Replacing A Power Cord

Replacing A Power Cord

While replacing a plug on a power cord can fix some issues, there might be times when you find that the cord itself is causing problems. Frayed and exposed cords can lead to inconsistent power issues with your arcade cabinet that can cause the parts inside to break down earlier than expected. In this post, we will discuss how to replace the power cord in your cabinet to ensure that your game is getting consistent power.

Replacing A Power Cord

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If you read our previous post on Replacing A Plug On A Power Cord then you are probably somewhat familiar with working on power cords. Most of the power cords that you encounter will have three wires inside of a black sheathing. These wires are typically color coded with the black wire representing AC line (sometimes called live, load or hot), the white wire representing AC neutral and the green wire representing the ground. For wires that are not color coded, you can determine the line and neutral from the plug. The wider prong on the plug should represent AC neutral (or white wire) leaving the smaller prong to represent the AC line (or black wire).

Once we have determined what the wires represent in our current power cord, we can remove it from the cabinet. Instead of cutting the old power cord and splicing the new one into it, we recommend tracing it back to where it connects inside the cabinet. A common point of connection for power cords is an AC filter. These filters look like small, silver boxes that usually have three prongs that protrude from the bottom and two that protrude from the top. Each prong corresponds to one of the wires in our power cord. Usually the left prong will be the AC neutral, the center prong the ground and the right prong the AC line. In order to remove the power cord, we must desolder these wires from the AC filter.

Sometimes the wires might not be connected directly to the AC filter. For instance, the cabinet in our video has the black wire going through a fuse before it gets to the AC filter. In this case, we want to desolder the black wire where it connects to the fuse and leave the wire going from the fuse holder to the AC filter. This fuse can provide protection in the event of a power surge so it is best to leave it in there. Also, the ground wire in our video is connected to a braided wire that runs throughout the game instead of the AC filter. This is fine as long as we connect the ground wire from our new power cord to the same place in the cabinet. Please see the image below for more information.

Bottom of an Arcade Cabinet
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When you have removed the old power cord from the cabinet, we can install the new power cord. This basically just entails soldering the new power cord wires to the locations where we desoldered the old power cord wires. To make the installation your new power cord easier, we recommend getting one that comes with the sheathing partially removed from the end and the wires exposed. Once you have finished soldering your new power cord into your cabinet, your arcade game should power up without any issues.

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Inconsistent power issues can wreak havoc on the parts inside your arcade cabinets. Replacing frayed and exposed power cords with new power cords can help to ensure that your arcade games stay working for years to come. Please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions by leaving them in the comments section below.

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Comments
  1. Rich

    I have a shinobi arcade game I just purchased.When I plug it in I can hear the monitor getting power but the game doesn’t come on.there is a led light on the board that used to light up and now it doesn’t.can u please help me figure this one out?

  2. Jonathan Leung

    Rich,

    This sounds a lot like a power supply issue. Either your power supply has gone bad or is putting out the incorrect DC voltage. Remember that your monitor runs off of AC voltage which comes directly from the wall or through a isolation transformer. This means that it’s entirely possible for your monitor to get power but not your board. We recommend checking out our posts on Checking And Replacing A Power Supply and Checking A Classic Power Supply for more information.

    We have also featured your question on episode 22 of our Q&A podcast. Please listen to it for more of our thoughts on your question. Thank you for your question and good luck with your repair.

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