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Leaving machines on unattended?

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Rasputin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rasputin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Leaving machines on unattended?
    Posted: 09 Aug 2019 at 7:52am
Morning all,

So, I have most of my games in a 200sqft shed at the bottom of the garden.
I'm always apprehensive of leaving them on while I'm not in there incase of the possibility of something causing a fire, magic smoke etc.

What do you all think? Safe to leave them on or only have them on while I'm in there with them?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mr Bond Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Aug 2019 at 8:11am
I leave mine on unattended quite a lot. Just make sure Electrics in shed are suitable ie it’s enough to take the load without burning anything out in the shed, don’t be running 10 machines from a single 13a socket etc and your machines are in good order, which only you will know..    how many you running? What’s supply like to shed?

End of the day, they were designed to be left on unattended for hours. Only thing I sometimes worry about is a monitor going bang or starting to crackle and pop if I’m not there but not much you can do about that apart from get them serviced and make sure they’re clean inside! Damp dust and muck isn’t good sat on top of electronics. Don’t forget, they’re already 30 odd yr old and maybe been switched on for at least most of their life.

Edited by Mr Bond - 09 Aug 2019 at 8:17am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sbdesign Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Aug 2019 at 8:21am
They are safe to leave on like Mr Bond Said.

Are they 100% safe? No
Are they as safe as your new LED TV? No
Should you risk when no need to? I wouldn't
How long unattended? I'll leave them for 30-60 min If I get caught up.
DO YOU HAVE A SMOKE ALARM THAT YOU CAN HEAR? if not I would get one, that way a cab frying is as bad as it gets, rather than your shed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mr Bond Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Aug 2019 at 8:32am
Yeah that’s good advise. Defo a smoke alarm.

I think at the end of the day it all depends on each individual cab and what state they’re in. You could have 10 mint ones and never have a problem, 1 bad one could cause problems.   Just make sure they’re all as good (electrically) as they can be.

I’d defo make sure the Electrics in the shed are top notch too, and all covered by an rcd which helps
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DanP Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Aug 2019 at 8:57am
I personally don't leave mine alone for more than a couple of minutes.   I do also have a linked smoke alarm in the gameroom with it's partner in the house just in case I forget and leave something on in there.   I did accidentally leave a cab running all weekend once, being a Battlezone the outcome was predictable (it was dead).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rasputin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Aug 2019 at 9:13am
I have 5 in the shed at the moment, maximum tune 3 being the most draw power wise. I always leave the dehumidifier on so generally moisture isn't a problem.

Even though most of my monitor chassis have been serviced by Gunblade I still get apprehensive leaving them on when I'm not in there.

I dont have a smoke alarm so I might rectify that over the weekend.
Also have a few cabs in my living room but they have been restored and bulletproofed so not so worried about leaving them on while I'm cooking in the kitchen etc.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kev A Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Aug 2019 at 9:14am
That's a good point about the smoke alarm SB, think I will invest in one, I don't tend to leave them unattended but its easy to forget.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rasputin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Aug 2019 at 9:16am
Might be worth getting a fire extinguisher aswell :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kev A Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Aug 2019 at 9:17am
Yeah that's not a bad point, I take it they have to be a specific kind, are the little co2 ones suitable?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aeroflott Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Aug 2019 at 10:06am
Wasn't there someone on here who went to the back of their unit to pull out a Missile Command fairly recently, only to discover it had been left switched on for months?

To answer the question, I rarely leave my cabs on unattended for anything more than a few minutes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Amb47uk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Aug 2019 at 11:24am
Ive been there when a monitor malfunctioned and started burning. Luckily was there to turn it off, who knows what would have happened.

Reading this thread I think Im definitely going to add a dehumidifier and smoke alarm to my setup.

Question to add to this, I only have two wall sockets in my garage (circa 7 cabs). I have never had them all working at once, but eventually I would love to turn all 7 on at once. Is this generally safe if splitting the cabs (3 in one and 4 in other) into surge protectors?

They all have individual switches on the surge protector, is it safer to turn them on one at a time to minimise the initial power draw?

Edited by Amb47uk - 09 Aug 2019 at 11:25am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote channel27 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Aug 2019 at 11:33am
Originally posted by Amb47uk Amb47uk wrote:

Question to add to this, I only have two wall sockets in my garage (circa 7 cabs). I have never had them all working at once, but eventually I would love to turn all 7 on at once. Is this generally safe if splitting the cabs (3 in one and 4 in other) into surge protectors?

They all have individual switches on the surge protector, is it safer to turn them on one at a time to minimise the initial power draw?


Whilst my garage is being converted I've got all my cabs plugged into a single double socket.
6 cabs and 1 pinball machine all run fine simultaneously but there will be a radial from a new consumer unit with individual sockets once it's finished.

As yet I've had no problems but they're never left alone for more than a few minutes... Shocked
(because when the monitor went pop in my T2 and filled the room with smoke, I aged about 10 years in 10 seconds... Note to self -> Buy a smoke alarm / fire extinguisher, etc...)



Edited by channel27 - 09 Aug 2019 at 11:39am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lix Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Aug 2019 at 11:34am
I would probably not leave machines on unattended out of my experience, even though I know these machines have been on for huge amounts of time in the past. It's the age of the components, primarily capacitors and flybacks that would concern me. Sure I've not had anything catch fire, and I know components are meant to be flameproof, but I've had a few incidents of magic smoke that concern me enough.

The prime candidate I've had has been the IEC power input filter block on Namco machines, Schaffner FN283-6-06 to be precise. Three of them have emitted massive amounts of acrid smoke just randomly while a cab has been powered on for any amount of time. I've also known of an operator scrapping a perfectly good machine just because the same filter went bang. It's pretty scary when it happens, and not something you'de want happening in a place full of kids either, so I'm actively renewing them.

I have radio linked smoke alarms, so if I am away from the machines then I'll get to hear the smoke alarm no matter where I am in the building. And yes, have CO2 extinguishers everywhere.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tb lilley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Aug 2019 at 11:51am
Originally posted by aeroflott aeroflott wrote:

Wasn't there someone on here who went to the back of their unit to pull out a Missile Command fairly recently, only to discover it had been left switched on for months?


Yeah - Jon Bud. Think it was still working too ....
It's only original once.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote _Matt_ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Aug 2019 at 2:08pm
Originally posted by tb lilley tb lilley wrote:

Originally posted by aeroflott aeroflott wrote:

Wasn't there someone on here who went to the back of their unit to pull out a Missile Command fairly recently, only to discover it had been left switched on for months?



Yeah - Jon Bud. Think it was still working too ....


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote _Matt_ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Aug 2019 at 2:23pm
The reason I've never liked leaving cabs on unattended for more than a few mins is that feeling of dread when you walk back in the room hoping that nothing has gone pop while you was away. Never really thought about it being a potential fire risk!
A smoke alarm seems common sense but I'd never thought of it before so cheers!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Titchgamer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Aug 2019 at 5:45pm
I never leave any of my cabs on when I am not home or not using them.
Its just a waste of electric and kinda pointless racking up run hours when nobody is enjoying them.

I am happy to turn them on and leave them on if I have people round for a gaming night but thats about it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bods Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 2019 at 10:38am

When I used to work all over the place, quite often in Skegness which was handy at the time I was just getting back in to these machines, still lots of cabs in late 90's early 2000's and opposite the Simpsons Deluxe at back near Café area was the Chase HQ, had a go on it one year though Turbo Button missing so not that playable, the next year the machine still say there but now turned off

After a year of talks I bought the machine as it was, no idea what was wrong but didn't care, after getting home with it and getting in my lounge, looked into fault which was just monitor
 
This is what happened to it
 
 
So yeah, not good idea if you not near them for a while
 
In the 70's my Dad had to throw the TV out the lounge window when it set on fire
 
Could be worse though, you could have one of the many Tumble Driers, Fridge/Freezers or Vauxhalls that set on fire regular
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 69er Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 2019 at 12:18pm
love it that Bods was able to pull this reference photo out ( its great people archive these instances ) AND I HAVE SAID THIS ON FORUMS BEFORE ELECTRICITY IS INVISIBLE AND DANGEROUS and it does what the picture explains above 

I am agreeing with all the above safety advice bear in mind that picture is truly how circuit boards can overheat when a dry joint (caused by heat) or a component goes suddenly and unexpectedly faulty

THE OLDER THE MACHINE THE MORE LIKELY IT WILL GET SOME ODD COMPONENT FAILURE tho it happens in new stuff too...……  most times it will blow the power fuse and kill supply to the device and end the issue with an out of order game but can be worse

as an amusement engineer for 40 years I worked on M6 motorway services among my jobs back in the 80s when mad dog McCree and op wolf  and pole position and Daytona drivers etc were new and frontline ALL THESE WERE LEFT ON 24 Hr DAY  7 DAY WEEK unless the cleaner need the plug socket for the floor vacuum

in our arcades we have stuff on from 9 am till midnight often only viewed by players and staff who only notice when they have gone off for some reason....or players loose money.... 

just THIS MONTH I had two instances of 'possible' near fire gone totally un-noticed till I did my maintenance rounds … ONE …… old style ELAUT CRANE the big red fronted double one …located in a separate childrens play room at the side of an arcade…..  symptoms unreported.. TAKES MONEY no display no credits given no sound no action on crane LEFT  HAND side RIGHT SIDE perfect all otherwise lit ……….. I took out the control box to find it almost smoking hot and power board inside just like bods picture .. only that the credit display was off this would normally be put down to a sweet or paper in the coin slot and coins backing up all innocent enough....  so 20p gets lost nobody says anything and HOURS PASS AS THINGS HEAT UP !!!!  the 12V to the coin mech still worked but the 5v was wiped out and spreading... !!

then just on Saturday I come to our HAPPY DAYS 8 play pusher and the drawers are all stopped coins up the zig zags and nobody had noticed or said a thing …….  usually when this is happened and its still illuminated its a coin gets behind the pin board and traps between two adjacent slide drawers

took off a zizag panel with the power off as you don't want get your fingers in between two of those it would slice them off...…………  found a self tap screw right in the 1 in 8 chance panels I took off to look...

freed the jam up turned it back on and BANG the whole side ( a quarter of the arcade went off ) THANKS TO AN RCD something you should always include in your game area wiring supply  a second issue which would have resulted in a probably fire had it niot just happened by chance THO I WOULD HAVE NOTICED IT WHEN NO SOUND RETURNED ….. 


Friday night prior to closing a gang of idiots had been picking up the machine and physically bouncing it to try and get coin out???? played the security footage back BUT IN SO DOING  DISLODGED THE HEAVY TOP MOUNTED SPEAKER from its self tap screws   ONE OF WHICH fell between the sliders  BUT THAT WAS SUCH A LUCKY FLUKE OCCURENCE AS IT TURNED OUT

worse tho….  the speaker had been dangling by its wires above the whole mains power supply to the machine and had already taken out one component less critical but at that moment it also sliced through a fuse holder 240V braking it in half but up ending the fuse from the LIVE side  .. AND SPEAKER SHORTED THAT TO ANOTHER PART OF THE PCB and almost lit it up ALL quickly sorted BUT COULD HAVE BEEN BAD IF LEFT UNATTENDED and HOW IS YOUR HOUSE INSURANCE FOR GAMESROOMS / SHEDS / WORKSHOPS ? 

MORAL HERE IS YOU MOVE MACHINES AROUND MAYBE WITH CARE BUT IN ITS PAST SOMETHING COULD BE LOOSE FROM YEARS OF IN/OUT VEHICLES UP?DOWN STEPS >>especially parlty bodged wired 'improvements' un-taped live and exposed this happens a lot in old video cabs >  CHECK EVERYTHING VISIBLY including circuit boards for periodic dry joints developing in heat generated areas but ABOVE ALL FIT RCDs to your supply and ONLY USE A PLUG FUSE OF THE SIZE APPLICABLE TO THE DEVICE 5 AMP IS USUALLY recommended in amusement machine plugs unless the item has a built in MOTOR 

IF YOU HAVE STUFF AT HOME NOT IN CURRENT USE TURN IT OFF SAVE MONEY ON ELECTRIC BILLS but if you are returning to it soon it can be wise to leave it on as turning on and off when already warmed up can lead to power surge issues where sometimes a hot fuse can just blow for a 'no fault' reason  Rapid ON OFF switching often causes damage to electronic devices

AROUND THE HOME  the only things that need a 13A fuse are items with motors or heater elements ( WASHERS DRIERS  ELECTRIC HEATERS/FIRES VACS COOKER TOASTER MICROWAVE MOWERS HEDGECUTTERS DRILLS and FANS etc BUT ESPECIALLY EXTENTION CABLES as you don't know what you might plug in to them... Plug fuses should match the device 3 Amp  for lamps and some TVs radios sterios , 5 or 7 amp in your crt high power amusement cabs  ALL FRUITS IN OUR ARCADES TAKE MAX 5 AMP  and only silent scope needs a 7 or 10 not sure why … pushers  and rides all have 13A as do some big items like the roulette wheel and horse racers . the weakest lowest value fuse *should blow first*  or an RCD


Edited by 69er - 12 Aug 2019 at 12:46pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote campbell87 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 2019 at 12:27pm
yea, i never leave mine on unattended. The only time they go on, is when i use them for a short period of time. 


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