3D Printer PowerPole Break-Out Box

A couple of weeks ago, one of the ham club members Marc VK3OHM teased us all at the club meeting with a very impressive UP!2 3d printer. And while I have asked santa for one for xmas (i don’t like my chances).

Ive been having an explore on the 3d printer creation “wonderland” a website that is called the Thingyverse where you can upload your 3d printer .STL files and share your creations with the world.

This website has hundreds of thousands of creations, you can download and print! And the other week I found a remote head mounting bracket for my VHF/UHF Icom ID800 from the car, and mark made me up one, a couple of ours of printer time and around $1 of plastic.

But what really interested me was this PowerPole Break-out Box. Some US Hams from the University of Arkansas Ham club W5YM had created this neat power pole splitter and uploaded their design to the thingyverse website, better still, they had this website expelling how they built the device and how to make it!

So I sent the link to the .SLT file and website info to Marc, and he handed me a printed break out box a couple of days later, it took around 3Hrs of print time, and a small amount of plastic, Marc had set his 3d printer to print at its thickets resolution to ensure the device had a lot of structure and support.


Next challenge, ordering the PCB pins for the power poles, these should be cheap, but… None of the normal local sources had them. In the end, i got them from RS Components. They were $0.70 each, but had free postage from RS, I ordered 50, to make 5 break out boards and they were $35 delivered as RS has FREE postage. They were a special order item form RS and took around 10 days to arrive, but was the cheapest way to get them (vs postage costs and other online stores). You can search your own sources and may save $1-2 but RS is consistent, and they are genuine Anderson items.

I buy my power poles form my ham radio club EMDRC as a bit of a “fund raiser” they are sold for $10 a bag of 10 pairs, so the plugs cost me $5 and the pins $7. I now have a nifty break out box for $12.. (Plus the 3d printer cost). One of the sets of pins is for Marc to thank him for his 3d printer efforts.


So, once the pins had arrived, it was time to build it up. Follow the guide from the W5YM instructions and simply solder them all together, I added some solid copper wire and used this as a support and to improve current capability, as my unsupported effort broke very easily, as the photos below show,. With the copper wire and a lot more solder, it should be fine.


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Once they are all soldered up, clip the covers together and enjoy! But make sure you have a fuse between the source power supply and the input!

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Thanks to the w5ym ham club for designing the file and making it public!

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