I made a power supply enclosure with a mains switch and now I need external DC connectors to be mounted in the slot shown.

I want to mount two female connectors onto a 3D printed panel, that will sit where the slot is (see pictures below) and which will connect to the 12V DC output of the power supply. I will then put male connectors onto two wires, so I can easily unplug the power supply from the machine. What is the best connector for this?

Please note I am not an electronics guy and primarily do mechanical engineering/design work so my knowledge on electronics is very limited at this point.

Thanks in advance!

power supply in case - closed power supply in case - open

  • \$\begingroup\$ Whatevet is panel mount. Minifit is nice, although requires crimps. \$\endgroup\$ – Gregory Kornblum Aug 18 '18 at 13:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ You mention wanting two connectors, but it isn't clear whether you think you need two connectors because you have two wires, or whether you want two separate, self-contained DC outputs (meaning that each DC connector would have a positive and a negative connection). Please can you edit the question to clarify how many external devices you want to power, as that will probably answer the question about the number of connectors you really need. Also, can you specify how much current your external device will be using? (That answer also affects the gauge of wires needed externally and internally.) \$\endgroup\$ – SamGibson Aug 18 '18 at 13:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Most common for 12V would be a barrel connector. Check Digikey. \$\endgroup\$ – stark Aug 18 '18 at 14:00
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @stark From the look of that supply you'd be hard pressed to find barrel connector with suitable amperage \$\endgroup\$ – Maple Aug 18 '18 at 16:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is this for production or is it a one-off? \$\endgroup\$ – Reinderien Aug 18 '18 at 19:28

I would go for two things known as a binding post, but that also double as banana jacks. This sounds complicated, but they are actually quite common. This is the kind of connector you see often on benchtop power supplies.

You can clamp bare wires into the binding posts, or you can plug in cables with banana pins on the ends.

If you mount the two banana jacks the right distance apart, then you can use cables that have a double banana pin on the end, all as one molded part. Check the specs for such double pins to find the correct spacing between the banana jacks to allow the double-pin connector to work.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This is what I would use, one red, one black. But I am overly-cautious and always check twice even when I am connecting 1.5v battery. For someone who needs quick plug-unplug something polarized would be better fit \$\endgroup\$ – Maple Aug 18 '18 at 16:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the suggestion Olin, this is the sort of thing I was looking for. I just had no idea what they were called. Much appreciated. \$\endgroup\$ – Stephen Aug 19 '18 at 14:29

Among ham radio enthusiasts, the connector to use for this would be an Anderson Powerpole connector. I don't know if it meets your needs, but you weren't very specific about them -- is it indoor, outdoor, is it for sensitive electronics or giant motors or what?

Powerpole connectors are a bit pricey, but extremely robust both mechanically and electrically. They come in pre-wired, crimpable, or panel-mount forms. They are rated for 100,000 insertions with no load, or 250 hot-plugs (according to Wikipedia.) In practice my experience is that those figures are very conservative; I have literally never experience any kind of wear or malfunction of the connector end of a Powerpole connector. (The crimp end can malfunction if not properly crimped, and it does take a bit of practice.) They are not rated to be water-resistant as far as I know, but I've used them outdoors in the rain with no issue.

See e.g. here for connectors, crimpers, panelmount connectors, various adapters, etc.: https://powerwerx.com/anderson-power-powerpole-sb-connectors

Or see here for more information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anderson_Powerpole

The wikipedia page claims that Anderson's suggested color code is yellow for 12V, but in ham gear it is universal that a 12V connection (using the low-current 15-45 amp connectors) is red-black arranged in a specific way, so they will mate with every other ham's equipment. If you buy any of the pre-bonded or panel-mount connectors from Powerwerx (linked above) or West Mountain Radio (another ham source for power and other gear) they will be in that standard configuration; you can also use the photos of it to do your own the same way.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.