Today, we will talk about a couple of 3D printed solutions to improve mounting and using the AAA-1C amplifier box.
On his web site, Chavdar provides some good recommendations for wiring and mounting the active antenna amplifier. Weatherproof performance is achieved with the ABS plastic box, shown above right. His box is around four inches square, and contains six rubber shields for routing wires.
I found two challenges. First and most important, was how to use my existing commercial CAT 7 cables. The problem was that my cables have very large connectors, too big to fit in the space provided by the rubber boot. My connector is too long to use the space provided. The second challenge was the best way to connect the amplifier box to my 1½ ” ABS mounting mast, below the loop.
Second challenge first. I 3D printed a complex bracket, shown above left. The flat side fits across the ribs on the back of the box, and is connected by a small screw and captive nut through the center of the box. The curved side is bent to fit flush against the surface of my ABS pipe. It contains a slot for a large plastic zip tie.
The zip tie fits snugly around the mast when tightened. The height of my mounting bracket is 15 mm. but you could make one higher if you want.
AAA-1C Amplifier Box – Cable Connector Boot
To work around space limitations, I 3D printed a deep plastic boot to provide room for the CAT cable, shown at the bottom above. The base is connected to the box with silicone calk. The boot is split into two halves, which are compressed together with a plastic ring.
This keeps the cable entry waterproof, and provides an extra half inch for the long CAT connector plugged into the amplifier board. The approach for designing this part was similar to that used for cable entry into the house, described recently.
As usual, I am using PETG for parts that will be used outside the house. It’s strong and more capable of handling temperature extremes.