Power Pole Connectors Added to Radio Shack 3 Amp Power Supply

Original Layout, with one power pole in mind


I wanted a 3 amp power supply for my Kx3. The 12 volt ‘laptop’ power supply did not quite have the ‘chutzpah’ to charge the internal batteries, all the way!

I bought it from local ham that no longer used it and wanted to make it compatible with all my other gear. I use Power Pole connectors on all my radio gear including accessories. Manufacturers are ‘Getting the picture’ by using Power Pole connectors which are superior to all other types, (in my opinion) but they are catching on slowly. My first thought was to simply place one power pole connector on the face of this Radio Shack 3 Amp power supply.  (See the rectangle on the face plate)

Cut out for 4 Power Poles penciled in

Second Option Layout

It was a mistake to use a ‘permanent marker’ to layout the face plate cut out, but fortunately, it went away with the cut out! This, proving once again, that not all my original ideas are good ones!

Components were removed to allow soldering to old bindign posts

Cut Out Portion of the Face Plate is Shown Here.  

The internal components were removed to facilitate soldering.

There is not a ‘whole lot’ of room inside this power supply, but more than in some I’ve seen. None the less, I opted to remove the internal components to allow a good solder job from the Power Poles to the original binding posts. I covered the splices with heat shrink tubing.

4 Power Poles in place, note the trimming on the lower right side of the Power Pole 6-1-2013 12-45-08 PM

I used a Dremel Tool  to remove the lower right corner of the Power Pole face plate and a hacksaw on the cut out.

This was necessary  in order to keep the cigarette lighter socket where it is. A good filing job was necessary to smooth out the hacksaw and Dremel tool marks. I used a cloth to shield the circuit board and transformer from flying metal chips, then vacuumed out the inside very, very well. The last thing I need in a power supply is a ‘rogue’ chip of metal bouncing around inside it. I also cleaned out the interior of the cabinet with Q-tips and rubbing alcohol to make sure I got them all. The voltage was off a bit, but that was easily adjusted by turning a small pot on the circuit board. It reads a prefect 13.8 VDC now.

Additional Power Pole in Cigarette Lighter Socket

This cigarette lighter plug fitted with Power Pole connector is such an example of the versatility that these sockets bring.

This particular plug works in your car as well, opening a myriad of possibilities for charging and lighting. This socket is very useful for accessories of all kinds.

Cigarette Lighter socket, used for accessories

My pocket flashlight is powered by 4.2 V batteries that can be charged via the cigarette lighter socket.

Cell phones usually have such an adapter too, as do Kindles, or MP3 players.

Power Pole Inatallation is Complete

So here you have it, a 3 amp power supply modified with Power Pole connectors.

This little power supply now sits on a coffee table powering my Kx3, among other things. Please feel free to contact me for information about doing modifications like this one. Please note, this is a ‘regulated’ power supply, and not a ‘switching’ power supply. Radio Shack no longer makes this model. At least I could not find one like it in a Radio Shack Store search online. You might find one like I did, by looking for a used one.

73 de AA1IK

Ernest Gregoire


Links http://www.powerwerx.com/




Ernest Gregoire, AA1IK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Florida, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

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