Anderson PowerPole connectors are great power connectors. They're commonly used in ham radio and FIRST robotics. I use them for art projects, and found myself building small power systems. This project is a collection of boards that distribute power using these connectors. It includes a one-to-four splitter, a one-to-four fuseboard, and a one-to-ten fuseboard.
I assembled the initial boards (distribution board and fuse board small v1.1, fuse board large v1.0). Everything works fine. I made a few small tweaks after building this revision:
Fixed silkscreen outline of the Anderson connectors. I originally followed the mechanical drawing, which appears to be incorrect (or at least misleading). I changed the outline to match the 3D models that Anderson provides, which seem to be more correct.
Increased the copper ring around the slot slightly. I hope that this will make it easier to transfer heat to the copper on the PCB and make it easier to solder.
I haven't tested these changes yet, but they are pretty low-risk.
I applied a moderate load to boards for testing. I used a 100W, 2 ohm resistor with a 12V, "10A" power supply, and measured the voltage drop at the farthest connection point from the source. The power supply is cheap, so it drooped to 11.5v during testing, for a load of ~5.75A.
Calculated resistance, ohms
Fuse board large
Fuse board small
These numbers are pretty approximate. They suggest that the resistance of the board is low enough to be negligible at reasonable loads.
Upload the zip file from the gerber directory of the board you'd like to make to a fab house. I use JLCPCB, which is generally cheapest, and quite fast. The default specifications are fine - feel free to change the color, of course!
The 'Components' section lists the part numbers. Take a look at the photos for help in figuring out how many of each component you'll need. For the large fuse board and distribution board, you have the option of using a straight or right-angle connector for the 'in' connector.
You can check Octopart to see part prices from a bunch of common distributors.
Since the large power traces on the PCBs act as giant heatsinks, you'll need to be patient when soldering the components. It'll take longer than usual for everything to heat up enough that solder flows around the entire joint, making a clean connection. I set my iron to about 360C - it's worth experimenting to find the setting that works for you. Too cold and it'll take a long time to solder, but too hot and you risk burning the board or the flux. It takes me about 20 minutes to solder the small fuse board, and 45 minutes for the large fuse board.