Battery holder or method to secure in enclosure

Hi Particles.
Does anyone know of a good scew-down or rubber / plastic mountable battery holder for the 3.7v battery used with the Electron?

@DRCO,

I have had great luck with industrial velcro strips. They hold up well outdoors and give you the option of replacing / removing the battery if needed.

Chip

2 Likes

Thanks, I’ve done the same previously…but with the number of these size (package) battery units out there I’m surprised there isn’t a silicone or plastic screw-down holder.

@DRCO ,

Well, you can get one printed it turns out. I have a Prusa Mini printer and have been trying to learn how to use it more effectively. I have not mastered Fusion360 but I do create parts for my sensors using OpenSCAD - a free program that lets you program your 3D part.

I found a model for a LiPO battery holder on Thingiverse where the creator - bless him/her - provided the OpenSCAD source code.

With this, I was able to customize the holder using the variables at the top of the file and create a holder that should work for the standard Particle LiPO cell (1800mAh) and it looks like this:

I am printing this now and will share what I get. If you don’t have a 3D Printer, you can use various on-line printing services and you could also try different materials such as the cool elastic filaments I hope to be able to figure out one day (harder to work with it turns out).

I hope this helps and thank you for the suggestion, I would never have found this without your post.

Chip

2 Likes

Works! Here is what the enclosure looks like. There is a little slot under the battery that could accommodate a zip tie. I got a fairly snug fit with the following parameters:

battery_length=50;
battery_height=11;
battery_width=35;
// high is not be tested it can be it will not fit in!
wall_height=2; // [3:low,2:medium,1.5:!high!]
thickness=2; // [1:3]
hole= 3; // [0:8]
sunk_screws=0; // [0:NO, 1:YES]
light=1; // [0:NO, 1:YES]
band_hole=1; // [0:NO, 1:YES]
thick_edge=0; // [0:NO, 1:YES]
//If you don't need it set to 0
mount_basis_length= 70;
//If you don't need it set to 0
mount_basis_width= 50;
mount_basis_thickness= 2; // [1:3]
//mount_basis_length need to be higher than
mb_hole_distance_length= 60;
//mount_basis_width need to be higher than
mb_hole_distance_width= 40;



5 Likes

Similar to some of the guys above, I have 3d printed a backing plate and battery enclosure for my 3.7v LiPos (i need 12,000mah to give me 2 weeks of cloud cover insurance because the 3g sucks so much juice along with my 3 sensors!).

The battery cage slots into the backplace via an L shaped bracket. Seems to be holding up well.

Pics below, happy to share, but the PCB was custom designed, so the mounting holes may not be so handy for you.

2 Likes

Sorry about the late reply on this…Always amazed at the commitment and attitude of the Particle community, Chip - this is awesome work. Will you sell some - or I’d be I’d be interested in paying for the files?

@DRCO,

Happy to help. If you are just looking for a few prints, reach out to me via DM. But, if you want to get something your can order whenever you need it, it might be better to get you the model file and then you can get it printed when you need it.

There are a number of 3D printer services you can use once you get the holder the way you like it. If you can get the dimensions for your battery (in mm), I can plug that into the OpenSCAD model and generate a model for you here that you can then send off for printing.

I have used Print a Thing but it would be interesting to see if other members of the community can chime in with their favorite services.

Thanks, Chip

I currently have 4 Prusa MK3S printers, I wouldn’t call myself a print farm but always happy to help out this Particle Community. I try to keep them going with various projects. If anyone needs something 3D printed, I’d be happy to help. Like others, I also print my “backplate” for the enclosure I use with my carrier board and Boron. This includes a battery compartment. In my opinion, 3D printing is a very cost effective way to make a design that works very well. Printing in PETG I believe will last for years without a problem. I guess time will tell. I also draw everything up in fusion 360 so fairly proficient in that process as well. Right now the 3D printing jobs help pay the bills for the IoT development/addiction. :slight_smile:

@irwige - where are you buying the batteries at? I’ve been using Adafruit 6600 mAh batteries but wouldn’t mind identifying another supplier or maybe someone with better pricing. Would you mind sharing a link? I assume that is 2X 6000 mAh batteries? Looks like a nice design you have there!

@jgskarda ,

Wow, good to know. I am working with @phillycheeseman and he has designed a very cool enclosure. I may reach out to you as I only have one Prusa Mini.

On the material. I have been printing with ASA for my outdoor enclosures as it has great UV resistance. Do you have any experience with PETG in outdoor environments over a period of years? Will it hold up to the sun?

Thanks,

Chip

@chipmc, I haven’t been brave enough to try using 3D prints as a waterproof enclosure with electronics inside. For the enclosure, I’ve been happy with Polycase. Even download their 3D models to better design the back-plate and specify hole placement. I 3D print their enclosure but just for prototyping. Anything I have outside in the weather for any substantial duration of time I bought the enclosure that is injection molded/IP67/waterproof rated. Are you printing enclosures with ASA and using them long term outside and for customers or your personal use and prototypes?

As for PETG and the sun, I’ve had good success with a bracket I used for a sonar sensor. The sensor is 3/4" NPT end on it. so I sandwich a 3D printed bracket in between it with 3/4 NPT threads on it and then use a standard PVC 3/4 NPT to 1/2" NPT and then a chord grip. Threaded inset is used to then screw on the bracket I use. These were out in the cold/winter/spring/sun for 3 months or so with very good success. No issues at all. The White piece in the photo is what was printed.


image

Got a picture or example?

@jgskarda ,

Very cool holder I especially like the way you embedded the bubble levels into the design! Please let us know how things hold up over time. I need my enclosures to hold up for 3 years minimum.

I use the Bud industry enclosures and they are OK but I need to be able to accommodate some sort of hasp, ideally for a padlock. They have an optional hasp kit that is expensive and ill-fitted but I have yet to find a better solution. Would you mind sharing the model you use? I like the idea of being able to download and print the model.

For my trail counter, I print a 3D sunshade using ASA and these do seem to be holding up very well

Finally, @phillycheeseman has been developing a new approach. I know he will share more once the design is finalized but, here are some shots printed in ASA and in my garden monitoring the soil moisture.


I think it is a brilliant design. More to come on this as it gets closer to being finalized.

Thanks,

Chip

@chipmc Wow… cool stuff! It’s amazing what you can do with the advancements of 3D printing combined with IoT. So much fun to be had. :slight_smile: I really like the 3D print version of your box which I assume also has that slot in the front to secure the motion sensor internally, or maybe that’s a light sensor? nice design. I originally had the enclosure drill and tapped with 3/4 NPT on the bottom of the box but this made it hard to mount the box above a tank of liquid, so instead I’m using a cable and a separate bracket. Integrating it all together in the same box would be nice! No cables and nice clean design. I really like the integrated bracket clamps as well Such a nice clean install. Pound a post in the ground and good to go. :+1:

I’ve been tempted to go with an enclosure that opens/closes. Yours is pretty affordable. For now, I’m sticking with a 3.3V LED on/off pushbutton on the outside. So a user has 1 status LED and an on/off pushbutton. Seemed like the option is pay a little more for the box with hinge or pay a little more for a pushbutton and indicator light. I choose the PB with indicator light and fixed enclosure. Although your enclosure would be less hardware cost if I went that route. With the on/off PB external, I don’t think the user needs to open it very often and if they do, it’s 4 screws. No right/wrong way just pros/cons of different options.

I am using PolyCase and the ML series: ML Series | Weatherproof Enclosures for Outdoor Use | Polycase, This is the specific one I am using: ML-46F Weatherproof NEMA Electronics Enclosure | Polycase within that link (and all polycase products) you can download the .STEP model of it from their website. I may have mentioned this already on a differennt post but with the 3D model I also sketch up where the holes are in the box and print varies versions of it to prototype different layouts. It’s very valuable to have the 3D model of it for things like that. (Another reason I went with Polycase). Drawing and printing your own box is even better! :slight_smile:
image

IF I am able to sell a bunch of what I’m making, I can also have PolyCase print on the enclosure as well as CNC the holes in the enclosure as part of the order. So it seemed like a good option to prototype with IF/when I’m able to scale up a little beyond what I want to do myself. A few bucks more than other options but I’ve been happy with it so far. If you get above ~50 units then the printing and CNC is affordable/worth it, at least in my opinion.

Thanks for sharing @chipmc

1 Like

@DRCO ,

This thread took a bit of a turn. Did you get the help you needed?

Thanks, Chip