Power Pole Distribution Block Project.

Well, I was working on a little DIY project today, and after talking to W9PEP, we decided it would make a good post on the website. It also allows me to try to figure out formatting for posting on here, as Phil gave me admin access months ago and I haven’t used it yet. This might be a long post.

Finished Distribution Block

After our Skywarn Recognition Day events, I was inspired to move my VHF/UHF station to the same area as my HF, as I had the whole thing torn apart anyway. I had thought about just buying a Rig Runner, but all my radios are fused after the Power Poles and I already had 20 sets of connectors I scored off of Amazon Warehouse Deals for cheap.

View of the side of the Power Pole, showing the tab that must be removed.

The Power Poles are keyed on the sides so you can stack them in any order or grouping, in order to fit into my Lego shell I had to trim all of the exposed male tabs off of the all 5 sets of connectors. I used a Dremel with a carbide burr, but it could be done with all sorts of different tools.

Negative Side, showing the alignment tabs that had to be removed to fit between the legos

Bottom view

Positive Side

I’ve already soldered them together in these pictures, but you can also clearly see where I removed the tabs on all the connectors. Speaking of soldering, I first soldered the two long wires (using the opening in the Legos to guess a length), and then I soldered short stubs to all the Power Pole terminals. I then inserted all the terminals into the connector housings, and used the top Legos to set my spacing between the connectors. I cut the stubs from the bottom of the connectors to roughly the same length and then soldered each one to long wires from the feed connector.

Close Up of Soldered Connections

I used solid 12 gauge wire for all the connections, its rigid and I had it laying around, should handle the electric load no problem. Soldered it all up with my butane catalyst iron, I can’t recommend it enough for soldering wiring and terminals, it’s probably to hot for board work, though. I potted the wiring in some hot glue to make sure it didn’t move enough to short. The Legos are all super glued together, and I put a little hot glue around the feed connector to seal around it, and a few dabs on the bottom to make feet so it doesn’t scoot across the table.

Here’s the spacing of the Lego base:

The base, made of Legos, and showing spacing for the Power Poles

Lego Base, once again showing spacing.

I guess I better thank my son, Ben for donating the Legos for the project, I think they make it fun, and still kind of technical. If my talks with W9PEP come to anything, we should have quite a few more posts, and DIY projects.

–KD9DUX

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