (only 6.66 cords from 15`)=$2.51 ea + $1.97= *$4.48 ea. all w/o tax of course Math it out for the total cost
At 10 feet is a better deal $1.67 ea +$1.97=$3.64 ea
Not to shabby

You can also buy cord in bulk at the box stores too just need the plugs.

*Update: A can of black spray paint W/M brand painting the orange jacket will work (around $1)


#27 2 years ago

Not sure if this helps anyone or not, but if you're looking for the original cord for these machines...

Flat 10' cord @ $8.09
http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Kobiconn/173-33102-E/?qs=sGAEpiMZZMvl4Mm6MN%2fmBLlRU%252b7IfrbuelKVz%252bqek%2fM%3d

Or a more modern day cord...

Standard 8' cord @ $6.13 - SVT : Uninsulated/thinner & cheaper as quantity rises ($5.57 @ 10+)
http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Kobiconn/173-53102-E/?qs=sGAEpiMZZMvl4Mm6MN%2fmBLlRU%252b7Ifrbu2hg9KCAe3mU%3d

Standard 8' cord @ $6.83 - SJT : Insulated/thicker
http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Kobiconn/173-73102-E/?qs=sGAEpiMZZMti11uKQaALGcnE4BsanUdI

You have to pay shipping, which obviously makes these more expensive, but who doesn't need to order from Mouser every now and then. The Pinball Resource also sells both these cords.


#28 2 years ago

Glad you got it Canea!


#29 2 years ago
dmacy said:

Glad you got it Canea!

Yep - thanks for the help!


#30 2 years ago

Those replacement ends are stupid expensive, as much as a cheap extension cord.

I have just been buying extension cords like some of you mentioned. 16 gauge is plenty thick. Many older homes in the US only have 14 gauge in the wall and that is running a bunch of outlets.

I don't think you will find any UL listed 3 prong extension cord available in the US that is not a large enough gauge to safely run a pinball machine. The bigger pain is finding ones that are not bright orange.


#31 2 years ago
mg81 said:

I don't think you will find any UL listed 3 prong extension cord available in the US that is not a large enough gauge to safely run a pinball machine. The bigger pain is finding ones that are not bright orange.

I agree but I can do 10 /10 foot long cords w/ends for under $38

mg81 said:

The bigger pain is finding ones that are not bright orange.

Black rattle can



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