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Powerbox external assembled

April 20, 2020 — BarryK

This is continuation of the new lithium powerbox project. Previous post:

I have cut out the front and back panels, here it is assembled, front view:

img1 internal wiring yet! Here is the back view:


So, in retrospect, am I happy with the design of the box? If it was done again, would I change anything? Yes...

  1. I used 6mm ply front and back, which is too thin. The Anderson plugs require considerable force to plug-in and unplug. I strengthened with some strips of pine screwed on internally, however, use of 9mm ply would have been better.
  2. Dimensions are a tight squeeze. OK, but if someone wanted to use a slightly different battery, it probably wouldn't fit. For my Amptron 50AH battery, I would have preferred an extra 5mm internal height, to make sliding in and out via the side easier -- though probably once it is in, it will stay in -- I expect the battery to outlive me.
  3. It might have been simpler and easier to go for a wood frame rather than aluminium. Bunnings sell 12x12mm section medium-hardwood, which would have done the job.

I used SolveSpace to figure out where to place the cut-outs on front and back panels. Here is the front panel layout:


...the 165x170mm rectangle is the internal battery, so there is nothing cutout on the front panel in that area. Here is the back panel layout:


...again, the battery is shown. The two 48x74mm rectangles are not cut-outs -- that is where the 30A circuit breakers will mount externally.

I painted it aluminium-silver, however, reckon that matt-black would be more appropriate. Black would match the DC-DC charger, and some of the power sockets.

There are a couple of details to finish off, before starting on the internal wiring.

EDIT 2020-04-21:
For the record, this is where I purchased some of the items screwed onto the front and back panels:

I ordered one of each colour of the Anderson panel-mounts. The vendor agreed on one payment of AU$9.90 to ship all three by Aust. Post Express (you have to ask for that):

This is the cigarette lighter socket:

Binding posts came from Altronics:

...they have holes for banana plugs, but Altronics also have binding posts without the banana plug holes. Note, the tops screw right off, so that eye-type lugs can be attached.

The externally-mounted 30A circuit breakers are available from many places. They are very expensive from some local vendors. I purchased via eBay:   

EDIT 2020-04-22:
Here is another vendor of the flush-mount Anderson housings, at almost half the price. They stock grey, red, black and blue:  

Tags: nomad