Extension Cord Adapters
This how to is to show you how to make a pair of adapters to run two animated channels through one regular extension cords of any length without actually modifying the cord itself.
The adapter is made of two parts - one for each end of the cord.
Part One: Feed End
- (2) 3 prong power cords
- (1) 3 prong female cord cap
Note: 2 prong plugs may be used, but you will have to figure out the polarity. These instructions will be based on using the 3 prong plug.
Separate the wires on each of the power cords to about 1 inch, cut off the ground (green) wire (it won't be used), and then strip the insulation back 3/8 of an inch.
Find which wire will be on the hot side of the plug and which will be on the neutral. Tthis can be done by wire color or using a meter. Mark what prong is what somehow...I used a paint marker.
- Note: you're about to start assembly. The electrical industry has adapted a color code system to identify what the different terminal screws are on plugs, switches and cord caps (plugs of power and extension cords). The system goes like this: Green is ground, Hot (power supply) is gold (dark colored), and neutral (power return) is usually silver in color.
Take the two neutral wires, twist them together, and secure them under the ground screw of the 3 prong cord cap.
Take one of the remaining wires and secure it under the silver screw and the other under the gold screw. Then close up the cord end, making sure that the outer insulation jacket of the two power cord is within the cap (to make this possible you may have to repeat steps 1 through 4 making the wires lengths shorter in step 1.)
Mark the two power cords 'A' and 'B' then use your meter to label which side of the cord cap the hot side of 'A' is connected to and mark it somehow. Repeat this for 'B'. Now, go on to part 2.
Part Two: The other end
- (1) 3 prong power cord ( you cannot build this part with a 2 prong cord)
- (1) electrical outlet
- (1) single outlet electrical box
- (1) electrical outlet cover
Make a opening in the electrical box and feed the power cord through into the box. Then tie a knot on the end that will be inside about 8 inches from the end.
Separate the wires on the power cord back to the knot and strip the ends about 3/8 of an inch.
Take the electrical, secure the green wire under the sliver screw, the neutral wire under one of the gold or dark screws, and the hot wire under the other screw, removing the connecting tab between them separating the two outlets (on the hot side only)
With a marker, place a small dot on each of the outlet faces on the same side as the gold or dark screw, then assemble the outlet in the box and install a cover.
Plug the adapter you built in part one to the power cord of part two, then using your meter check the outlets by checking for continuity between the prong you marked on each of the plugs on part one to the marked side of the plugs on part two. Mark which face is 'A' and which is 'B'
Now your adapters are complete, just stick an extension cord between them.
- Note: Both channels operated through this setup should be powered from the same Power circuit or breaker.
- Disclaimer: This how to was written under the assumption you have a basic understanding of electricity. If you attempt this it is at your our risk. The author of this article nor the site hosting it can not be responsible for the outcome of your handiwork. The standard ChristmasWiki Disclaimers also apply.