Love my 3D printer. This week, I used it to build my commercial LZ1AQ control box with PETG filament.
My AAA-1C active antenna amplifier is remote controlled from the shack using a small control card and CAT 7 cable. You can see the control card above with a BNC connector on the left, and CAT connector and cable on the right.
With a bit of skill using a CAD program, you will find that it’s pretty easy to 3D print a control box for almost anything.
I sized the box to hold two control cards for dual loop amplifiers, should I choose to buy another one. Four antenna operating modes are selected using a rotary switch. A small toggle is used to turn the power on, and a RED LED to signal status.
With a set of digital calipers, you can measure all the parts pretty accurately and position components in the box. Parts are held in place using through hole terminals and nuts or, sometimes, small screws and mounting posts.
Finally, a lid (not shown) will make a complete box. This enclosure took a few hours to 3D print at a cost of around $3 in plastic filament.
Commercial LZ1AQ Control Box – About the Parts
Mode selection uses the popular Lorlin CK1024 rotary switch in single pole four position configuration. You will find this switch is cheap and cheerful, and easy to configure for the required number of poles, in my case four. A nice feature is the ability to cut the plastic switching stem to the required length.
Power is switched using a simple SPST miniature toggle. To make my box fancy, I added a Mode 55-432-0 Red LED indicator with a chrome bezel, lower right. My small circuit board on the lower right provides a resistor for the LED and switches power to the control board.
I route 12 VDC power to the box using a simple 2.1 mm barrel connector to terminal adapter, designed for CCTV equipment, shown upper right.
Plenty of room remains in the box for me to add a second control board and mode selector switch. My CAT cables are held in place by the lid, which can be screwed down.