I've been using these cheap AC Male Power Sockets from Amazon and Ebay for a number of my projects. They are easy to incorporate into my electronic enclosures, and they provide both a switch and fuse for whatever load. Unfortunately, no wiring diagram or instructions are provided with these units. Several sources on the internet discuss how to wire these [1,2], although the knowledge is a bit scattered. My attempt here is to put all of this knowledge into one place as well and discuss safety and offer suggestions for mounting the unit into your enclosure.

Note: images courtesy of [3].

[1] https://www.amazon.com/review/RD487YB8O446U/ref=c...

[2] http://www.electro-tech-online.com/general-electronics-chat/122625-help-wiring-up-iec320-c14-socket.html

[3] https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0050HH70E/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Step 1: Warning!

Before starting on this project, you need to be aware of related electrical hazards and how to keep yourself safe. 120V AC can lead to fires and, although not commonly, kill.

  1. Always disconnect (not just turn off) your unit from the wall before getting anywhere near the electrodes or other exposed wires.
  2. Make sure no electrodes are exposed. Anything dangerous should always be enclosed or shielded with electrical tape, electrical terminals, etc.
  3. Always use a fuse with this device. In addition, make sure you size the fuse for your application. Check the power load of your desired device to determine your fuse size. Amps (current) = Power (watts) / volts. If uncertain, err on having smaller fuse that you need. If it repeatedly blows under normal operation, slowly increment up until the fuse stops blowing. Never go any higher than you absolutely have to.
  4. Use the correct wire size. The unit is rated for 10 A, and it is recommended that you use 12 gauge wire at 10 A. Smaller power/current requirements means to you get away with smaller diameter wire. There are plenty of tables on the internet to tell you which wire gauge to use for any current.
  5. Always connect the ground between your two sockets. If you're using a metal enclosure for this project (which is safer than plastic), make sure connect it directly to ground.

Step 2: Understand the Diagrams

Before wiring up the socket, you should take a minute to understand its circuit diagram. Power connects to the front, and the exposed electrodes are on the back. A fuse connects the "unfused hot" to the "fused hot" section on the back (see image). The fuse is internal to the enclosure and can be accessed from the front.

To incorporate the switch into the circuit, two jumpers need to connect the left-most electrodes to the switch. Notice that the switch has two sets of electrodes, the narrower set and the wider set. The jumpers should connect the socket electrodes to the narrow set in order for the LED in the switch to work. Polarity shouldn't matter. Wires connected to the wide set of electrodes, in addition to the ground, continue on to your load.

(Edit thanks to dave-46): Note that the wire colors specified in my diagram is specific to United State 120V wiring code. If you live in another country, your colors may likely be different.

Step 3: Wiring

As far as wiring, I recommend either soldering (for permanent installation) or crimp terminals (for ease of maintenance). Using the diagram on the previous section, make the correct connections. As previously discussed, make sure you use the correct wire gauge.

Edit: In the pictures above, I'm using 12 gauge wire as I want this unit to safely handle 10amps.

Step 4: Mounting

Please see the attached diagram and CAD files for mounting hole dimensions for the socket. Units are in inches. Most of my enclosures are laser cut, and I use this same CAD files when cutting the mounting holes. Dremel or other cutting tools will work just as well. If using one of these methods, print out the cad file to scale on a sheet of paper, trim and tape it to whatever surface, and drill and cut along the lines. M3 or 4-40 screws are the ideal size for the screw holes.

Good luck!

<p>Thanks for the directions on this. Probably saved me a lot of trial and error (and shocks.) It was surprisingly hard to find directions for this on the internet. Once I finish my project, I will link my Instructable to your page.</p>
<p>Stumbled upon this while in the middle of wiring one, still helpful and well written.</p>
<p>Nice did you enter this Instructable in any contests.</p>
<p>I tried entering it in the Tools contest (which I know was a longshot), and it was understandably declined. None of the other contests seemed applicable. Do you have one in mind? </p>
<p>Actually, I double checked, and the Remix and Epilog categories seemed like reasonable fits. Thanks for your prompt! </p>
<p>You are welcome</p>
<p>Good enough from You. Just the but.... as a thumb rule, make the protecting earth, (the green one with yellow stripes), to be 5~10mm longer than them other strands, because: it would be the last one to brake when broken. This &quot;green one&quot;, ( AKA protecting earth), is actually connected to the &quot;neutral&quot;, (AKA neutral), in your junction central. DONT NEVER EWER misunderstand them AC-powerline for the one end to be &quot;neutral&quot; IT ISN'T, it just divertes the current to go to &quot;mother earth&quot;. It's wery essential with this phenonem in them &quot;marinas for boat's&quot; you having a landline to a power outlet. If your boat or your neighbourgh isn't proparly isolated from mains protecting earth, You'll got a problem..... Your battery's,( or your neigh..), will be drained, strange but true. Because you have the 12V system grounded as well as the mains &quot;neutral&quot; is. So, allways use a &quot;separator&quot; transformer 1:1. Thereby you are separated from the &quot;earth&quot;, that is: neither the HOT or NEUTRAL will give you the kiss of death, (unless You touch them both at the same time)</p>
<p>Good point on making the grounding wire a little longer than the rest. Thanks.</p>
<p>The protecting earth</p>
<p>In other parts of the world Black = Brown, White = Blue, Green = Green with Yellow stripe.</p><p>Older colours (Au NZ) This is tricky Black = Red, White = Black, Green = Green</p>
<p>Good point. Thanks for pointing this out. </p>
<p>Very good tutorial on a much overlooked safety and control systems device for any electrical powered apparatus. </p>
<p>What gauge wire did you use? In step 3 you said make sure you use the correct wire gauge.</p>
<p>Ah. Thanks for pointing this out. I recommend 12awg if you want the full 10 amps out of your device. Section 3 above shows 12awg, but I've used 16awg in other projects for lower current. </p>
I have done this and used 14 gauge wire with no issues whatsoever. It was just left over wire I had from wiring my project initially.

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