The mains input sockets for the Mark2 printers arrived today – I had some fun wiring them up, and I think they’re going to be included in the printers going forwards.
For an overview, where I discussed the reasons for wanting to include these panels instead of having users wire the PSU directly, see the earlier post here.
I ordered a bunch of IEC320 fused and switched power socket panels to test. Today they arrived, and I spent a while figuring out the wiring. Mains power isn’t really my area of expertise, and I generally try to avoid killing myself – so much Googling of wire colours ensued.
Wiring the socket to act as nothing more than a socket was straightforward – instead of wiring the cable directly to the PSU, wire the PSU to the associated pins on the back of the socket – easy.
However, these panels also have a rocker switch, which meant the wiring was a little less straightforward. In addition, there’s also a red lamp inside the rocker switch – to run this needs the ground connection on more than one pin, so I had to do up a small wiring harness to get things running.
After tripping my houses fuse-box a few times, I finally got things wired up correctly – three cheers for trial and error!
I do quite like the added safety factor and ease of use the panel / switch provides – there are no exposed wires, the printer can be turned off or unplugged quickly and easily, and someone tripping over the cable shouldn’t permanently damage anything.
On the downside, the wiring harnesses are going to take me a while to make up for each printer – and I’ve discovered that I apparently suck at crimping quick-fit connectors. Additionally, my crimping tool hates me enough that it bruised my hand.
I could probably buy a better crimping tool – that would help. It’s still adding a decent amount of time to kit each printer – I’m going to ask around a bit first and see if I can get harnesses pre-made in China. The harnesses would probably look neater if done by a professional – then again, I’d certainly get plenty of practice doing them myself.
Regardless of how I get the harnesses done, I think adding these power sockets is worthwhile. Better safety, better usability – and don’t forget they have a cool red glowy bit! I’ll gladly trade a bit of time / cost / hand-bruising for that.
Update: I was able to find a supplier in China that agreed to do the customised mains harnesses even at a relatively low quantity – I’ve received the harnesses they’ve made up, and they’re much better quality than anything I could do myself – really glad I decided to ask around. Asking is always good!