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Thread: Power switch issue with my 386

  1. #1
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    Default Power switch issue with my 386

    I've been in the process of rebuilding a 386 using a recycled full height AT case. Things were going great for a while, I managed to get all the parts I needed for a basic system. Today I go to put it together and run into a problem I didn't expect.

    https://i.imgur.com/86vCPvu.jpg

    The front power switch originally had wires soldered to it going to a power supply that was long since gone. I desoldered them, but I can't connect the spade connectors coming off the PSU to the front power switch as they physically just don't work. I don't want to replace the switch because it's really cool, is there something else I can do?

  2. #2

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    Take your cutter and soldering iron and improvise...
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  3. #3
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    Make your own pigtail for the power connector, it's not difficult. You can get male crimp on blade connectors at hardware stores, though you may need to get the matching female connectors. You'll also need wire, which hardware stores also sell, but might not be stranded core like you'll need. O'Reillys sells stranded stuff in rolls which will work, you'll need probably 16 gauge, and I'd recommend getting all of the different colors so you don't accidentally wire the switch backwards and have it blow up.

    Once you wire a pigtail to the power connector, just connect the blades to the pigtail of the power supply.

    Alternatively, you can cut the blade connectors off the power supply pigtail and solder the wires directly to the switch if you have enough wire, but if you do, the power supply will be part of the case and can't be removed in the future without desoldering it.

  4. #4
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    Solder on new short wires, then terminate them in the female spade connectors that do fit.

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  5. #5

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    Why don't the existing connectors fit? Is it due to blobs of solder on the switch terminals? If so, clean the solder off.

    Are there existing wires too short? Splice extensions on.

  6. #6
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    The switch looks like the terminals are bolt on instead of spade, probably a size difference.

  7. #7

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    They do look like maybe those are solder eyelets screwed on. In that case, maybe some spades could be screwed on.

  8. #8
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    Just unscrew the switch(two small phillips screws, one each side)the outside portion of the switch will be left intact. Solder directly to the terminals. Done. Put a bit of vasiline on the screw driver tip so the screws don't drop in the case.
    Last edited by Caluser2000; October 1st, 2019 at 02:08 AM.
    Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiGaBiTe View Post
    Make your own pigtail for the power connector, it's not difficult. You can get male crimp on blade connectors at hardware stores, though you may need to get the matching female connectors. You'll also need wire, which hardware stores also sell, but might not be stranded core like you'll need. O'Reillys sells stranded stuff in rolls which will work, you'll need probably 16 gauge, and I'd recommend getting all of the different colors so you don't accidentally wire the switch backwards and have it blow up.

    Once you wire a pigtail to the power connector, just connect the blades to the pigtail of the power supply.

    Alternatively, you can cut the blade connectors off the power supply pigtail and solder the wires directly to the switch if you have enough wire, but if you do, the power supply will be part of the case and can't be removed in the future without desoldering it.
    I have the wires that were originally soldered to the lugs of the switch so I was just going to reuse them and add connectors to them. The only problem is, I don't remember which lugs had black wires and which ones had white. I have two black and two white wires.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by itsvince725 View Post
    I have the wires that were originally soldered to the lugs of the switch so I was just going to reuse them and add connectors to them. The only problem is, I don't remember which lugs had black wires and which ones had white. I have two black and two white wires.
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