(Topic ID: 346445)

Using USB to Molex Connectors or Other USB Cables with Pinball Machine

By CYUniversal

5 months ago



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  • 3 posts
  • 3 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 months ago by PinRetail
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USB to Molex (resized).jpg
#1 5 months ago

Hello everyone,

I have a question that's particularly relevant to me, and I would greatly appreciate your insights to improve.

The question is: Have you ever used a USB to Molex converter or any other USB cable to connect any device to your pinball machine, especially considering that my toppers require 5V to operate?

I'm interested in learning from your personal experiences to ensure that my toppers are as efficient as possible for future customers. Sharing your knowledge would be incredibly helpful.

Thank you for taking a moment to respond! I look forward to your valuable feedback.

USB to Molex (resized).jpgUSB to Molex (resized).jpg
#2 5 months ago

didn't know these existed !

#3 5 months ago

It looks like you are considering drawing power where the manufacturer never intended power to be drawn from.

It's all good until your LED string gets a short, and then it blows up your USB port and because this isn't a PC, it's a dedicated pinball CPU, the USB ports aren't probably designed for every device in the world to be plugged into it.

So, you blow up a Stern Computer that'll cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars for a buck seventy strip of LED's.

We do something different.

Fold your headbox down. Inside, tucked in with the wiring in the metal box is an orange power connector with a plug with no wires. This is tucked in there to PROVIDE POWER to accessories, like the bill acceptor.

Use .900 round terminals and some lamp wire (18ga) to connect two wires to the AC power of the game using the existing plug that had no wires. The lamp wire is about 18". Put insulated 1/4 terminals on the other end of the wire. Use the 1/4" terminals and slide them over the connectors of either a 1-to-three AC plug, or just plug it into a 5v inexpensive plug in adaptor.

For safety sake, I put a small 1" section of heat shrink tubing over the connector, and shrink wrap the section of the AC power plug tabs that extends beyond where the 1/4" terminals are. You don't want someone in the future to touch that exposed section that is AC live.

Power your mod from a separate adaptor.

Power your mod from a separate adaptor.

Power your mod from a separate adaptor.

Do not use game voltage for anything but the game is the safest policy.

Now, if you are powering your mod from a readily available USB charger that is entirely separate from the game, you can use the adaptor wire you show in the picture. It probably won't start a fire due to shoddy construction with too-thin wires. Probably.

Note also, that even if you are using your own USB adaptor, if it's possible for the customer to plug something in wrong... they will. So you need to label the USB plug to warn people to never plug this into the CPU. Your customers will blow up their 13k LE pinball, and it could be your fault because you didn't prevent them from doing something really unwise.

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