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View Full Version : [Question(s)] How to split my power?



jwatte
04-14-2013, 07:55 PM
I'm also working on my rover for Magellan -- which is making more progress now that Onyx is disabled...

I have 3S LiPo power with a screw terminal out from a power switch board. I need to split it three ways. The three draws will each see a maximum of 10A, and an average draw of maybe 2A. My power cabling is all 18 gauge speaker wire. (Hey, it's cheap, and polarization is clearly marked!)

In the real engineering world, it seems like I'd get some solid copper and make some bus bars, and screw my power into those. But, I don't have bus bars, and I don't really have space, time, or budget for that.
My next idea is to parallel four two-pole screw terminals on breadboard, and reinforce the traces with copper wire, and screw my power cables into that. Except I'm all out of screw terminals after making all the power control!

So, what's a good way of splitting up battery power?
Soldering up an octopus and wrapping it in electrical tape? I don't like how that's hard to screw down well.
Using a stainless steel screw, 1/2" ear lugs, and a nut, automotive style? Do I wrap it in tape as well to avoid accidental contact?
"Euro-style" screw sockets ("sugar cubes") with multiple conductors into each screw?
Something else?

Slugman
04-14-2013, 10:14 PM
I like the octopus. :)
Use scalpel to remove insulation from +ve wire for 15mm at join location. Pare insulation 20mm from end of another piece of wire, then split the individual speaker strands equally & wrap them around the main +ve where you bared the wire. Keep both wires parallel & solder together, then tape that section. Use whatever connections at the ends of each to make it easy. Run -ve wires together to a common earth etc.
Hard to change locations of wires later, but it's light & can look neat depending how you run your wires.
Good luck, & don't forget to twist the +ve & -ve wires where possible to remove/reduce RF interference! :)

jwatte
04-15-2013, 01:42 AM
For now, I'm doing an octopus, although with electrician style wing nuts. If it's good enough for my house, it's probably good enough for my robot. Although my house typically doesn't move around...
Good thing about wing nuts is it's easy to change to solder or screw or whatever later.

tician
04-15-2013, 07:11 AM
I really like the 'euro-style' screw terminals (and they are relatively inexpensive). Nice and easy to use with less chance of coming undone like wire nuts. They are also easy to mount and resize. Darsha is currently wired up with a bunch of them and 18AWG zip wire (both from RS).