(Topic ID: 85602)

How many games on one circuit?


By pinzrfun

5 years ago



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  • Latest reply 5 years ago by SteveFury
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    There are 51 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 5 years ago

    I've been reading the gameroom posts for an hour and answers are all over the map. I am hoping I can safely run 8 games onone 20 amp circuit? Roughly 2 amps per game, late model Bally williams and Sterns? Don

    #2 5 years ago

    I'll have to look at my breakers, but I run max 5. . . Maybe 6. Pretty sure they are 20A and 7 is a no go.

    #3 5 years ago

    6 is the nominal number for a 20A circuit. That leaves a bit of a buffer.

    #4 5 years ago

    Great, thank you guys.

    #5 5 years ago

    All depends if they are LEDed or not.

    LEDs can cut the amperage draw of a game in half.

    BUT (there is always a but), TZ often seems to flake out or reset if put on a crowded circuit.

    Also, old houses tend to have many other circuits that "steal" from any available junction box, so don't automatically assume that only that room shares that breaker.

    #6 5 years ago

    Breakers are designed to handle 80% of their rating. So a 20 amp breaker can handle 16 amps. Anything over that and it will trip. That is for new breakers, any breakers that are older and have been tripped several times, it may be less. Technically, if a breaker has been tripped on 1 short or 3 overloads it is supposed to be changed out, as its effectiveness is diminished.

    #8 5 years ago

    I'm getting ready to start my basement and I'm only putting 2 games per 20a breaker. I seen somewhere on pinside that most games can run around 8a, so I'm going with the 80% rule.

    #9 5 years ago

    Most games peak between 4-5 amps, but if LEDed they are sometimes under 2 amps.

    #10 5 years ago

    Circuit breakers (CBs) are designed to carry 100% of their rated current, yet the National Electric Code (NEC) dictates an 80% application.

    Don't trust everything you read on a public forum, when in doubt consult a licensed electrician.

    #11 5 years ago
    Quoted from rottenrobert1313:

    I'm getting ready to start my basement and I'm only putting 2 games per 20a breaker. I seen somewhere on pinside that most games can run around 8a, so I'm going with the 80% rule.

    You can put more than 2 games on a 20a breaker. I've got 4 games plus a MAME cabinet on a single 20a breaker and never had any trouble. My other games are on a separate breaker.

    The Kill A Watt that VID1900 references above is great. I have one. Lets you see what a games power draw is in attract mode as well as the peak draw during gameplay. A must have if you're trying to maximize the number of games on a single circuit.

    #12 5 years ago

    I only run 4 max at one time.(per gameroom) 20A wafers are spliced off of for an expansion area in the house. I am sure you could run more from 20A with no issues.

    I will soon not have this issue. I will gain a 3rd gameroom when the kid moves out.

    #13 5 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Most games peak between 4-5 amps, but if LEDed they are sometimes under 2 amps.

    Thanks vid....I guess 3 to 4 is what the general consensus is.

    #14 5 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    LEDs can cut the amperage draw of a game in half.

    They cut the power consumption at idle significantly, but no way they cut overall draw by half. A Kill a Watt will quickly confirm this.

    Quoted from vid1900:

    BUT (there is always a but), TZ often seems to flake out or reset if put on a crowded circuit.

    That's because of all the magnets and flippers it has. Whether a game has magnets or not is a bigger concern than whether it had LEDs.

    Quoted from vid1900:

    Most games peak between 4-5 amps, but if LEDed they are sometimes under 2 amps.

    Coils and magnets will take more than 2 amps with no lights at all in a game. Your Kill a Watt is broke.

    Quoted from rottenrobert1313:

    I'm getting ready to start my basement and I'm only putting 2 games per 20a breaker. I seen somewhere on pinside that most games can run around 8a, so I'm going with the 80% rule.

    Every Stern and most WMS games have a sticker on the back listing the voltage and amperage rating. It's also listed in the manual. Most all USA DMD games are rated at 8 amps . Can you run more than 2 games on a 20 amp circuit without having problems? Yes you can. If you start getting resets, you've gone too far.

    Whenever possible, put games with magnets on different circuits. LED's help, but when magnets and flippers are both firing at the same time, current draw is highest. Get a Kill a Watt and see for yourself.

    #15 5 years ago
    Quoted from phishrace:

    They cut the power consumption at idle significantly, but no way they cut overall draw by half. A Kill a Watt will quickly confirm this.

    This has beet tested many times and you can sometimes save more than half. Some games you only save 40%. YMMV of course.

    Quoted from phishrace:

    That's because of all the magnets and flippers it has. Whether a game has magnets or not is a bigger concern than whether it had LEDs.

    I never said otherwise. TZ has always been a problematic reset game, long before LEDs were popular.

    Quoted from phishrace:

    Your Kill a Watt is broke.

    Hardly.

    Quoted from phishrace:

    Most all USA DMD games are rated at 8 amps .

    That is just a boiler plate sticker, not an actual reading of the individual game.

    I've measured many games for electrical consumption and distribution at the shows.

    #16 5 years ago

    As others have said, it all depends on the machine title, LEDs, condition of wiring in the house, how much is going on at one time, etc... I have had 9 pins running on one circuit at once at a party with no issues. Maybe all 9 weren't being played at exactly the same time but I was definitely pushing the envelope. I bet if all 9 were in multi-ball it would have tripped the breaker. My pins are mostly LEDd and it was a newer house so I know that helped. As with anything, your mileage may vary. I know if I were building a gameroom, I wouldn't go over 6 per circuit.

    #17 5 years ago

    Sure, somebody with all 5 chip LEDs will draw more power than somebody using the single chip Ablaze.

    And an EM like Fireball with incandescent lamps and big disc motor draws 3.4 amps peak.....

    #18 5 years ago

    I have 7 on one 20 amp circuit. They don't all get played at the same time but they are sometimes all on while 3 or 4 are being played. Never had a problem.

    #19 5 years ago
    Quoted from tripp:

    Circuit breakers (CBs) are designed to carry 100% of their rated current, yet the National Electric Code (NEC) dictates an 80% application.
    Don't trust everything you read on a public forum, when in doubt consult a licensed electrician.

    I am a licensed electrician and you're right. I stand corrected. New breakers can handle their rated amps indefinitely but by code, only 80% of their value is supposed to be connected. So stick with 80% rule. You follow the NEC long enough you begin to think it's fact rather than guide lines.
    Was taught in school to change breakers after 1 short and 3 overloads. This is not a requirement but a good idea as after breakers become old and tripped a lot, they become more like a switch and less like an overcurrent protective device.

    #20 5 years ago

    There has been a study from electricians over on RGP. Forgot which guys did it, but they actually measured the amp draw of all pins...EM's, Solid State, and DMD's and the safe number for amps per game is 2.5A. So on a 20A circuit, following the 80% guideline, you can put 6 pins on a circuit. I am finishing my basement now and I set up 4 20A circuits for the pins. They are spaced around the room so each bank of pins will be on it's own circuit. I host league and parties every once in a while so I need to make sure they can all be on and played at the same time with no issues. The way I see it, more circuits is better especially if you are the one doing the construction....easier to add circuits without drywall than run them later.

    #21 5 years ago

    The house was built in 2000 and we are finishing the basement before we move in. So its wide open right now. I was hoping to be able to do 8 pins on one wall and just be able to throw one wait b when u walk downstairs and turn them all on

    #22 5 years ago

    If you want to control multiple receptacles on different circuits from a single switch, you should look into X10.

    #23 5 years ago

    I was poking around doing some research on X 10. Maybe I will voovle it again at lunch.

    #24 5 years ago

    X10 is expensive as compared to just a switch or switches. You could also do multiple wall switches, one for each circuit. If you are dead set on one switch to control them all, you can go with a multiple pole electrically held contactor with 20A rated contacts and 120V coil. The switch energizes the coil and each circuit runs through each contactor contact.

    I just have standard always hot circuits. I just turn my games on one at a time from the game itself. If I want to play one I don't want to turn on a bank of 6 to do so.

    #25 5 years ago

    I will probably go with 3 or 4 wall switches. I just want the wow factor of people coming over and having everything lite up at once.

    #26 5 years ago
    Quoted from conester:

    There has been a study from electricians over on RGP. Forgot which guys did it, but they actually measured the amp draw of all pins...EM's, Solid State, and DMD's and the safe number for amps per game is 2.5A. So on a 20A circuit, following the 80% guideline, you can put 6 pins on a circuit.

    I suggest you google RGP for LOTR ring magnet. They came from the factory with 4 amp slow blow fuses. Many games blew that fuse quickly. Stern unofficially advised people to replace it with a 5 amp slow blow. Just for the ring magnet alone.

    You can easily see this with a Kill a Watt.

    1. Plug Kill a Watt into wall
    2. Plug game into Kill a Watt
    3. Turn game on
    4. Push button on Kill a Watt to selects amps
    5. Have someone else play while you watch Kill a Watt readings

    2.5 amps is way too low for a DMD game. Try changing the main fuse to 2.5 amps and see how long it lasts. 6 modern games on a single 20 amp circuit may work, but good luck playing them all at the same time.

    #27 5 years ago

    Ive got 5 on what I believe to be a single circuit. No issues.

    #28 5 years ago

    Yes but that is 5A x 50volts = 250 Watts. 2.5A x 110volts = 280 watts.

    #29 5 years ago

    When I moved my laundry room to the basement, I had the electrician give me one extra dedicated circuit for my games.

    He used an "amp clamp" meter, I played each game and the meter grabbed the peak amperage. I wrote down the readings.

    My DMD magnet games like The Shadow drew 2.4 amps peak.

    Sterns like Tron were 2.2 amps peak.

    The lowest game was Gorgar with 1.7 amps peak.

    All my games are LED.

    6 games per 15 amp breaker, all played at once and never has a breaker tripped.

    Quoted from phishrace:

    Most all USA DMD games are rated at 8 amps .

    You guys are crazy if you think a pin draws a peak of 8 amps - if that were the case, you could only have one game per 15 amp breaker - LOL.

    #30 5 years ago
    Quoted from phishrace:

    I suggest you google RGP for LOTR ring magnet. They came from the factory with 4 amp slow blow fuses. Many games blew that fuse quickly. Stern unofficially advised people to replace it with a 5 amp slow blow. Just for the ring magnet alone.

    But you are probably assuming that the magnet is running at 120v, when really it is 50v; big difference!

    #31 5 years ago

    something else to remember is that using a good gauge wire is necessary. I have two 20 amp dedicated circuits coming into my game room. One is 10 gauge wire and the other is 12...(I got a good deal on the bigger wire so I just bought it). Going to run 4 games on each circuit. 8 games total.

    As Vid mentions...I have a TZ, a TAF and a CFTBL...all would reset when there was a drop in voltage. (old circuit was tied to a bunch of other stuff in the house and was only a 15 amp.) I think with LED's in the games and having the games on a 20 amp circuit I should be in good shape.

    #32 5 years ago
    Quoted from cichlid:

    My DMD magnet games like The Shadow drew 2.4 amps peak.

    Sterns like Tron were 2.2 amps peak.

    The lowest game was Gorgar with 1.7 amps peak.

    Thanks for some real life examples !

    #33 5 years ago
    Quoted from phishrace:

    I suggest you google RGP for LOTR ring magnet. They came from the factory with 4 amp slow blow fuses.

    Wrong voltage on the magnet to compare to the lines voltage.

    Quoted from phishrace:

    2.5 amps is way too low for a DMD game. Try changing the main fuse to 2.5 amps and see how long it lasts. 6 modern games on a single 20 amp circuit may work, but good luck playing them all at the same time.

    Actually a DMD games does draw 2.5A. Two of us measured with a Fluke 87 True RMS meter and 1000 clamp on ammeter in both attract mode and playing set on the recording setting. The mains 8A fuse is not sized based on the actual load of the game, it is sized to protect the WIRING from short circuit conditions first and then overload conditions second.

    #34 5 years ago

    Assuming that everything involved with driving the LOTR magnet is 100% efficient, then those formulas work (ie 5a * 50v). Since there is no way that's true, it can't hurt to be safe in adjusting the calculations 'up' a bit. I have a meanwell switching power supply that puts out 48v @ 12a, but also says it uses 11a at the wall. I can't imagine it's that inefficient, but that's how they rated it so it gets it's own 15a circuit (well, also a 100w light on that circuit) for what it's used for.

    #35 5 years ago
    Quoted from burningman:

    something else to remember is that using a good gauge wire is necessary. I have two 20 amp dedicated circuits coming into my game room. One is 10 gauge wire and the other is 12...(I got a good deal on the bigger wire so I just bought it). Going to run 4 games on each circuit. 8 games total.
    As Vid mentions...I have a TZ, a TAF and a CFTBL...all would reset when there was a drop in voltage. (old circuit was tied to a bunch of other stuff in the house and was only a 15 amp.) I think with LED's in the games and having the games on a 20 amp circuit I should be in good shape.

    ummm... something to remember is that if you have sized your wire according to code, "bigger" gains you absolutely nothing...

    10 gauge wire on a 20amp household circuit is a waste of money... there is no gain to be had.... nada... zilch... not to mention it is harder to work with.... not to mention have fun wiring the outlets....

    #36 5 years ago
    Quoted from ccotenj:

    ummm... something to remember is that if you have sized your wire according to code, "bigger" gains you absolutely nothing...
    10 gauge wire on a 20amp household circuit is a waste of money... there is no gain to be had.... nada... zilch...

    Quoted from burningman:

    One is 10 gauge wire and the other is 12...(I got a good deal on the bigger wire so I just bought it).

    It was an open roll that was priced the same as the smaller wire

    #37 5 years ago

    even at the same price, you should have bought the 12 gauge... for the reasons i added after i hit enter the first time... a "bigger" wire in this case does nothing except for make your life harder with NO benefit...

    actually, since the price of romex tracks the price of copper, buying the 10 gauge if it was the same price as 12 gauge is a profit opportunity...

    #38 5 years ago
    Quoted from ccotenj:

    10 gauge wire on a 20amp household circuit is a waste of money... there is no gain to be had.... nada... zilch...

    I guess that the heavier gauge wire has a little less resistance....so that is one small gain.

    #39 5 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    I guess that the heavier gauge wire has a little less resistance....so that is one small gain.

    I had chased reset issues on my games and finally realized that it was a voltage drop. (I had checked the plugs and if you didn't check them at the exact time of the drop you could not see it.) When I realized the issue, and was building/wiring my game room, I had decided that if I was going to do it, I was going to over do it...lol

    Hopefully you will never see another post from me talking about a game reset issue ever again.

    #40 5 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    I guess that the heavier gauge wire has a little less resistance....so that is one small gain.

    sure... no doubt there... the "laws" must be obeyed.... i could have phrased that somewhat better, but the song remains the same regardless of phrasing...

    and to be fair to the other poster, i'm also the person who makes power cords out of 12 gauge because i have a boatload of it lying around, and 12 gauge on a pin is beyond overkill...

    #41 5 years ago
    Quoted from ccotenj:

    i'm also the person who makes power cords out of 12 gauge because i have a boatload of it lying around, and 12 gauge on a pin is beyond overkill...

    I love overkill.

    #42 5 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    I love overkill.

    an old phrase from my a/v obsession days... "why kill, when you can overkill?"....

    i even have a "made up excuse" for using it... it's much harder for the demon spawn cat to pull sjow cable with a heavy duty plug on it out of the socket (not to mention harder for him to chew through)... i had to resort to locking plugs/receptacles in my theater room to keep him from unplugging my subs... that cat is going to meet a bad end one of these days, he has a very unhealthy obsession with power cords...

    #43 5 years ago
    Quoted from schudel5:

    X10 is expensive as compared to just a switch or switches. You could also do multiple wall switches, one for each circuit. If you are dead set on one switch to control them all, you can go with a multiple pole electrically held contactor with 20A rated contacts and 120V coil. The switch energizes the coil and each circuit runs through each contactor contact.
    I just have standard always hot circuits. I just turn my games on one at a time from the game itself. If I want to play one I don't want to turn on a bank of 6 to do so.

    I just use something similar to this... easy

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Home-Accents-Holiday-Indoor-Wireless-Remote-Control-Kit-RC-015-3/202353567

    #44 5 years ago

    I have 5 on one 25 amp breaker, the rest is 4 on 20 amp breakers. I never had a problem. I wonder how many amps for a shaker motor is when it starts? I also have a pin 2000, i'm sure that requires more amperage than a standard pin.

    #45 5 years ago
    Quoted from burningman:

    I had chased reset issues on my games and finally realized that it was a voltage drop. (I had checked the plugs and if you didn't check them at the exact time of the drop you could not see it.) When I realized the issue, and was building/wiring my game room, I had decided that if I was going to do it, I was going to over do it...lol

    Hopefully you will never see another post from me talking about a game reset issue ever again.

    I envy, my basement is finished and I run 6 or 7 games on each of my circuits and most my older B/W games always have the reset issues, SO frustrating and next to nothing i can do without having an electrician tear out some walls and rerun wiring. Earthshaker is THE worst, I can barely have one other game on without it resetting, most can take quite a bit more

    #46 5 years ago
    Quoted from cichlid:

    But you are probably assuming that the magnet is running at 120v, when really it is 50v; big difference!

    Quoted from schudel5:

    Wrong voltage on the magnet to compare to the lines voltage.

    Amps are amps. Voltage and phase doesn't matter. If your 4 amp fuse blows, you had more than 4 amps of current running through it.

    #47 5 years ago

    At my location we have 6 pins on a 20 amp breaker plus a claw machine and an incandescent sign. We run tournaments where all 6 pins are being played at once and we've had no problems. That being said, all my pins have LEDs in the playfield and backbox GI. That saves you about 1 amp per game.

    Early on we had an issue because the neutral was not terminated correctly at the load center. When the electrician was fixing it he put his meter on the circuit while all the games were being played. I don't remember the exact current draw, but it wasn't anywhere near being a problem, something like 12 amps.

    #48 5 years ago

    LOL, some people here need to learn Ohm's Law.....

    #49 5 years ago
    Quoted from phishrace:

    Amps are amps. Voltage and phase doesn't matter. If your 4 amp fuse blows, you had more than 4 amps of current running through it.

    That's not the issue we are discussing! Here, I copied what I responded to below:

    Quoted from phishrace:

    I suggest you google RGP for LOTR ring magnet. They came from the factory with 4 amp slow blow fuses. Many games blew that fuse quickly. Stern unofficially advised people to replace it with a 5 amp slow blow. Just for the ring magnet alone.

    You are correct that 4A is 4A; but what he is stating is that if the 50V line has a 4A fuse then you need at least that for the main fuse because it has other coils and lights so the entire game is going to pull way more than 4A.

    4A x 50V = 200W. Across the transformer --> 200W/120V = 1.6A. The 4A on the 50V secondary only translates to 1.6A on the 120V line side. Amps are amps, but not when talking about different voltages on different sides of the transformer. Wattage on the other hand is the same.

    #50 5 years ago

    Just tested a LEDed AFM - 2.3A peak

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