Parametric PowerPole Breakout Box
by ae5zc, published
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A parametric PowerPole breakout/distribution box that allows multiple devices to share one power supply. Anderson PowerPoles are commonly used by Amateur Radio (ham) operators and emergency organizations as a standard for connecting power to their equipment.
Update: This is my first-ever attempt at uploading something and, of course, it's not going smoothly. The customizer isn't rendering the STL properly, so... for now, I'm disabling it. Meanwhile, I've included one STL file for a 4 position box (1 connection on the side plus 4 on top). If you download the OpenSCAD script, you can render other configurations.
For more build details, see: http://wordpress.uark.edu/rso-w5ym/2014/07/07/parametric-powerpole-break-out-boxes/
UPDATE: Per a request in the comments, I have added STL files for boxes with 3, 4, and 5 PowerPoles on top. Each type has three files: one with both box halves, one with the "top" of the box only, and one with the "bottom" of the box only. This simplifies printing for anyone that wishes to print each half of the box using a different color (for instance). One of the new files is functionally identical to the original STL file, however the original file was left in-place for archival reasons. Comments welcome.
You will need the "pins" library if you wish to render your own variant using the SCAD script. Version 2 of this library is available here:
There are more recent versions (Version 3) out there, but Version 2 was used for rendering with this particular SCAD script. Version 3 may work, but standard disclaimers apply.
Printed originally on a MakerBox 2X in ABS using a 0.2 mm layer thickness and 10% infill. We found that higher infills (30%) did improve rigidity a bit... but not much.
Use "standard" 15/30/45 amp PowerPole housings with PCB contacts (Mouser part no. 879-1336G1). Load contacts into the housings, mate the housings by sliding them together, and place into the printed shell.
Solder all contacts together. Assure that there are no shorts/opens and snap other half of shell to the first.
The original intent was for the box to rest flat on a table with the power supply connection coming in from the side and with powered devices plugged in on top.
If you have a lot of contacts (and your box is large), the snaps at each end may not hold the two shells securely. One way to address this is to apply a small amount of glue to the shell edges before the final assembly step.
The tolerances may be a bit tight, so some "tweaking" of the PCB contacts may be required to get everything to fit snugly.
It should also be possible to use "regular" (wire crimp) contacts instead of the PCB mount type; implementation of this approach is left as an exercise for the builder. :-)
Like any do-it-yourself project, the quality of the constructed item can vary widely depending on the skills of the builder. This item worked well for me, but it may not be suitable for your purposes; use at your own risk.
The PowerPole model used in this project was based on the one originally by J. Dunmire under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License and was downloaded from: http://rockingdlabs.dunmire.org/exercises-experiments/3d-printing-softrock-enclosure
This project is somewhat of a work in-progress, so if you have any suggestions, please share them. More detailed instructions and discussion is available at http://w5ym.org.
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Parametric PowerPole Breakout Box by ae5zc is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution - Non-Commercial - Share Alike license.
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- You must attribute (give credit) to the creator of this Thing.
- You must distribute Remixes under the same license as the original.
- Remixing or Changing this Thing is allowed.
- Commercial use is not allowed.
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