Tuesday, 25 July 2017

3D printed Anderson Powerpole distribution box

I have a Robo3D 3D printer which I'm having a lot of fun with. I'm also trying to build a GMRS repeater for use on a farm. I laid out all the hardware only to discover that I needed a tidy way to distribute the power to the various devices.

The repeater being laid out on a 2'x2' piece of 3/4 plywood
Meet the Parametric PowerPole Breakout Box which can be found here on Thingiverse. The Parametric part comes from the way in which you can create anything from a 2 port to an 8 port box.

I printed a 4 port box. As you can see, it has 6 ports. No my printer did not do it wrong. The ports at either end allow the power to be connected to the box without loosing one of the 4 ports. One can also stack the box together to make larger boxes. In the above pictures I've assembled the connectors the wrong way - DOH. Luckily I caught it before I soldered it all together.

That is #12 solid electric wire connecting the PowerPoles together. I pulled the ground wire from a small run of Romex household electrical wire and used it to connect things together. The joins were wrapped and soldered and the ends were crimped and soldered.

Depending where you get them from PowerPoles can be as much as $2 a pair so using that price as a guide (I buy mine in bulk and have them on hand) I managed to construct this box for about $15 including the price of the PLA 3D printer material, electricity etc. Not too shabby!!

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