Author Topic: Powering games on and off  (Read 730 times)

Offline Centaur Brother

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Powering games on and off
« on: December 10, 2017, 12:24:46 PM »
I have a question regarding powering on and off of my games. As I put together my game room, called "The Pin Cave", I was wondering about switching power on and off. It was an unfinished basement that has limited power. As I wire it up, I would like to be able to just throw a breaker and turn on all my games and when done be able to do the same to shut it down. Is it ok to power on and off this way or is it better to use the on/off switch on the games? Any advice would be appreciated or experiences people have had.
Thanks in advance for any responses.

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Offline thepita007

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Re: Powering games on and off
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2017, 12:30:40 PM »
I am using zwave power outlets, allows me to control the outlets from my phone. Also newer outlets let you track power usage.

I have a vera 3 (controller, about the size of a cable modem) to control all of the zwave devices.

there are zwave devices for almost everything (sprinklers, lights, appliances, AC, etc.)
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Offline Hueylewis2

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Re: Powering games on and off
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2017, 12:38:51 PM »
I am using zwave power outlets, allows me to control the outlets from my phone. Also newer outlets let you track power usage.

I have a vera 3 (controller, about the size of a cable modem) to control all of the zwave devices.

there are zwave devices for almost everything (sprinklers, lights, appliances, AC, etc.)
I just installed a wink hub with z wave. Thanks for the tip on the outlets, I’m using it for the front door bolt lock and video doorbell, and was looking into other items to connect.


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Offline thepita007

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Re: Powering games on and off
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2017, 12:58:21 PM »
I just installed a wink hub with z wave. Thanks for the tip on the outlets, I’m using it for the front door bolt lock and video doorbell, and was looking into other items to connect.


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The best zwave device for me to date is the AC thermostat, comes in handy to turn it up if I am gone for awhile or just being lazy. With vera I can control my house from anywhere I have data or wifi so if I am away on vacation works great to unlock door and let people in.
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Offline k7

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Re: Powering games on and off
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2017, 03:57:32 PM »
i wouldn't power up a bulk of games with the throw of one switch or a breaker. basically it's been covered, but you are throwing a ton load of start up amps on a single line or whatever.  :)

I'd actually think a breaker would wear out fast if used as a power on/power off toggle switch. they go in the middle when they pop, so not really an on/off/on setup in any way.

also depends on games. power hungry games (like twilight zone) may not even function on a surge protector or when booting up with multiples off the same outlet.


each home is different. but when we did our gameroom, we ran 4 new lines, a dedicated 20-amp breaker to each new run, and have a maximum of 4 machines on each 4-piece outlet. it's been successful, never popped a breaker.

I'm old school...we power up the games to be played by their switch, and on a select few arcades where the stock switch is in the back (against a wall or whatever), they have a remote that powers the line cord up.

I know some arcades new and back in the day have/had to just throw a switch. no idea how they set those up.


good luck.  :)
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Offline Centaur Brother

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Re: Powering games on and off
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2017, 04:36:26 PM »
The zwave power outlets sounds cool but thats not for me. I know back in the day at Rockys Replay would always just through a breaker to turn everything on and off. I have plans on running (3) 20 amp lines down here so power amounts should not be a problem. My goal is to have 1 line for a/c, lights and fridge, the other two would be dedicated to games and entertainment.  My major concern though is if the game can be damaged by using a breaker and leaving a game switch on all the time. 
Thanks and look forward to more feedback.

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Offline busa32927

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Re: Powering games on and off
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2017, 10:31:09 PM »
i ahve seen where pool switches are used to turn o  a line of games.  the owner could turn on one row at a time.  i would call curly and also ask an electrician too
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Offline FUNWIZ

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Re: Powering games on and off
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2017, 11:33:16 PM »
This should give you some ideas, depends on your tastes.  My first game room had a separate switch for every game, so power was not wasted, diagram and labeled, to keep my parents happy.  This below is how most of my current rooms are done, this room is still under construction.  Top left are for wireless switches, plug in strings of lights and things.  Lower left controls the rooms multiple light sets, there's bright, 30% normal, black light or color and finally mirror balls/disco flashing lights.  Middle controls lower half of the 4 walls, usually set for pinballs, and right side controls the upper half of the 4 walls, for video games and neon signs.  Going away or a storm approaching, just flip them all off and your games stay safe.  Should a game start smoking, anyone not familiar with them can reach the switch and turn the game off, hopefully preventing more damage.  These switches are under a buck each, and the outlets are 2 for a buck.

Gamerooms back in the day mostly had video games, and when new, didn't mind the power flick on a bank of games. Pinballs were switched on/off separate, along with skeeballs and other larger games.  Keep that temptation down when flipping on a bunch of arcade games that are over 20 years old, something is bound to break.
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Offline SkyKing2301

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Re: Powering games on and off
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2018, 03:29:19 PM »
IANAE (I Am Not An Electrician), but like k7 said, I would have misgivings about throwing power at everything simultaneously.

FWIW, I have mine set up in three "banks" of 2-3 machines, each with a dedicated surge protector.  In each surge protector, each machine has a remote outlet (these Etekcity ones: https://www.amazon.com/Etekcity-Wireless-Electrical-Household-Appliances/dp/B00DQELHBS/ ).  The remotes reside in a container by the scoreboard.

Sure, if I'm just playing a game or two by myself, the remotes are really a sort of 'extra step' (whereas I could just approach a machine and throw a switch), but when I have a party / friends over, it's easier to go to one place and turn all the machines on or off in quick succession via remote.

Offline FLPINBALL

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Re: Powering games on and off
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2018, 01:12:45 PM »
i wouldn't power up a bulk of games with the throw of one switch or a breaker. basically it's been covered, but you are throwing a ton load of start up amps on a single line or whatever.  :)

I'd actually think a breaker would wear out fast if used as a power on/power off toggle switch. they go in the middle when they pop, so not really an on/off/on setup in any way.

also depends on games. power hungry games (like twilight zone) may not even function on a surge protector or when booting up with multiples off the same outlet.


each home is different. but when we did our gameroom, we ran 4 new lines, a dedicated 20-amp
breaker to each new run, and have a maximum of 4 machines on each 4-piece outlet. it's been successful, never popped a breaker.

I'm old school...we power up the games to be played by their switch, and on a select few arcades where the stock switch is in the back (against a wall or whatever), they have a remote that powers the line cord up.


I know some arcades new and back in the day have/had to just throw a switch. no idea how they set those up.



good luck.  :)

Completely agree with k7 on this. Would not power up a bank of games with the throw of one switch.

Offline busa32927

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Re: Powering games on and off
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2018, 02:39:01 PM »
Centaur Brother i see what you are looking for as being able to power them all on.  But have you thought about surge protection?  Brevard county is the lighting capital of the US.  I keep mine unplugged from the wall until i am ready to play.  then they are on a surge protector.  I dont mind the extra step of 5 secs when i think about the possible danger and hassle if something happens.

Best of luck.

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Offline Centaur Brother

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Re: Powering games on and off
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2018, 01:26:02 PM »
Quote from: busa32927

BTW have you reached hand of the king yet?
[/quote
To be honest, not yet. I'm kinda embarrassed  to say so, lol. I've been close though. I really do like the game, it's alot of fun.
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Offline StarTrekDad

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Re: Powering games on and off
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2018, 02:54:54 PM »
As somebody from the arcade industry, I will say there is literally no difference for turning off a game from the on/off switch on the cabinet compared to unplugging it verses flipping off the breaker. They all do the same exact thing, which is shut off the AC Power line to that game. The only difference is when you power on the game. Turning on too many games from the same breaker can cause an issue if there is a surge or can trip the breaker due to too much load.

For home use, I would recommend turning games on/off individually for cost control of electricity and wear/use on each game (why power on games you aren't actively using?). From an electrician's standpoint, you want to put any amount of electrical load spread across breakers, outlets and power strips. 1 tip, never have a power strip plugged into another power strip (bad idea and is illegal in certain cities/states). But most importantly if you spread the load across multiple breakers (assuming you have more than a couple arcade games), each breaker can only support so much electrical load. If a breaker is tripping on you, you've got too much load on that circuit. With arcade games, this sometimes won't be obvious until all the games on that breaker are being played. For example, a driving game with a force feedback usually has a separate power supply and electrical load when in use, but isn't being used while in attract mode.

Short answer to all this, break up games as best you can among breakers if you have a larger collection of games. Remember most arcade games have a Line Fuse and other safe guards built into the games to protect against surges. So if there is a problem, the fuse will blow before the game boards. Basically, use common sense and don't overthink it.
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Offline IlikeGame

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Re: Powering games on and off
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2018, 06:35:11 PM »
I may be wrong, but I thought you could do 8 games per 20amp breaker.
Run a 60 amp feed down the game room, add a sub panel to the game room. Have 3 x 20 amp breakers in your sub panel and run a watt box surge protector off each feed. The watt box offers sequential turn on. So when you flip break 1, you will hear the surge click ever 2 sec as each game turn's on. This will space out your loads and decrease your startup draw.

Offline Centaur Brother

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Re: Powering games on and off
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2018, 09:02:44 AM »
I plan on having 3 x 20 amp breakers. I will look into the watt box for sure, it sounds like something that will work for me. I currently run off of a 20amp breaker, 4 pins, dart machine, a/c, stereo, bubble hockey, and some lights. never tripped the breaker, so I don't see why 8 newer games wouldn't work. Should be doing the power fairly soon for my room. There are a bunch of smart dudes on the village for sure and appricate the input.
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