(Topic ID: 67382)

How much power do pinball's use? The "best" location set up for a pin at home?

By ManiacMama

6 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 11 posts
  • 6 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by rosh
  • No one calls this topic a favorite


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    #1 6 years ago

    My house is 112 years years old and we already have issues with breakers blowing all the time. We are moving into a new house around June. What about extension cords and or power bars? Are those a big nono? Is it better to turn them off and on with each use or leave on all the time? What other precautions should I be aware of? Is there a location to put them that's "bad" for the machine vs another? I also have high humidity in my house from a 55 gallon fish tank and we live on recreational waterfront about 100" from my back door. Is that a issue?

    #2 6 years ago

    Using my "kill-a-watt" meter, an LED pin draws about 1.7 amps.

    100' extension cord will need to be 10 ga or thicker.

    Some games like TZ might need even a thicker cord.

    Humidity is OK (plenty of pins are kept in heat only garages here in the North), just keep the temperature constant and keep it away from windows (they fade fast).

    #3 6 years ago

    Before you ask, TZ was poorly engineered and often reboots on low line voltage.

    #4 6 years ago

    Make sure your outlet is properly grounded. Don't assume because it has 3 plugs that it's actually wired and grounded correctly. You can get a RECEPTACLE TESTER for a few bucks at any of the big stores--(Lowes, Home Depot, etc.) If you're worried about dirty power which can occur in older homes (low voltage, high voltage, etc.) than get a UPS (uninterrupted power supply). I like APC brand UPS's myself. Do you actually have breakers? If so, your home's electric panel may have been updated at some point. Pictures? A home of that age would have originally had notch and tube wiring and used fuses, not breakers. Can't go wrong with the UPS though...nice clean power. As far as the humidity goes..that's not good either. You can always get a de-humidifier and run that near your pin. Waterfront 100" from back door? That's like 8 feet. Maybe that was supposed to be 100' (feet). De-humidifier's a good plan. Good luck!


    #5 6 years ago

    Yes sorry it 100' feet not inches! Yes we do have breakers as it was upgraded in the 50's or 60's. I will get the UPS for sure! Better safe then sorry! I seen a post somewhere that sunlight is bad...is that true? What happens now is when we turn on the stove,Tassimo, and the elecric fireplace heater it will blow the breaker so over the years we know what to turn off before turning something else on. We are going to try to use a extension cord with the breakers with the least amount of stuff run on them. ( forgive my lack of electric knowledge and terminology) We will use the one we use for Christmas lights and unplug them to run the pin. Thats why I was asking about pins being turned on and on alot vs being on all the time. My hubby has basic electrical knowledge but as a speciality butcher, a 100+ year's home electrical never been part of that training LOL. I am so glad we are moving to a 13 year old log house soon however that presents it own challanges with building a game room and adding more plugins!

    Thank you the comments helped me alot!

    #6 6 years ago

    Sunlight will fade the cabinet art if its direct. Thats all. If u use an extension cord for your pin use a large gauge, heavy duty one-- 12 gauge or larger. Good luck!


    #7 6 years ago

    OR, and this is going to sound crazy so bear with me, hire an electrician for a 1/2 day and have him install a 20A breaker AND run a circuit down to the lake.

    You could run pins, lights, TVs....lots of stuff on 20A.

    #8 6 years ago

    Moisture (humidity) and electronics plus wood (particularly MDF or chipboard) are not a good mix.

    If there is anyway you can run the machines on a separate circuit as mentioned above, it would be a big help and solve the tripping breakers issue.

    If the machines aren't being used then there is no need to have them running, all you will do is wear things out like displays and globes/bulbs quicker. If you have friends over or something like that for the night then leave the machines on but don't leave them on just for the sake of it.

    #9 6 years ago

    I'm an electrician.
    vid1900 caused me to grab my meter and do some checking:

    1993 DMD game - with LEDs - pulls 1.2 amp in attract mode
    When put into game play and fooled into searching for the balls by operating all of the coils and kickouts - amps periodically spike up to 3 amps but only for a second or less.

    1984 Solid State - no LEDs - pulls 1.8 amps in attract mode - less when put into play.

    I really thought they used more power.
    I will also support his recommendation to hire a professional.
    In my opinion - no need for a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) unless you need to play the game during power outages.
    Instead, I suggest installing a TVSS (Transient Voltage Surge Suppressor) receptacle. This device can protect an entire string of outlets if wired properly by daisy-chaining (or enslaving) all receptacles in the string to the TVSS located at the head of the outlet chain. Or it can simply be a point-of-use device - your choice based upon your needs.
    A 20 amp circuit is rated to deliver 80% of its name-plate rating of 20 amps continuously. In other words, if the circuit runs 24/7 you can load the circuit up to 16 amps without problems. This equals approximately 8 machines allowed on a circuit. Using the 80% rule will help prevent problems and your system will be less stressed under load.

    #10 6 years ago
    Quoted from Fanatic:

    A 20 amp circuit is rated to deliver 80% of its name-plate rating of 20 amps continuously. In other words, if the circuit runs 24/7 you can load the circuit up to 16 amps without problems. This equals approximately 8 machines allowed on a circuit. Using the 80% rule will help prevent problems and your system will be less stressed under load.

    She states she's also running a stove,Tassimo, and the electric fireplace heater on this same circuit. The heater alone could be using up half that allowance.

    I suggested the UPS if she was having "dirty" power problems, not for normal use...just to clarify. Great advice by all here.
    Vid1900, I especially like your idea of a power line to the lake! Moon lit pinball by the lake on a warm summer night with a little music. I can picture that...lol

    #11 6 years ago

    a plain old UPS will do very little, other then protect the game from a massive spike. They typically only engage when power drops below a level, which is most likely going to be lower then the voltage the game will reset at. More advanced ones will boost power and/or filter the line, but many still won't do it quick enough to avoid a reset.

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