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115VAC Electrical Connector for Mounting IN a 4x4 Box

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  • 115VAC Electrical Connector for Mounting IN a 4x4 Box

    I am making a small exhaust fan for my 3D printer in a standard, 4x4, metal electrical box. I want it in an in-wall box so it does not show too much: it will be in my office area, in my house, off the den. I also want to connect a vacuum hose to it. So please, I do not want a bathroom or kitchen type exhaust fan.

    Anyway, I have the major parts: fan, DC power supply, and an IR remote receiver board so I can control it with my TV remote. Each of these will take up about 1/4 of the 4x4 box and they will be mounted on the cover plate so the box can be installed easily. I will probably add a power switch, a power on lamp, a fuse holder, and a jack for a remote LED "Fan ON" lamp on the cover plate. It's going to be a busy 4" x 4" x 2" space. Power will need to be wired to the box during installation and the solid wires used for most home wiring will not be able to be very long as there is little space left in that box. So, I will need some kind of power connector to mount in an area that is around 1" wide x 1" tall x 2" deep. It should plug together when the cover is assembled onto the box. I can fabricate some kind of enclosure around it and the area for the terminal board or wire nuts for safety. I want to be sure that those solid, 14 or 12 gauge wires do not interfere with the power supply board.

    So far I have thought about a Cinch Jones, 300 series plug and socket. A three pin version will fit in a 1" square or slightly more.

    https://www.alliedelec.com/m/d/0fd18...d0d2292fc7.pdf

    The connector used can not have any kind of locking device or a screw or bayonet latch: it must just plug together, much like a standard 115V socket and plug, but most of those sockets are far too big and the plugs are not meant for mounting on a panel. Can anyone think of a type of socket and plug that can be mounted on the metal surfaces of this box and cover, are rated for 115VAC, and will fit in the small volume that I have? The current will be around 25 mA or so: not very much. Any connector suggestions will be appreciated.
    Paul A.
    SE Texas

    And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
    You will find that it has discrete steps.

  • #2
    Is this a power inlet or outlet? What you show would be an outlet.

    For an inlet, why not use a board mounted shrouded 3 pin connector such as this:

    https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail...K8bCHjxpe2k%3d
    https://www.molex.com/pdm_docs/sd/908580502_sd.pdf



    The mating free hanging connector:
    https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail...4MFmmTLfF5A%3d

    http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
    Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
    USA Maryland 21030

    Comment


    • #3
      There are/were bathroom light units, for wall mounting, that incorporated a standard 3-prong o/l. The o/l was retained in the metal unit by means of a spring clip. You will have to cut the hole for the outlet. You may have to search "used stuff" stores, or maybe just buy a new unit at Home Depot.
      Duffy, Gatineau, Quebec

      Comment


      • #4
        If I understand you, you are going to have this box in the wall, with house power coming into it.

        Inside the box you will have a fan, with presumably an inlet through the cover, and an outlet through the back or side. Also in the box will be a power supply for the fan, and a remote control receiver. All this in addition to the basic wire connections. It is not clear what the connector you want to put in there will be for, but whatever it is will be disconnected when the cover is removed (maybe that is for the remote LED indicator).

        Just to begin with, I would suggest you change your plan.

        I know you do not want to hear that.

        But, what you seem to be proposing is just plain impractical, as well as in violation of any electrical code that may apply to you. You have way too much going on in that box, and, as you freely admit, you do not have adequate space for the electrical conductors that will come to the box.

        The wires coming in should have something on the order of 7 cubic inches of space, minimum, considering the volume (2.25 cubic inches) per wire generally required. That would be a space the depth of the box, an inch wide, and a bit over 3 inches long. Effectively, that is 1/4 of the entire box, since the box itself is about 32 cubic inches.

        I have no idea how you propose to mount these various items, but the best, most logical way would be mounted to the box cover, just as if they were a GFCI, dimmer, or other such normal device used in an electrical box. That would eliminate your connector, saving some space.

        If you could do that, and insulate the whole contraption, then you might have some sort of reasonable setup. But the fan outlet would still need to be dealt with, and there would need to be a suitable wall blocking off the "wiring compartment" from the rest of the "stuff".

        Such a thing is potentially "designable", but I suspect you have no chance of doing this in the way you propose.
        CNC machines only go through the motions

        Comment


        • #5
          Reading your design parameters again, I see that the power will be permanently wired into the box. If the box will also contain the fan, power supply, and receiver, as well as a power on indicator lamp, fuseholder, on/off switch, and a jack for the remotely located "fan on" indicator. And also a vacuum hose? Does the fan blow air through the hose? And I don't know what 120 VAC applianceyou want to plug into the jack you need. Some sort of schematic and concept drawing would be helpful to see what you are trying to do.

          It may be better to have an ordinary outlet into which you plug a wireless remote switch, and then use a wall-wart for the DC supply to the fan. Total cost maybe $15, fully up to code (if you trust the Chinese), and not needing line-of-sight like an IR system.

          https://www.banggood.com/AC-125V-Wir...r_warehouse=CN

          http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
          Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
          USA Maryland 21030

          Comment


          • #6
            There are deeper electrical boxes.

            There are "3-gang" boxes that are 1.5x the volume, like 3 switch boxes in a row. One such volume could take the wiring, and then a whole 4 x 4 area would be available for the "works".

            But, unless you want to design a compact device, just mount it separately, and do not wire it right into the house. That takes it out of the NEC situation, because it will plug in.
            CNC machines only go through the motions

            Comment


            • #7
              J,

              Either you did not read my post properly, or I was negligent in writing it. I plainly stated that the various components, "... they will be mounted on the cover plate so the box can be installed easily." In short, the box would be empty at the time of installation except for the incoming power wires and the socket that they connect to. The plug would be mounted on the back of the cover plate and would engage the socket when it is installed. The purpose of using a plug and socket is to avoid a mess of wires that must be bent into the rather small volume while putting the cover, with all the components mounted on it, on the box. The incoming power wires would be as short as possible and would be completely bent into position BEFORE the cover is installed. The cover, with all the working parts installed on it, would simply plug in and be screwed down in the normal fashion.

              I did not mention it, but I did plan to divide the box into two compartments with a metal divider. This divider will also be attached to the back side of the cover plate. The angles on the side of the divider in the drawing are in the wrong place. The line Voltage side of the divider will have the incoming power wires, the plug and socket, and a 12V/5V DC power supply on a PC board. The low Voltage side of the box will have the fan and the IR remote receiver board which also has the relays to turn the fan on and off. The air intake will be through the front cover and the exhaust port will be on the back of the box. The fan is between them, with appropriate parts to duct the air. A PVC pipe will go to the outside of the house. And, yes it will all fit.

              Box Layout:



              Schematic:



              This is a work in progress. The schematic is fairly complete although I may add a fuse or breaker. But the box layout is the second version and very much in progress. I think the connector I am asking about would fit in the upper right. The box is slightly over 2" deep on the inside. The power wires entering the box would need to be folded along the top edge and probably covered or at least separated from the power supply circuit board with another metal partition.

              As for the NEC volume requirements for the wires, I believe there is enough empty volume in the upper half of the box to satisfy that. It is not in the form of a rectangular brick, but as far as I know, there is nothing in the code about the shape of that volume. Frankly I think it would pass approval as a commercial design.

              I am not completely decided on this design, but the alternative would be to have these components mounted on my printer enclosure and only the exhaust hose going through the wall. But I would prefer to do it this way for appearance sake. And it minimizes the wiring from the wall to that enclosure.

              So, I want a plug and a socket that can be mounted in the box and on the cover.



              Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
              If I understand you, you are going to have this box in the wall, with house power coming into it.

              Inside the box you will have a fan, with presumably an inlet through the cover, and an outlet through the back or side. Also in the box will be a power supply for the fan, and a remote control receiver. All this in addition to the basic wire connections. It is not clear what the connector you want to put in there will be for, but whatever it is will be disconnected when the cover is removed (maybe that is for the remote LED indicator).

              Just to begin with, I would suggest you change your plan.

              I know you do not want to hear that.

              But, what you seem to be proposing is just plain impractical, as well as in violation of any electrical code that may apply to you. You have way too much going on in that box, and, as you freely admit, you do not have adequate space for the electrical conductors that will come to the box.

              The wires coming in should have something on the order of 7 cubic inches of space, minimum, considering the volume (2.25 cubic inches) per wire generally required. That would be a space the depth of the box, an inch wide, and a bit over 3 inches long. Effectively, that is 1/4 of the entire box, since the box itself is about 32 cubic inches.

              I have no idea how you propose to mount these various items, but the best, most logical way would be mounted to the box cover, just as if they were a GFCI, dimmer, or other such normal device used in an electrical box. That would eliminate your connector, saving some space.

              If you could do that, and insulate the whole contraption, then you might have some sort of reasonable setup. But the fan outlet would still need to be dealt with, and there would need to be a suitable wall blocking off the "wiring compartment" from the rest of the "stuff".

              Such a thing is potentially "designable", but I suspect you have no chance of doing this in the way you propose.
              Last edited by Paul Alciatore; 03-10-2018, 12:33 AM.
              Paul A.
              SE Texas

              And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
              You will find that it has discrete steps.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
                As for the NEC volume requirements for the wires, I believe there is enough empty volume in the upper half of the box to satisfy that. It is not in the form of a rectangular brick, but as far as I know, there is nothing in the code about the shape of that volume. Frankly I think it would pass approval as a commercial design.
                There might be something that specifies a minimum bend radius of the wires, I don't know myself. I believe that by hardwiring and mounting it in the
                wall it falls under NEC rules. I do know that the NEC states that conduits containing power wires cannot contain wiring of any other type. I would
                suspect that by extension the same applies to electrical boxes. Of course, this is only relevant if you are looking to be NEC compliant. Personally, I
                think making it part of the printer makes more sense. Either way there's a hose running to the wall, so that doesn't change. You can now use a
                16 gauge stranded line cord, nice and flexible for easy packing into the box. Maybe you can pick the 110 VAC off of some part of the printer so you
                don't have to run another linecord to the wall. Just food for thought.
                Location: Long Island, N.Y.

                Comment


                • #9
                  For the connectors, some of the board-to-board devices may work well. They are designed for LED lighting and come in vertical and horizontal styles, rated 125 VAC 5A, and pretty cheap:

                  https://www.mouser.com/ds/2/40/Verti...159-845507.pdf

                  https://www.mouser.com/ds/2/40/Horiz...159-845431.pdf



                  https://www.mouser.com/new/AVX/avx-b...rd-connectors/



                  Also maybe these:
                  https://www.mouser.com/ds/2/418/NG_C..._L2-681453.pdf
                  https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail...1fOj1H5NWLs%3d

                  Perhaps the standard 1-3 amp IEC inlet connectors used on some laptop chargers. You might not need grounding.
                  https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail...AW7Vv9Kye7k%3d

                  Or with ground pin:


                  The simplest and cheapest might be board-mounted male and female fast-on connector lugs:

                  https://www.mouser.com/ds/2/418/NG_C...14-1260534.pdf
                  http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
                  Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
                  USA Maryland 21030

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The 3D printer set-up is getting complicated. I need power for the printer. I need power for the extra power supply for the heated build plate. I need power for some thermometers I will be adding to monitor the temps in the enclosure and of the heated build plate. I will also have a device to help with the daily calibration. The Cetus procedure for that is insane. And heaven help you if you need to do a 9 point leveling: I did that only once and installed shims. It is insane how much work the computer weenies will go through just to do everything in the software. About 1/100 of a penny's worth of aluminum foil and that is not necessary. Point is, I will probably have a power strip at the printer enclosure anyway. I may as well add some lights too. So I do not have to hack into the printer to get power.

                    As for mixing types of wires: first, there is no conduit involved. If they didn't say "boxes" then I say it does not apply. A bath or kitchen fan is mounted in the wall and has controls and other circuitry, possibly electronic controls. That requires a low Voltage, DC power supply and circuit boards. All my wires will be carrying power (AC and DC, low and line Voltage). Nothing will exit the box except a single low Voltage line for an indicator lamp. I believe that is also done with low Voltage control transformers (115 VAC in and 24 VAC out of a box). OK, the transformer hangs on the outside of the box, but I will have a metal divider in the box to keep the line Voltage and low Voltage parts separate. And the DC supplies will be current limited, just like doorbell circuits. You could short them all year and they would not get hot. I think it would pass inspection.

                    But, as I said, it is not final yet. I am in the design stage, not building it.

                    I am checking out the suggested plugs and sockets. Thanks to all!



                    Originally posted by RichR View Post
                    There might be something that specifies a minimum bend radius of the wires, I don't know myself. I believe that by hardwiring and mounting it in the
                    wall it falls under NEC rules. I do know that the NEC states that conduits containing power wires cannot contain wiring of any other type. I would
                    suspect that by extension the same applies to electrical boxes. Of course, this is only relevant if you are looking to be NEC compliant. Personally, I
                    think making it part of the printer makes more sense. Either way there's a hose running to the wall, so that doesn't change. You can now use a
                    16 gauge stranded line cord, nice and flexible for easy packing into the box. Maybe you can pick the 110 VAC off of some part of the printer so you
                    don't have to run another linecord to the wall. Just food for thought.
                    Paul A.
                    SE Texas

                    And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                    You will find that it has discrete steps.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Was this designed for you by Brian? Seems like a 1,000 mile trip to get across the street.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ok, you did mention the mounting, there was so much going on that I just missed it.

                        All the wiring etc in a box or raceway must be insulated for the highest voltage in the raceway or box. You can get around that with a proper divider.

                        The volume of the wiring box or compartment is more of a solid requirement. You will not have that. It is 2.25 cubic inches per wire.

                        Stuff will be rather crammed, the 3gang box would make it simple to have everything clean and open..
                        CNC machines only go through the motions

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Wow super complex...
                          When I read you need to power the printer and stuff too, and saw your fan uses +12v and +5v, I wonder why you dont just grab a xbox 360 psu from ebay or a secondhand store etc. If you find the right one (a xenon or zephyr, identified by the shape of its plug) they are 205w, some of the other variants are 175w, and the newest ones a paltry 115w. The 205w ones are highly sort after by makers and builders, but the 175 might fit your power budget nicely too, and they are yesterdays console, so cheap.

                          I have a 205w running my 3d printer as its psu, the heated bed, a exhaust system, the extra hotend heaters and the cooling fans. It just sits there, it has its own watchdogs, protection, overload protection, and I can switch it off and on with a tiny wire to the softstart pins in the plug.
                          In fact I have a 3d printed xbox female plug right on the side of my 3d printer, and the psu is totally stock not even re-terminated at the low volt side. you can find the female part on thingiverse if you do the same, variants incorporating switches etc if you want to go further.

                          It just sits there *doing* its job. Its never gone wrong, it was designed to run for hours on end and not burn the house down and it complies to everything.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
                            J,
                            This is a work in progress. The schematic is fairly complete although I may add a fuse or breaker. But the box layout is the second version and very much in progress. I think the connector I am asking about would fit in the upper right. The box is slightly over 2" deep on the inside. The power wires entering the box would need to be folded along the top edge and probably covered or at least separated from the power supply circuit board with another metal partition.

                            As for the NEC volume requirements for the wires, I believe there is enough empty volume in the upper half of the box to satisfy that. It is not in the form of a rectangular brick, but as far as I know, there is nothing in the code about the shape of that volume. Frankly I think it would pass approval as a commercial design.

                            I am not completely decided on this design, but the alternative would be to have these components mounted on my printer enclosure and only the exhaust hose going through the wall. But I would prefer to do it this way for appearance sake. And it minimizes the wiring from the wall to that enclosure.

                            So, I want a plug and a socket that can be mounted in the box and on the cover.
                            You would be well advised to add that "possible" fuse or breaker.

                            The issue is not that you cannot make a successful and proper device. You could. I know one can be designed, I can imagine several possible designs. But the way you propose to do it is somewhat more complicated and problematic than the way it ought to be done. And the limitation to use a 4 x 4 x 2 box is severe. There are, for instance deeper boxes, that would allow you more volume, and require less "cramming".

                            Doing it with your approach, I think you would be well advised to use the 3-gang box, as it will totally avoid all the "I think there is room" issues.

                            It would indeed be a lot simpler overall to put the same components into a box that becomes the base for your printer, and simply plugs into the wall. I do not see any advantage in what you are doing. For one thing, it limits you to a tiny fan, one that will easily backflow if there is an adverse wind building up pressure on the house where the exit pipe is. And, cramming all that in, using commercial parts, does not seem as if it is a convenient and suitable approach. If the component pieces were designed to do the job, it could all fit and be suitable.

                            BTW, there is no particular bend radius issue with regular #12 wire. That comes into play with larger wires.
                            CNC machines only go through the motions

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I vote for Molex.

                              metalmagpie

                              Comment

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