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 .
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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.
- Always disconnect (not just turn off) your unit from the wall before getting anywhere near the electrodes or other exposed wires.
- Make sure no electrodes are exposed. Anything dangerous should always be enclosed or shielded with electrical tape, electrical terminals, etc.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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