Electrical circuits in man cave

domlouis

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May 28, 2014
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Hello
The man cave is very slowly coming along and I have started thinking about the electrical circuits I'll need in there.
The cave itself will be fed straight from a new fuse box in the garage (ie it won't even be on the same fuse box as the main house as that fuse box is full - it will get its own). Then a long cable will take the supply from the fuse box to the man cave.
The question I have is about what to do insid the man cave. I was originally planning one single ring of sockets, probably four doubles to feed the 8 games that would go along one wall. But then I read somewhere that this might not be a good idea. Any suggestions? Previous experience? Knowledge about current drawn by games?
Thanks
 
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domlouis

domlouis

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May 28, 2014
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I guess my question was to know if it is ok to have all 8 machines on the 32A ring?
 
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domlouis

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May 28, 2014
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Yes. An electrician came and supplied me with the large cable that I had to dig under ground. He needs to come back to do the installation at both ends but I am trying to spec it a bit for him.
Thinking about it 32A for 8 machines, that's 4A max on all at the same time. Surely DMDs don't draw that much current all the time.
 

kevlar

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I currently ( see what I did there? :D ) have 13 machines all on the same 32A ring, they are often all on at the same time but usually only a few being played, but I have had 12 being hammered at once at my league meet. It's never been an issue. I do move the kettle from its normal socket to the cooker circuit socket to be on the safe side.
 

stoptap

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Jul 21, 2011
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As @Paul said, make sure it is wired as a ring for 2.5mm twin & earth. If it is wired as a radial you will need 4mm t&e.
 
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Poibug

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At 5a per machine (assuming that they are DMD) might be a bit of a push as that works out at 40A. In reality you might get away with it. As Sgt says - use a qualified electrician...
you are double there Paul.I would be happy to have eight pins on a 32a,at about 20a or so
 
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Poibug

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If you switched them all on at the same time tho...?? ;)
Ya really should not turn them all on instantaneously,true for any circuit really.Would be happy to turn each on with 5 second gap in-between and play 8pins on a 32a circuit personally imo
 
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DRD

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@domlouis

I am no electrician but I looked into all this a while back. In short, you should be absolutely fine, below is a rehash of an old post I did.

Power (watts) = Voltage (volts) x Current (amps)

A 32a ring main circuit is designed to take about 7,700 watts, Looking at a 5a fuse in a game implies that you can only put 6 on the ring main before maxing it out. This is a completely false conclusion. I have had 13 running on mine for example.

My pinballs all use much less than 5a each. It depends on the game, incandescent v led lights, any big motors in them etc, but my pinballs use about a THIRD of this 5a rating.

When electricians do load calculations they have to make assumptions about how many things you will have on at once, what power surge they will create when you switch them on, what average consumption they expect during actual use etc etc etc.

The main fuses on your games have to cope with real world conditions including the nanosecond surge in induced current when you power the game up, and the fact that consumer fuses are supplied at standardised currents (1a, 5a, 13a etc)

One thing to discuss with your electrician is what type of breaker you use at the feed end (next to your existing fuse board, that will protect your new long cable from rodent attack, you driving a nail into it etc) and in your new games room fuse board. There are 4 different ratings for the sensitivity of breakers, these determine the "induction surges" they can cope with, and how quickly they trip (fractions of a second). If a breaker ever trips it would be better for you if the one in the games room is more sensitive (therefore trips first) than the one next to your fuse board so that you do not have to reset both of them every time.

I bought one of these to check it out for around £10, the price seems higher now ....

http://cpc.farnell.com/energenie/ener007/power-meter/dp/PL13026?mckv=sJXnoAIac_dt|pcrid|189414267096|kword|ener007|match|p|plid|&CMP=KNC-GUK-CPC-SKU-Home_Automation_/_Smart_Home_|_PL13026

image.jpeg

It gives power consumption to within 0.1 of a watt. Including minimum, current and peak power. It claims to be accurate within +or- 2%

I had my shadow (all led) and stern world poker tour (all led, with crappy fluorescent backbox light) BOTH plugged into it via a surge protected quad adaptor socket.

With these games BOTH on, my playing one then the other for a while it said that

Peak power consumption was 767.1 watts which is about 3.2 amps (versus the 2x5a fuses or 10a the games run on)
Minimum power consumption 167.2 watts
Both games in attract mode consume in aggregate about 230 watts

Plugging into paragon alone, which has all incandescent lighting

Peak power consumption was 409 w which is about 1.7 amps (versus the 5a fuse the game runs on)
Minimum power consumption was 180 w
In attract mode, power consumption was about 230 w

To "check" the accuracy of the power meter I tried it on a fan heater that is marked 3000 watts. This device read 3219 watts peak power consumption which sounds about right

I know that this thing is bound to have limitations, but it gives something of a real world flavour
 
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Poibug

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@domlouis

I am no electrician but I looked into all this a while back. In short, you should be absolutely fine, below is a rehash of an old post I did.

Power (watts) = Voltage (volts) x Current (amps)

A 32a ring main circuit is designed to take about 7,700 watts, Looking at a 5a fuse in a game implies that you can only put 6 on the ring main before maxing it out. This is a completely false conclusion. I have had 13 running on mine for example.

My pinballs all use much less than 5a each. It depends on the game, incandescent v led lights, any big motors in them etc, but my pinballs use about a THIRD of this 5a rating.

When electricians do load calculations they have to make assumptions about how many things you will have on at once, what power surge they will create when you switch them on, what average consumption they expect during actual use etc etc etc.

The main fuses on your games have to cope with real world conditions including the nanosecond surge in induced current when you power the game up, and the fact that consumer fuses are supplied at standardised currents (1a, 5a, 13a etc)

One thing to discuss with your electrician is what type of breaker you use at the feed end (next to your existing fuse board, that will protect your new long cable from rodent attack, you driving a nail into it etc) and in your new games room fuse board. There are 4 different ratings for the sensitivity of breakers, these determine the "induction surges" they can cope with, and how quickly they trip (fractions of a second). If a breaker ever trips it would be better for you if the one in the games room is more sensitive (therefore trips first) than the one next to your fuse board so that you do not have to reset both of them every time.

I bought one of these to check it out for around £10, the price seems higher now ....

http://cpc.farnell.com/energenie/ener007/power-meter/dp/PL13026?mckv=sJXnoAIac_dt|pcrid|189414267096|kword|ener007|match|p|plid|&CMP=KNC-GUK-CPC-SKU-Home_Automation_/_Smart_Home_|_PL13026

View attachment 44637

It gives power consumption to within 0.1 of a watt. Including minimum, current and peak power. It claims to be accurate within +or- 2%

I had my shadow (all led) and stern world poker tour (all led, with crappy fluorescent backbox light) BOTH plugged into it via a surge protected quad adaptor socket.

With these games BOTH on, my playing one then the other for a while it said that

Peak power consumption was 767.1 watts which is about 3.2 amps (versus the 2x5a fuses or 10a the games run on)
Minimum power consumption 167.2 watts
Both games in attract mode consume in aggregate about 230 watts

Plugging into paragon alone, which has all incandescent lighting

Peak power consumption was 409 w which is about 1.7 amps (versus the 5a fuse the game runs on)
Minimum power consumption was 180 w
In attract mode, power consumption was about 230 w

To "check" the accuracy of the power meter I tried it on a fan heater that is marked 3000 watts. This device read 3219 watts peak power consumption which sounds about right

I know that this thing is bound to have limitations, but it gives something of a real world flavour

If you decide on a 32a circuit 0the type of CB aint really an issue.
IT IS,however an issue if you decide to run 16a circuits- trust me - done power on enough shows to atest to this!!

poi
 
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PinballDaze

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The 32A ring is to protect the ring cable itself.
You can have as many sockets as you like, as your Electrician would've told you this.
With Pins in outdoor buildings, protect against shock or current leakage with an RCD built into the dist board. Pay a bit more and fit RCBO's.
 

Neil McRae

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32A should be good for 10-12 pins, more if they are all LEDs. I have plugs on all of mine that tell me what they are pulling and its not a huge amount of power. The MB , MMR,GB and TWD are low, ToM slightly higher and star trek DE and BOP more again... With the exception of GB and BoP my machines have modern DMD screens (LED/LCD) which makes a difference. All of them have LED lights which makes a massive difference too.

Neil.