So I really like the PDP’s simplicity, and now that I’ve graduated from FIRST, I was wondering what the consumer version of the PDP exists. I understand that the PDP is basically like a fuse box in a house where you have a central power source sent to different circuits protected by fuses, but for smaller applications that required a central power source of similar size, what are the options? Could I just go with a power bus?
There are fuse blocks you can get that accept the same automotive fuses the PDP uses. None (or at least no cheap ones) have the current monitoring features the PDP does, but they’ll work if you just need to distribute power.
When I do my “KoP Chassis” demo versions for pre-season demos, but don’t use/need an FRC control system, I like to use the “Stinger” brand of fuse and grounding blocks for power distribution. This is not why I use it , but as I understand it, this is what FRC used back before they had FRC-specific PDBs and PDPs. I used these for many years for unofficial robots (e.g. the air cannon) and still find them useful. I actually used these earlier this month for a personal robot I hope to use as an FRC [mechanical] sample. To be honest, I think I can do a lot better on the “grounding block” side.
Yep, I think these were the FRC-official fuse panels WAY back when, before the black spade-connector ones, which were before the PDBs, which were before the PDPs. It’s important to note that most 12V fuse panels don’t have any kind of ground connection, so you’ll need one of each of the blocks @GeeTwo linked to-- one fused one for power, and one unfused one for ground. This is because most vehicles with batteries – like cars – only run actual wires for the positive side, and use chassis return. You should be able to get away with chassis return for a demo bot, but you’d need to take some extra precautions, and it definitely isn’t FRC-legal.
Excepting the above blocks, I don’t see so many products similar to the first one that can hold the MAXI 40A circuit breakers. I have seen that Keystone carries PCB mountable MAXI holders: https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/keystone-electronics/3555-2/36-3555-2-ND/2137311
CTRE does have a a straight breakout board: http://www.ctr-electronics.com/power-distribution-breakout.html
Also, there is this.
edit: Here is better link to their PCB distribution board: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32856256785.html?storeId=3182015
Who needs traces? Just melt an entire roll of solder onto the board and hope none drips onto the other side.
This looks like a job for 30 oz copper PCBs.
depending on your application, you may consider a more modular approach. I have had good luck building DIN rail distribution arrangements with off the shelf fuse blocks and bus bars. Many companies make indicating fuse blocks and DC circuit breakers with both monitoring and control capability.
Something like this would serve your needs decently well if you didn’t need more than 30 Amps per circuit and not a gigantic amount total current. These are essentially what FIRST robots used back in 2003 and prior. https://www.delcity.net/store/ATO:ATC-Fuse-Panel-Grounding-Pad/p_11262.h_650184
West marine also has several similar offerings. The ground bus on these things is kind of weak and sucky, but that said I haven’t had one fail, and you also have the option of using a different terminal block for grounding if you want.
MFJ has distribution systems that use Anderson power poles. https://www.mfjenterprises.com/Categories.php?sub=0&ref=8
West Mountain Radio rigrunner series of panels are nice. You should also look at Powerwerx https://powerwerx.com/powerpole-power-distribution if you want just distribution without fuses.