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In this DIY assembly venture, I decided to tackle the challenge of designing a safer casing for the bare, open mains connections on my LRS-200-24 power supply. To add to the challenge, the connector size was surprisingly wide and deep, which created hurdles in 3D printing the perfect box. I tried several renditions, from printing in separate parts to changing the design into a tubular construction, but these ventures resulted in a bit of a printing scrap heap. After discovering a sturdy, push-fit, slimmer connector online, my 3D printing journey went a little smoother, resulting in a front panel that slid nicely onto the power supply unit. The project also involved some dexterous wire threading, soldering, securing switches, and sockets, and accommodating everything within the newly printed enclosure. An exciting yet fiddly bit of work, it has come along quite promisingly – a test run confirms functionality. On the agenda for the next round – possibly extending the enclosure for some more elbow room for the wires. Definitely been a 'shocking' fun electrical endeavour!

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[0:00] So I’ve got a bunch of PCBs with PCBWay and that’s for the ESP32TV project.
[0:05] So I thought I’d crack on with a few other projects.
[0:07] So one of the ones I’ve got needs quite a beefy power supply.
[0:11] So this is an LRS-200-24. So that’s 24 volts with 8.8 amps.
[0:16] Now it’s pretty good but one of the things that I’m slightly worried about
[0:20] is the mains connections are just bare open
[0:23] and knowing my clumsiness I’ll probably electrocute myself.
[0:27] So first step is to make it a bit safer.
[0:30] So I popped off to Thingiverse and this is the first thing I came across and I printed it.
[0:34] And the results not particularly good.
[0:37] So I printed it with support and maybe I could get all of this support off
[0:42] but it’s pretty unlikely. It’s all over the place.
[0:46] Not a great result.
[0:48] I find with 3D printing I have to relearn a lot of things I learned previously.
[0:53] One of the problems I’ve got is I’m trying to fit one of these connectors in.
[0:57] The issue with this is with the screw lugs it’s surprisingly wide.
[1:03] It’s also quite deep.
[1:05] Once the cables are plugged into this you need quite a bit of depth.
[1:09] So you need quite a big box.
[1:10] So my next attempt I quite like printing boxes in two parts.
[1:15] So I printed this.
[1:18] Obviously the printer didn’t quite manage to print this very well
[1:22] but we do have the hole in the top for the power connector.
[1:26] So that would slot nicely in there.
[1:28] And then my thinking was I’ll screw this together
[1:32] and then there’s holes here for the sockets to plug power from.
[1:38] Doesn’t quite work. Not ideal really.
[1:42] The main issue is this connector is just way too big.
[1:47] I’m not sure what this is from.
[1:49] I think it’s another attempt at printing something.
[1:52] I think in this case I just printed the top part.
[1:54] Obviously this fits in nicely but we’re missing the rest of the box.
[1:58] Which I think led me on to this next attempt which was printing the box in various different parts.
[2:06] I think at this point I’d abandoned the attempt to actually fit this connector in
[2:11] and I was just going to thread the cable through this small hole.
[2:14] Not entirely sure what I was thinking here.
[2:18] It looks quite nice.
[2:20] We’ve got nice little air vents.
[2:22] I think my plan was that somehow I would glue all of this together or maybe screw it together.
[2:29] There’s some screw holes there and then it would kind of hang together like that.
[2:36] Obviously slightly silly.
[2:38] So that didn’t work at all either.
[2:42] So I’ll put that on the printing scrap heap.
[2:45] So the main issue I’m having is basically this connector is just too wide.
[2:49] So you can’t… anything you do involves printing quite a big box.
[2:54] So then I thought, well I’ll just look online and find some smaller connectors.
[2:59] So I’ve done that.
[3:00] These are actually just push fit ones which is much more sensible.
[3:03] So they still have the connector and a fuse
[3:07] and I’ve got a nice switch that will glow when it’s turned off and on.
[3:11] Now the nice thing about these connectors compared to these
[3:14] is these are actually pretty much the same width as the power supply.
[3:19] So I think we can print something that will work with these.
[3:22] So rather than spend seven hours printing a whole thing, which is what I had been doing,
[3:26] instead I just printed the front panel which is much more sensible.
[3:31] So this one this fits quite nicely into this hole with a bit of brute force.
[3:39] But I messed up the switch hole.
[3:44] So this hole is nowhere near big enough.
[3:46] So not ideal.
[3:48] But fortunately that just took an hour or so to print.
[3:50] So we did it again and this one has the perfect hole for the switch.
[3:55] That fits in nicely.
[3:56] These sockets fit in the circular holes very well and this fits as well.
[4:02] So that’s fantastic.
[4:03] So what I’ve gone for now is this tubular construction.
[4:08] So we have our front panel here for the power connector, the switch and the outlet sockets.
[4:14] And this will just slide nicely onto the power supply.
[4:18] And then we’ll just put some small bolts into these holes and screw it into place.
[4:23] So I’ve got a bunch of crimped wires.
[4:28] So I’ve crimped some connectors on the end of these ones.
[4:31] So these will be soldered onto the sockets.
[4:34] So we’ll have a red and a blue to each socket going to the power outputs.
[4:40] And then I’ve also got these mains power cables.
[4:44] So these little loops will loop from the power inlet over to the switch.
[4:52] So we’ll have live.
[4:55] I think that’s live.
[4:57] And we’ll have neutral going over to here.
[5:09] And then these three cables will take the earth from the connector.
[5:13] And we’ve got live and neutral going to the power supply.
[5:17] So hopefully we’ll be able to thread all these through here and get them hooked up.
[5:23] I think the only painful bit is going to be screwing the bolts onto these power sockets here.
[5:31] That’s going to be a bit fiddly because I need to get my fingers in
[5:34] and then turn it around with the cables already soldered on.
[5:38] So I’m going to give that a go next and we’ll see how we get on.
[5:42] So that’s these sockets nicely wired up.
[5:44] I only forgot the heat shrink maybe five times and had to redo them.
[5:49] But they’re all done now.
[5:50] So now it’s just a case of turning these wires through and then bolting these sockets on.
[5:56] So I’ll do that now.
[5:57] I won’t force you to watch that quite painful process because it’s going to be a bit fiddly.
[6:03] Well that was actually much easier than I expected.
[6:07] It’s not very well lined up but it’s an artisan piece of kit.
[6:12] So handmade - that’s how you can tell.
[6:14] So now we just need to get the switches and the socket wired up.
[6:19] So we’ve already got the two loops for the live and the neutral.
[6:24] Let’s put the earth wire on as well.
[6:28] So that’s those.
[6:32] Now we just need to thread all of these through.
[6:35] And I think I’ll put it this way around.
[6:40] And I just need to make sure that these two loops pop out of the holes.
[6:46] I can actually plug them into the socket.
[6:49] Okay so that’s that socket in place with the earth wire.
[6:54] And we’ve got our live and neutral coming out here.
[6:57] Now we can connect the live and neutral to the switch.
[7:05] So that’s neutral and live.
[7:10] And then we just make sure we get the matching neutral and live on this side.
[7:16] Let’s stick these through here.
[7:21] Get them out of the way.
[7:23] And then we need neutral will go on this side.
[7:33] Get on neutral and then live goes on this side.
[7:38] Get on there.
[7:41] Okay let’s double check.
[7:46] Yep that all looks good.
[7:48] And then is it going to fit?
[7:52] Yep.
[7:52] So now hopefully that should just slot in there.
[7:58] Wow goodness me.
[8:02] That’s done.
[8:02] Now I just need to screw it all up to the power supply.
[8:07] So let me do that and then we’ll give it a test run and see if it actually works.
[8:13] Okay we’re almost there.
[8:16] I think I need to make a bit more room or possibly reduce the length of my wires.
[8:21] Everything’s wired up but let’s unplug that.
[8:29] But it’s quite hard to actually squeeze all of these wires in and close it up to the screw hole.
[8:37] So I think what I might do is reprint this slightly longer or maybe I’ll just reduce the
[8:44] length of some of these wires.
[8:46] They’re a bit excessive at the moment.
[8:49] However we can now close it almost completely.
[8:54] And if we plug in we can turn our switch on.
[9:00] We have our nice light.
[9:02] And if I plug in a little socket here…
[9:05] Let’s see.
[9:11] We should get…
[9:14] 24 volts.
[9:19] So that’s not bad.
[9:21] So almost there and that was kind of a fun little printing project.
[9:25] I’ll come back.
[9:27] I think maybe we’re getting everything a bit squished inside here.
[9:30] So maybe another couple of centimeters or so.
[9:35] Or maybe two or three centimeters longer and that will give us plenty of room for the cables.
[9:40] But I’m going to call this a success for now.
[9:42] So hopefully see you soon with some more projects and some exciting fun stuff with some PCBs
[9:48] from PCBWay.
[9:49] So catch you soon!

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Chris Greening

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A collection of slightly mad projects, instructive/educational videos, and generally interesting stuff. Building projects around the Arduino and ESP32 platforms - we'll be exploring AI, Computer Vision, Audio, 3D Printing - it may get a bit eclectic...

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