Power Cube 6
|Power Cube 6|
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 Overview and CAD
Download Sketchup File - File:PcVI.skp.gz
Build History: See Prototypes Built and Cost
The Power Cube is a modular, universal, self-contained power unit consisting of an engine coupled to a hydraulic pump, providing power from hydraulic fluid at high pressure through quick connect hoses. It is designed to function as a modular and interchangeable power supply for GVCS technologies.
A lot was learned in the assembly of Power Cube 5. Power Cube 6 incorporates several enhancements to increase power output, reduce weight, reduce cost and improve maintainability.
Documentation: YouTube channel:
 Improvements / updates in Prototype VI
- Mitered Frame - a true 27" cube employs the tanks as structural members
- Gas tank same as hydraulic reservoir - better use of the 6 x 12 tubing and 7 gallon fuel tank
- Improved engine mounting - on plate suspended between tanks and with vibration mounts
- Clustered controls and connections
- Oil cooler with thermally controlled fan
- Utilizes matching electrical connectors to simplify and enhance connections
- Commercial muffler
- Hoist points
- Sight gauge / thermometer on hydraulic reservoir
- Pump costs less, yet has larger 3/4" 11 tooth spline shaft: 9-4848-E 0.98 cu in HYDRECO HMP3 162025A2 HYD $105.99
- There has also been some discussion about adding a pressure relief valve, but I haven't added it so far.*
- latest Sketchup drawing (Note: it is "gzipped" as the original is rather large)
- Mitered frame yields 27" cube without overlapping joints
- Symmetric oil & fuel tanks - 7 gallons each
- Engine plate suspended between tanks with vibration mounts
- Clustered control panel with input/output and controls
- Thermal fan switch
- Universal key switch with matching harness simplify and enhance wiring
- Matching engine connector and connectors for fan
- Bracket for solenoid also mounts fan relay
- Briggs & Stratton muffler & 45 degree tailpipe extension
- Standard fuel filler neck
- Plumbing uses 3 sizes hose to facilitate flow: 1/2" supply, 3/4" return and 1" suction
- Hydreco pump with 3/4" spline shaft
- Solid coupling matches engine and pump
- Strong engine/pump mount
 Update Sep 17, 2012
I am almost done building another V6 Power Cube and am starting to do some documentation. Here is the video of putting together the shaft coupling:
I'll post other videos on my YouTube channel:
On this one, I've repositioned the battery and fuel filler cap. I also added a 2" extension and a 90 degree elbow for the suction hose barb to minimize bending in the suction hose.
Ordering the "generic" engines from SmallEngineSuppliers.com, they aren't all exactly alike. Some are taller than others, this one has a 1" shaft and not a 1 1/8" shaft (like the other two they sent).
Ultimately, make steam-powered engines all the same. How's this going, anyway? Until then, either buy all engines exactly the same or make the designs adaptable. I choose to adapt. The engines aren't dramatically different and do not require significant changes. Going forward, I'd like to implement a shaft coupling that is more universal.
Note also that this time around, I bought the commercial muffler for the engine and the current Sketchup positions the mounting bracket 4" behind the front of the tanks, making the muffler stick out from the frame about 1/8". I'll have to move it forward to accommodate. I'd also like to lower the engine about 1/2".
Also: The throttle control works opposite from what one would expect ("up" position = slow, "down" position = fast). It can be reversed by moving the cable to the opposite side on back of the engine, but I couldn't get it mounted with the muffler in place - I had to position it with "opposite" controls. At some point, I'd like to replace the throttle control with an arduino controller and a servo and use a cable to provide power and data connections. Data like throttle control, temperatures, RPM, fluid levels, etc.
The Power Cube was designed in accordance with OSE Specifications for maximum utility. The Power Cube features...
- Modularity - String multiple power cubes together for increased hydraulic power.
- Flexibility - Quick Connect hoses and Quick Attach Plate enable extreme flexibility to place power wherever it is needed.
- Ease of Repair - All engine components are easily accessible and fast to replace/repair with off-the-shelf parts or locally produced equipment.
 Product Ecology
The current iteration of the power cube is an off-the-shelf gasoline engine, but the design is intended to be as power source agnostic as possible so that the power production can be readily changed. There will likely be many variations on the power cube design, but all fitting inside a similar size profile so that a GVCS machine can readily swap out one Power Cube for another.
 Video (Older Power Cube Designs)
- Introduction to the Power Cube Design (1 min 59 sec)
- Power Cube Complete (5 min 6 sec)
- Power Cube (3 min 30 sec)
- Build Instructions (50 min 27 sec)
 Development Status
Currently, the Power Cube is on its fourth prototype. We are in need of CAD support to digitize the latest design. Those with relevant experience in (Sketchup, Solidworks, Inventor, etc...) are encouraged to Contact Us.
 See Also