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bpcruz

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Last week, I received a couple Chewlix cabinets I'd ordered from Guanzhou Victor Electric Co. I'm a novice when it comes to arcade projects, so I wanted to show some pictures of the electrical wiring and follow up with some questions. I'm trying to figure out if I can leave current wiring as-is, if I should redo the wiring connections, or if I should rip everything out and redo both the wiring and connections.

The cab gets power from mains via an IEC320-C14 receptacle at the back of the cab. I'll try my best to explain the arrangement of power cables from this receptacle to the other components. Here are a couple images of the back of that receptacle:

IMG_20210118_162930301.jpg

IMG_20210118_163041503.jpg

The most apparent thing is that the wires aren't soldered to the component's lead but are instead fastened by what look like quick release clamps, which are then covered in hot glue for adherence. I'm aware that electronics techs prefer fastening via soldering in other applications, but I don't know how much risk/trouble these hot-glued connections pose in this context.

Anyway, the hot wire is connected to the fuse housing right next to the receptacle, and the ground wire's attached to a screw with an O-ring clamp and fastened to the chassis (the screw's visible in the first photo). I'm not sure what kind of fuse is used here, as I couldn't make out any labeling on any part of the fuse itself. Here's a picture of the fuse, though:

IMG_20210118_165650834.jpg
The receptacle's neutral wire is routed to a lead at the base of the power rocker switch at the front of the cab. The orange wire from the fuse connects to another lead on the same switch (back of the switch shown here):

IMG_20210118_170545742.jpg
The hot and neutral wires on the back of the switch are then routed to a two outlet strip at the right of the cabinet (to which the display is connected for power). Here's the top of that strip, with Chinese triangular flat pin outlets:

IMG_20210118_164135664.jpg
And here's the underside of that strip. The hot and neutral wires from the rocker switch are connected to the outlet at the left, and it appears they're twisted with other wires that are then connected to the next outlet. The ground wire going to the ground pin on the left outlet is connected to the same ground screw shown in the first photo (the one just below the power receptacle). It then looks like a clamp is crimped onto the copper of each wire and connected to the pins (the pins can be pulled straight out of the outlet).

IMG_20210118_123440486.jpg
Finally, the blue, brown, and yellow wires paired to the neutral, hot, and ground pins on the second outlet (the one to the right in the above photo) are wrapped in insulation and routed to the AC leads on the stock power supply.

IMG_20210117_001758541.jpg
I should also note that the wires used are a mix of 18AWG and 20AWG wires. The hot and neutral wires going from the rocker switch to the outlet on the strip are both 20AWG.

Currently, I'm running my games off a Raspberry Pi 4, but I plan to install a full-fledged gaming PC powered by a 750W power supply (AC input on that supply rated at 100-240V, 10A). I also plan to plug that computer and the monitor into the 2-outlet strip, as those are the only components that require AC input.

So based on this configuration that came from the factory and my future plans, here are some questions I have:

  1. Should I replace all hot glued/clamped connections with soldered connections? If so, should I also solder the rocker switch connections, or can the rocker switch keep the quick disconnect clamps it currently has?
  2. Should I replace the current wiring with thicker gauge wiring? If so, what gauge should I use--14, 16, 18, or something lower?
  3. I'd like to replace the Chinese outlets on the two-outlet strip with NEMA 5-15R snap-in modules and solder the wires to those leads. If I do that, can I wire the two outlets the same way they are now? That is, is it safe to join wires from the leads on one outlet to the leads on the other, and also to join the H/N/G wires going to the power supply to the leads on one of those outlets?
As I mentioned earlier, I'm a novice when it comes to these projects, so feel free to offer any corrections and let me know if you need clarification or more information.

Thank you!
 

borked

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Personally, I think you're worrying too much. Just replace the snap-in modules. Don't worry about cutting the crimped connectors off and just plug the terminal connectors back on. That's what I did. Your standard pc power cable is only rated for 10A anyway, so I don't think you're going improve much here by replacing the internal wiring.

The glue is there to just make sure the connections don't somehow come off during all the vibrations during shipping. Seems like they went a little overboard, but I wouldn't worry about it until/unless you find out they wired things incorrectly.

Sure, I suppose one day you could throw enough hardware in there to hit the rated amperage of the wiring, but I don't think a system that runs off of a 750watt psu is going to do that. Honestly, based on how relatively poorly ventilated these things are, I imagine having thermal (and noise) problems before anything else. The legit Vewlix has a better fan layout, but even then those are pretty poorly ventilated.
 

bpcruz

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Thanks, borked! To help with ventilation/airflow, I plan to vertically mount a couple case fans to the front of the top shelf and blow air over the board toward the vents in the rear. You're right about there not being much ventilation, though, so I'm definitely going to have to keep an eye on thermal stats once I have the PC running.
 
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