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Old 01-08-03, 04:55 AM   #1
Lisa's Avatar
Join Date: Jun-2002
Location: Trenton
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Rheostat - A How to. Warning Lots of Pics

We decided we needed a few more rheostats and the local petstores sell them for $22 or more. So off to Canadian Tire for the parts. We spent about $9 + tax on the parts, though we used a couple spare power cables that were laying about. If we didn't have them we would have spent an extra $2 to buy a cheap extension cable and hacked one of the ends off, cheaper then buying the wire and plug. katey did the building, I took pictures and made a general nuicence of my self.

Step 1 Assemble the parts needed.

Here you see the parts needed; electrical box, jack, dimmer switch, power cord and front cover plate.

Step 2 Prepare the cord

Here you see we've hacked the end off the cable and thread it through a hole we punched in the electrical box (the box has knock outs for running the cord). You don't have to tie a knot in the cord, but it stops any shorts from happening should the cord be yanked hard enough to dislodge the leads. After threading the cable through you can strip off the leads. we cut off a little extra to be used for internal wiring.

Step 3 Attach the dimmer and ground to the jack.

Here we've attached the ground from the dimmer's ground wire (green) and the power cord ground wire (green) to the ground screw on the jack (green).

Step 4 Attach the hot and neutral wires.

Here we've attached the hot and neutral wires to the dimmer and jack respectively. It doesn't matter which one gets the hot and which one gets the neutral as the amount of current is controled by the dimmer, AC doesn't care about direction. In this image we've also compleated the connection by connecting the dimmer to the jack.

Step 5 Insulate all exposed wire.

Here we've added some tape to the exposed wire as we don't want a short and an electrical fire. Aparrently you can get some fancy plastic thingys but black electrical tape will do too.

Step 6 Put the dimmer and jack in the box.

Here we've put the dimmer and jack in the box and tightened the screws down.

Step 7 Attach the face plate and plastic knob.

I think the title says it all. Careful not to over tighten or you can crack the face plate.

Step 8 Mount in a convienent place.

You don't have to mount it to the shelf unit like we did, you can leave it unmounted pretty much anywhere. This is just conveinent for us.
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