Building a Pinball Cabinet

Step 3: Wiring

Quick Nav: Intro - Research - Cutting Wood - Assembling - Wiring - Done

General Wiring

Now that the entire cabinet is built, it is time to start wiring up everything.

I had several power strips around the house, but none had a switch on the side instead of on the top. I actually found one at WalMart, a GE Pro Surge Protector, 6 outlets with an 8 ft. cord. The first thing I did today was secure the power strip inside the cabinet with 2 screws. I placed it right along side the edge.


Earlier, when assembling the case, I had cut a hole in the side of the case for the power switch access.


Next, I needed to cut 2 large holes in the floor of the cabinet--one for the subwoofer and one for the case fan. I created a template out of paper by cutting out a hole for the fan cover and poking holes in the paper where the screws would go.


I placed this template inside the cabinet and sprayed a quick shot of paint on it. Once that dried, I drilled 2 large holes with a hole saw.

A hole saw is a round saw that works with your drill to make large round holes. Here is a picture of one:


Note: Every time I drilled a large hole, I set aside the round left over piece. I have several of them now.


Using the jig saw, I finished cutting out the large holes. Before cutting out the second hole, I made sure the fan cover would fit. I'm going to use two 120mm chrome fan grill finger guards--one to protect the fan and one to protect the subwoofer speaker.


Here you can see the 120mm case fan and subwoofer mounted in place. I removed the feet from the subwoofer and screwed it into the cabinet from below. I guess I could have decased the subwoofer, but this was easier and no one's going to see it anyway. The case fan requires 12v, so I purchased a 12v power adapter. I had to cut off the ends of both, strip the wires, twist them together, and secure them with electrical tape.


After taking this picture, I mounted an additional fan guard to the top of the fan... just in case a wire falls on the fan, or I accidentally touch it with my fingers.

Now it is time to mount my computer. The Intel NUC comes with a bracket so that you can mount it to a wall. I decided to mount it to the bottom of the cabinet up near the access door. This way, I have access to the power button (should I need it) and to the USB ports. Four screws mounted the bracket to the cabinet.


There are 2 screws on the bottom of the NUC that connect to the bracket. Then, I placed a small block of wood so that the NUC won't get knocked off the bracket. I also mounted the speaker's volume control up near the access door. The speakers/subwoofer connect to the NUC using a y-adapter. This is because the NUC has a single 4 position plug for both audio out and microphone. But, the speakers/subwoofer has a standard 3 position plug.


Everything's plugged in and I still have one spot left. Man, I'm not sure where all the sawdust is coming from. I keep vacuuming it up and it keeps appearing!


Time for the first "smoke test"...


Yup, everything is still working... and no smoke! I did feel some air coming out of the back vents, so the fan is working well. Hmmm... looks like I need to clean up the floor before someone sees that!

Tomorrow it is time to tackle the plunger controller and buttons.






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