Dinosaurs Build a Rostock Max V2 in Alaska

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KAS
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Re: Dinosaurs Build a Rostock Max V2 in Alaska

Postby KAS » Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:33 pm

gchristopher wrote:
KAS wrote:What part of Alaska?

Fairbanks, pretty much in the middle of nowhere.

Eaglezsoar wrote:I am still enjoying the dinosaurs and the way you write. Very informative but with a little added humor. Great Job!

Thanks, this remains an incredible amount of fun! Right now we're learning that tiny dinosaurs have very little natural aptitude for bending acrylic panels into Rostock enclosure-shaped shapes.

barry99705 wrote:
gchristopher wrote:a local computer shop donated ...

2Geeks?

Yes! Holy carp, how did you know that name? Several friends work/have worked there.




Awesome, spent 6 years in Anchorage stationed on Elmendorf. Closest I got to you was somewhere in the middle near McKinley.

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Re: Dinosaurs Build a Rostock Max V2 in Alaska

Postby barry99705 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:25 pm

gchristopher wrote:
KAS wrote:What part of Alaska?

Fairbanks, pretty much in the middle of nowhere.

Eaglezsoar wrote:I am still enjoying the dinosaurs and the way you write. Very informative but with a little added humor. Great Job!

Thanks, this remains an incredible amount of fun! Right now we're learning that tiny dinosaurs have very little natural aptitude for bending acrylic panels into Rostock enclosure-shaped shapes.

barry99705 wrote:
gchristopher wrote:a local computer shop donated ...

2Geeks?

Yes! Holy carp, how did you know that name? Several friends work/have worked there.


That 99705 in my screen name isn't just for looks! I used to live there, went to HS in North Pole, left for 2 years in the AF, then joined the guard at Eielson. Also worked for the school district for 5 or 6 years. Spent 17 years total up there. I remember when 2geeks really was just a couple guys.
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Re: Dinosaurs Build a Rostock Max V2 in Alaska

Postby gchristopher » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:51 pm

barry99705 wrote:That 99705 in my screen name isn't just for looks! I used to live there, went to HS in North Pole, left for 2 years in the AF, then joined the guard at Eielson. Also worked for the school district for 5 or 6 years. Spent 17 years total up there. I remember when 2geeks really was just a couple guys.

Wow, it's a small world... That's pretty cool!

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Re: Dinosaurs Build a Rostock Max V2 in Alaska

Postby gchristopher » Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:07 am

This printer continues to be the most fun/frustrating/fun you could ask for!

So far, we've learned that making long continuous smooth bends in acrylic (such as one might want for a shape-conforming enclosure for a Rostock Max V2) is a task for people with appropriate skills and tools. The dinosaurs and their human helpers have neither, but we do have an abundance of persistence and (very recently), some oven heating elements scrounged from the dump. We'll see if that translates into beautifully shaped acrylic, or lung cancer, first.

On the plus side, mounting an E3D V6 using the adapter from SeeMeCNC was easy and fast, and works great!

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Since we aspire to dual extruders, nice quick-connects were used for the wiring. However, the planned connection panel doesn't exist yet, so right now binder clips will serve.

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Also, it turns out that nice all-metal print heads do absolutely nothing to solve issues with overhanging edges curling up or choosing to print things with tiny footprints and no raft. First we failed with ABS!

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ABS is easily fixed with a good raft, but nothing seemed to work for t-glase. Even this beefy ramp pulled up, bending the stupid ramp in the process. Several tries with glue stick and various temperatures from 70-90 failed. Even though the adhesion is poor, the real problem is the edge of the print curling up so the print head collides with it. I assume that's from uneven rapid cooling and hope that a heated enclosure will eventually help.

In this picture, the print head hit the left print, pulling up and bending the large raft underneath.

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But even with setbacks, the plans to improve the printer continue! The motors are getting way too hot, especially the extruder, which is a definite burn hazard. Nice 40mm heatsinks from RobotDigg arrived. The longest M3 screws from McMaster Carr are 60mm, which isn't quite enough to attach heat sink and fan, but if a little plastic is cut off the fan, it fits great!

Pictured are the fan, heat sink, motor, new screws, and old screws. Not pictured is some CPU thermal compound to be applied between the heat sink and motor. (Oops, can't use the corner screws, had to switch to two adjacent ones to match the screws in the heat sink.)
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It sure all did go together well.
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That should make for cooler happier motors! If only it didn't come at the cost of a surprise $25 shipping cost from MacMaster-Carr for $12 in screws. That's pretty bad for something that would have shipped fine USPS in a padded envelope.

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Re: Dinosaurs Build a Rostock Max V2 in Alaska

Postby barry99705 » Fri Mar 06, 2015 7:46 am

They all hose people with shipping to Alaska. I had a micro-sd card shipped in a box the same size as a shoe box once. They charged me $20 in shipping. They could have fit the card under the shipping label and it would have been just as secure... :evil:

Bending acrylic is an artform. You either get it right, or it goes horrible wrong. Some day when I get a max, I'm going to build an enclosure out of some sonotube and make plexi viewports. Pretty sure I can heat them in the oven and use the tube as a form. Just have to go fast!
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Re: Dinosaurs Build a Rostock Max V2 in Alaska

Postby jdurand » Fri Mar 06, 2015 10:33 pm

On my other printer I attached the heatsink with heatsink glue.

Also used that to attach the water cooling on the Max.
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Re: Dinosaurs Build a Rostock Max V2 in Alaska

Postby gchristopher » Sat Mar 07, 2015 12:28 am

Usually you can find someone willing to ship USPS. Haven't found one for small parts though.

I do have a water cooling block intended for the extruder motors. Did you find any particular thermal epoxy to be good or bad, jdurand? Thanks!

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Re: Dinosaurs Build a Rostock Max V2 in Alaska

Postby jdurand » Sat Mar 07, 2015 12:41 am

I used this stuff.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/370872305451

I originally got it for some stepping motor controllers we sell.
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Re: Dinosaurs Build a Rostock Max V2 in Alaska

Postby gchristopher » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:30 pm

Winter doldrums have passed, and the intrepid dinosaurs are back to working on their printer. First up is catching up on smaller improvements to clear workspace for more ambitious mods later.

That big power supply sure does fill up the interior of the printer. Let's add some 92mm case fans to the sides by printing out new side panels!

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Also installed were some motor cooling radiators from robotdigg.com:

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Since the five new fans need wiring connection, a couple pins were added to the power supply harness and brought out to a new squid-shaped wiring harness. (Yay for modular power supplies!) We're all about being "modular" here in dino-engineering land. "Modular" in this case also means "we don't know what we're doing and want to be able to swap it out easily later!"

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The side panels were a fun experiment. The idea was to incorporate a piece of window screen to cover the opening for the fan. In the model, a 1-layer thick cavity was left in the print, large enough to hold the edges of the window screen. A piece of screen was then cut to the hole that would be left in the print:

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The print is @pause -ed just before it would start printing the layer that will cover the screen. The screen rests flat on a manually-generated support structure and fit nicely in the open area! The edges were tacked down with superglue to keep the printer from dragging it out of place. (Warning, hot cyanoacrylate vapor is surprisingly NASTY! Face and lung protection are advised.)

Here's a picture of the screen while a layer is partially printed over it. An inner perimeter loop is already laid down, and a bridge fill will follow.

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And here's the back view of a finished panel! The screen doesn't stay taut and flat, since the print shrinks, but it still looks perfectly acceptable and that won't affect how well it works at all.

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Finally, because we eventually imagine a pretty printer running happily in a living room, a quick acetone vapor finish was applied to smooth and shine the ABS panels.

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Re: Dinosaurs Build a Rostock Max V2 in Alaska

Postby gchristopher » Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:26 pm

All the cool kids have PEI print surfaces these days. (And our purple glue stick habit has become rather expensive.)

So, let's put a bunch of strips of really finicky tape on the bed and apply some PEI!

The very professional-looking roller was constructed to help glue packraft fabric. Stega used it here to smooth out bubbles in the tape.

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TRex designed the very first test print after re-leveling the bed with the new PEI surface.

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Re: Dinosaurs Build a Rostock Max V2 in Alaska

Postby ZakRabbit » Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:16 pm

Thank you so much for sharing with us! Beautiful work.

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Re: Dinosaurs Build a Rostock Max V2 in Alaska

Postby gchristopher » Wed Aug 12, 2015 4:58 pm

Thanks ZakRabbit!

The cheap IR thermometer is reporting temperature variations across the print surface ranging from 5C above the target temperature to 20C below it. Interestingly, the variations aren't strictly on a simple pattern like distance from center. (For example, right above the eyebrows on the SeeMeCNC logo is a hot spot, but dead center on the bed is a cool spot. In general, the far edges of the print bed are cooler, though.

When doing larger prints, a little bit of edge lifting still happens. (Though the PEI is much better than glass and glue stick!)

So, let's try sandwiching a piece of copper in there and see if we can even out the temperatures.

Wow! 1/16" of copper sheet is surprisingly heavy!

Image

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Re: Dinosaurs Build a Rostock Max V2 in Alaska

Postby Agisis » Wed Aug 12, 2015 5:36 pm

This is an awesome and fun thread. I'm almost at the point where I flip the switch and hope that nothing catches fire. Great to see the PEI upgrade. I may do that as well once I get past the fear of turning it on the first time and get a few prints under my belt

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Re: Dinosaurs Build a Rostock Max V2 in Alaska

Postby gchristopher » Thu Aug 20, 2015 3:30 pm

Agisis wrote:This is an awesome and fun thread. I'm almost at the point where I flip the switch and hope that nothing catches fire. Great to see the PEI upgrade. I may do that as well once I get past the fear of turning it on the first time and get a few prints under my belt

Thanks! I had a very long (more than 24 hour) terror-driven pause at that point. And yes, the PEI was absolutely worth it. That might be the biggest single easy upgrade, to just be able to print without fussing with surface coatings.


Well, the intrepid dino-printasaurs are back in business after a scary episode with a melted heated bed terminal connector. Here's what they're up to!

After TRex was rescued from the copper plate, it was time to cut it into a reasonably circular shape. Dinosaurs always wear correct eye protection when using power tools!

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After adding the build plate, here's what the build platform looks like. There's quite a few layers on there now.

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And here's a test print using an E3D Volcano hot end with a 0.8mm nozzle and printing with 0.6mm layers!

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For this print, the Rostock is doing a RepRap impression and printing an experimental effector platform design.

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Re: Dinosaurs Build a Rostock Max V2 in Alaska

Postby gchristopher » Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:41 pm

I'm at work, but the DinoCam lets me know they're also hard at work!

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They're printing a second revision of the dual EZStruder holder design, and it looks like the new printed effector platform and tool holder is working fine with the (finally installed) TrickLaser arms!

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Re: Dinosaurs Build a Rostock Max V2 in Alaska

Postby gchristopher » Sun Sep 20, 2015 1:51 am

The copper heat spreader does a fantastic job of maintaining even heat (<5C deviation) across the entire heated bed. That's great, but bed heat times have suffered dramatically.

TRex is BORED! How bored? About 30-35 minutes per print of bored, which is quite a lot of bored.

The target temp in the graph below is 105C.

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That's long enough for Repetier host to turn off its heaters from lack of input, starting the bed to cool back off again!

The RAMBo is doing great, the PSU isn't working hard, so there's really only one conclusion: the Onyx at 12V just isn't the right combination for higher bed temperatures. Thankfully, lots of other people on this forum (including many of the notable experts) have noticed this long ago and switched to 24V or 120V AC bed heating solutions.

As much as TRex might want to, we're avoiding household voltage for as much of the printer as possible. That means using a 24V power supply! Here's the wiring diagram for a popular configuration:
  • A beefy 24V power supply (probably running at more like 20V)
  • Solid State Relay for the heated bed, driven by the RAMBo heat bed MOSFET output.
  • 24V to 12V step-down regulator to provide power to the RAMBo for steppers and hot ends.

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And here's the BOM for the 24V upgrade build: (The Dinos apparently STILL have the credit card. I should really take that back.)

  • MeanWell RSP-750-24: This is the current version of the popular SP-750-24 used by many others here. The newer part was marginally cheaper, also.
  • Crydom D1D40 40 amp SSR: Since mhackney had a cheap SSR literally CATCH FIRE, let's go with one that's rated for the voltage, amperage AND switching frequencies it will encounter in this application.
  • Heat sink for the SSR: This is a cheaper option than a brand-name heatsink. It does fit the SSR nicely and has slots for an 80mm fan. We'll have to watch it carefully in use for a while before being completely confident.
  • Plug for the power cable: This one isn't fused like ones used by others, so maybe switching or adding an in-line fuse is worth considering.
  • 24V to 12V buck converter: Another choice that others have made, and I haven't read any complaints, so hopefully 240W will be enough for the steppers and hot ends.
  • Illuminated round switch that seems to match the size of the stock switch and is rated for 16A @120V AC from Home Depot, somewhat surprisingly!

And now Stega gets to make a whole new wiring harness for everything. Oh boy!

Image

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Re: Dinosaurs Build a Rostock Max V2 in Alaska

Postby gchristopher » Wed Sep 23, 2015 2:08 am

Well, the new power supply and related parts are still a mass of wires sitting outside the printer case, and we had to update to Repetier 0.92.4 to be sure the bed PWM frequency was 15Hz, but the first bed heat time test turned out pretty great!

Erring on the side of safety, the PSU is running at 20.1V right now. The time from room temperature (23C-ish) to 105C was just under 7 minutes! That's not the crazy 3 minute heat times some have achieved, but is a great improvement and is perfectly usable. Not bad at all with the heat spreader in place!

Here's the temperature graph:

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TRex and Stega thank everyone on these forums who blazed the trail and made this such a straightforward upgrade to implement!

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Re: Dinosaurs Build a Rostock Max V2 in Alaska

Postby gchristopher » Thu Sep 24, 2015 3:25 am

Part of switching to Repetier 0.92.4 means playing around with the new configuration options!

Stega is happy to report that the bluetooth wireless functionality in the current Repetier works! (Once you get the baud rates sorted out.)

There was a BlueSMiRF from SparkFun lying around from another project, and it works as wireless cable replacement for talking to the RAMBo from Repetier Host. The only trick was realizing that the BlueSMiRF defaults to 115,200 baud on a cold boot, so you have to set the firmware to use that baud rate for whichever serial port the modem is connected.

The Atmega2560 is running at 16 MHz, right? That makes 115,200 one of the highest error baud rates you can choose. (-3.5% or 2.1%) It looks like the BlueSMiRF can be permanently reprogrammed to change things like the default baud rate. (And default pairing password!) 115,200 is the fastest it can manage, so the 250,000 0% error baud rate isn't an option. Does anyone have any advice on a good choice of baud rate and the practical implications of changing it?

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Re: Dinosaurs Build a Rostock Max V2 in Alaska

Postby 0110-m-p » Thu Sep 24, 2015 12:25 pm

I think I found that image with "BORED, BORED, BORED" entirely more funny than probably intended.

Thanks.
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Re: Dinosaurs Build a Rostock Max V2 in Alaska

Postby barry99705 » Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:00 pm

I haven't checked the weather lately, but you're probably due for an enclosure soon. Not sure on the age of your house, but all mine were old and grew glaciers on the bottom of all the windows... :lol:
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Re: Dinosaurs Build a Rostock Max V2 in Alaska

Postby gchristopher » Mon Oct 05, 2015 3:41 am

barry99705 wrote:I haven't checked the weather lately, but you're probably due for an enclosure soon. Not sure on the age of your house, but all mine were old and grew glaciers on the bottom of all the windows... :lol:

I know! Why did the first revisions count on bending acrylic into nice smooth elliptical sections? That was stupid.

So, the printer is mid-teardown to add a bunch of wires for dual extruders! Let's check in on the dinos and see how it looks!

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We had a pack of t-slot trim pieces from TrickLaser. (Which don't appear to be on sale anymore.) They fit nicely, but it's still a very tight fit. Since the belt teeth point inward, adding the trim pieces to the center slots seemed like a bad idea. The belt teeth definitely catch on the trim pieces. The sides, where Stega is currently pulling wires, are a surprisingly tight fit around the t-slot nuts.

The biggest concern is that when the nuts are tightened back down, the screws will extend farther inward. They'll definitely compress the wires, and there's a risk they'll cut or short the wiring going up and down the sides of the t-slot. The entrances and exits on the top will definitely be very crowded, too. There's also a risk of the belt idlers rubbing on the wires. We'll see if it all fits!

Going through this experience really drives home a few lessons:
1. Building a stock Rostock and getting to know it well is definitely a great idea before doing mods.
2. T-Rex really needs some kind of supervision when Stega is busy working.
3. The wiring would REALLY be simplified if you moved the motors and electronics up to the top, like JFettig did and bvandiepenbos did. Then the only remote elements would be the heat bed and FSRs, if used! Then you'd only need long wire runs to bring 12V up, send a control signal down to the bed/SSR, and wires to the FSR controller.

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Re: Dinosaurs Build a Rostock Max V2 in Alaska

Postby gchristopher » Sat Oct 10, 2015 3:37 am

There's a lot of build details to post, but these dinosaurs are feeling pretty ambitious and accomplished tonight!

Here's the first dual extrusion print in progress!

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And finished!

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They encountered all the usual challenges and setbacks for people (or dinosaurs) implementing dual extrusion, and once again the forums here proved invaluable. We'll get links to the best resource threads posted with a full build log of the project.

But yeah, it looks like these happy dinosaurs finally get to play with that spool of HIPS that's been sitting in the corner! :D

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Re: Dinosaurs Build a Rostock Max V2 in Alaska

Postby gchristopher » Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:01 pm

We're in the process of reworking the effector platform to try a build usng 713maker parts. (More to come on that)

Since things are disassembled, this was a good chance to remove the brass nozzle (0.4mm E3D V6) from the heater block, clean it in an acetone bath, and see how much wear it has accumulated over the last couple years of use!

Here's the nozzle viewed side-by-side with a new, unused carbon steel E3D V6 nozzle. The pictures were taken with a very old USB microscope, so pretty low resolution.

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This nozzle has been used extensively for ABS and PLA, but has extruded smaller amounts of PETG, a little HIPS and nylon. While there's definitely some signs of wear, especially one triangular notch in the nozzle, it doesn't seem to me like that's enough wear to really affect print quality. What do you experienced people think?


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This is much too close to a Tyrannosaurus Rex for safety!

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Re: Dinosaurs Build a Rostock Max V2 in Alaska

Postby gchristopher » Sat May 06, 2017 5:36 am

We're pretty sure the RAMBo is partially dead. A static discharge to the outer plastic front case(!!!) of the LCD killed (at least) the LCD. After replacing the LCD, the RAMBo still works fine to control the printer but no longer responds to attempts to reprogram the firmware or re-flash the bootloader. So that's sad, and interrupted any work to try new printer features or configurations.

The dinos have since gotten a Duet Wifi and plan to install it. They've taken this opportunity to clean up the in-printer wiring significantly by moving the Meanwell power supply and the 12V regulator out to an external metal enclosure. This should both simplify the wiring and bring the printer as a whole close to household-safe wiring by confining the AC power lines to a very short run in a metal box. (We'll eventually want to add a small interior panel to physically separate the AC and DC wiring, which will be another step to real electrical code compliance!)

Stega has also discovered Anderson Powerpole connectors! They're great and were used to build a custom power cable between the power supply enclosure and the printer. An appropriate crimper is required, but it seems like a pretty low fuss to get a 45A rated connection. The 6 connectors are for +12V, +24V, two Grounds, and 12V/Gnd signal lines to connect the printer switch to the On/Off control on the Meanwell PSU.

Image

They're getting closer to having a working printer again!

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Re: Dinosaurs Build a Rostock Max V2 in Alaska

Postby Mac The Knife » Sat May 06, 2017 10:31 am

I used to use the Anderson Powerpoles for radio controlled racing for the batteries. Only instead of crimping them, we would solder them. The only downside to using them for that application was that the plastic did not hold up to motor cleaning spray, or brake cleaners.
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