AC flowchart

How to Wire an Arcade Cabinet

I have an empty shell of an arcade game, and need to start working on the inside of it.  My first goal is to bring the power to the game and then distribute this power to different parts of the arcade.

An arcade game needs to get electricity in order to work.  This power can be broken down into two different types of electricity, alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC).

An arcade can be further broken down into parts (or systems) and each part needs it’s own power to run.

I think of an arcade as the following systems:

  1. Power supply (Can be a mix of AC and DC voltages)
  2. Switcher (this converts the AC voltages to DC voltage)
  3. Monitor (runs on AC voltage)
  4. PCB (motherboard) (usually runs on DC voltage)
  5. Marquee light (usually AC voltages)

AC Wiring

Here’s a general flow of power.

    1. Power comes from the wall outlet to the power cord.
    2. The power cord then goes to the AC filter with the “hot” side connected to a fuse (3A fast blow).
    3. The AC filter then goes to a “distribution” box.
    4. From the distribution box, the power goes to the
      • Switcher
      • isolation transformer
      • on/off switch
      • marquee light.
AC flowchart
Flow of AC in an arcade game.

You don’t necessarily need a switch or marquee light, but both usually run off of AC.  A distribution block can be simple twist-on wire connectors or something you can find at Home Depot.

Here’s are some photos of how I wired up my Dynamo cabinet.

NOTE: I did remove the power strip, but kept the wiring that ran to the switch on the top of the machine.  I cut the power cord off of the power strip and used the hot, neutral, and ground wire from the power strip.  This provided a free way to run the wires to everything and not have to go out and buy some wires

Disassembled power strip
Wires from power strip




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