Author Topic: Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?  (Read 10766 times)

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?
« on: November 19, 2014, 09:37:23 AM »
Now that I've got 3x DC power supplies in my "shack", it's beginning to get a bit sloppy.  I know some ARES guys who swear by Power Poles for the quick dis/connect functionality and flexibility they offer for portable gear.

1) Do you use power poles?

2) What Amp rating/gauge wire do you use, or do you mix it up?

3) Are the tools necessary?

4) Is there a starter kit or other value bundle that makes sense for a newbie like me that has 2-3 rigs he wants to setup?


Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2014, 09:38:05 AM »
As info here's the website for anyone seeking details:

http://www.powerwerx.com/anderson-powerpoles/powerpole-sets/

Offline Carl

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Re: Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2014, 09:57:56 AM »
For most items I use wire nuts or PVC tape...for portable I use powerpole connectors ...but often I have to have adapters (powerpole to wire) for the world is not up to speed on connectors.

To install the connectors on your wire takes a good crimp-er and lots of care...or better , a solder gun and some care...after using them for 6 years or so...I like them ,but can live without them. The special crimp er is a good tool...if you don't mind the PRICE.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2014, 09:59:38 AM »
For me, it's a combination of future EMCOMM use as well as me being a new ham and constantly rearranging my shack setup.  Might also work nicely for part time vehicle installation.

Offline Carl

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Re: Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2014, 10:13:32 AM »
For me, it's a combination of future EMCOMM use as well as me being a new ham and constantly rearranging my shack setup.  Might also work nicely for part time vehicle installation.

They are nice ,I use the 30 amp rated PowerPoles (same size as lower current PP) and am happy...BUT don't expect everyone to have them so make up some Powerpole to wire connectors and carry  wire nuts and PVC tape...don't rely on others to have "the right stuff"

And they will make the disconnect/re-connect job at home easy....I have separate 'Emergency Go Radios/antennas"

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2014, 10:39:48 AM »
Assuming I go with 30amps, I see both 12 and 14g wire is supported.  In theory 12g is better, but is there are any wisdom to this?

Even within a particular gauge wire, prices range from $0.15 to $1+ per foot.  I don't want junk, and I don't need the best either.

Since I don't need a ton, maybe I should just get the "good" stuff:

http://www.powerwerx.com/wire-cable/red-black-zip-cord.html


Offline armymars

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Re: Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2014, 12:31:20 PM »
  In my radio club if you need power poles they can supply you with them. The rules are you bring in the radio or other equipment and they put them on for you. They do this free so if there is an emergency it makes it easier for everybody.  Two months ago the club project was to make power pole break out boxes so you could have one power supply for many radios or equipment. They made them with fuses that light up when blown. I missed that meeting because I broke my ankle. I have two on order and hope to get them soon.  P.S. They also give free tests.

Offline Carl

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Re: Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2014, 01:45:44 PM »
For the typical 12 feet of power cord it makes little difference due to the power factor of HAM radio..just be sure to have fuses on the radio side of things.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2014, 01:49:37 PM »
For the typical 12 feet of power cord it makes little difference due to the power factor of HAM radio..just be sure to have fuses on the radio side of things.

While I have your ear, many manufacturer manuals, including Yaesu suggest fusing BOTH positive and negative leads.  I have enough spare fuse holders and am happy to comply, but is there any realistic need to fuse the negative wire?

Offline Carl

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Re: Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2014, 02:16:19 PM »
While I have your ear, many manufacturer manuals, including Yaesu suggest fusing BOTH positive and negative leads.  I have enough spare fuse holders and am happy to comply, but is there any realistic need to fuse the negative wire?

YES. It protects your radio from EMP....just kidding....but it will better protect the radio and if you make up the 'pig tail' I wrote of above it is a good idea to fuse that too. If just for inter-connection with your stuff you might get by with fewer fuses (spade fuses are better than older glass tubular fuses.)

Offline SCWolverine

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Re: Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2014, 02:39:00 PM »
Fo Time is a proponent of Anderson Power Poles  ;)

I use this crimper with success!
http://astore.amazon.com/foti03-20/detail/B00GVLJSB4

12ga and/or 14ga depending on rig and run.
Fuse both sides

cha-ching
http://www.amazon.com/Crimper-Ergo-Anderson-Power-Products/dp/B007ETLBS


Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2014, 02:45:59 PM »
I don't begrudge the cost of anything I've purchased from Powerwerx. The Anderson Powerpoles, the crimper, the zip cord, the West Mountain Radio products, it's all good stuff.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2014, 06:08:49 PM »
1) Do you use power poles?
Oh yeah!

Quote
2) What Amp rating/gauge wire do you use, or do you mix it up?
For bigger stuff (radios, mostly) 12 Ga and 30A connectors.  Smaller stuff, it depends on the draw and what I have on hand.  I'll use 15A connectors on them, because they go better with the smaller wires.


Quote
3) Are the tools necessary?
Yes.  I bought a basic crimper, much like the one SCW linked, from PowerWerx some time ago, they don't seem to have it now.  Under $10, but you have to make a little bit of adjustment to squeeze the lug back into round after crimping.  No big deal, I've perhaps flubbed it once or twice in the hundred or so connectors I've crimped so far.  You really don't need the more expensive, specialized crimp tool, but I'll bet one would be nice!

Quote
4) Is there a starter kit or other value bundle that makes sense for a newbie like me that has 2-3 rigs he wants to setup?

Other than the lug/housing sets you linked, not that I've seen.  Sets, crimper, pocket knife to strip the wires, you can get by with just those things.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2014, 08:46:04 PM »
You really don't need the more expensive, specialized crimp tool, but I'll bet one would be nice!

I think it's money well spent if you're going to jump into Powerpoles with both feet, especially since they're now half what I paid back in 2011.  Incredibly slick to use and the connection is rock solid and perfect every single time.  I can see why some would feel the need to solder them if they were using a lesser crimper, but with the real deal it's an unnecessary belt and suspenders precaution.  Once you start using them for all your DC power stuff, you'll be glad you got it.  I've found myself cutting up all sorts of power cords and cables and putting the connectors on them so I can mix and match between a lot of different DC power situations.


Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2014, 09:27:37 PM »
I own a variety of odd crimper tools.  Cat5 network, coax and even bicycle shifter and brake cables.  I might test out a couple end pieces and see how it goes .

Offline Carl

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Re: Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2014, 06:17:50 AM »
I own a variety of odd crimper tools.  Cat5 network, coax and even bicycle shifter and brake cables.  I might test out a couple end pieces and see how it goes .

You can probably get by...but you crimp the wire to the metal part and THHEN push it into the plastic bit...so you cant deform the metal part much without causing "FIT" issues. Some people 'crimp' with a narrow pin punch in my area. Videos on youtube show well how this is done.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2014, 09:45:15 PM »


Proof of concept.  Bicycle cable cutter/crimper worked well.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2014, 11:51:05 PM »
With that confidence I rigged up a couple power supplies.



These are the 30amp style that are setup for 12/14g wire.
I ended up using them on 12 14 and 16g.  16 was a hassle to push in as the wire lacked stiffness to make the click.  Ended up pushing a small flathead screw driver in.

14g with a stiff insulator was by the far the easiest. 

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2014, 12:14:49 AM »
That's why I like the powerwerx zip cord, the insulation is beefy enough so it's not like pushing a wet noodle, plus it tends to squeeze into the plastic housing in a way that allows it to provide some strain relief.  The tiny wires just rattle around too much for my piece of mind and I always make sure to put some heat shrink on to tighten everything up.

There's pretty good consensus that the use of roll pins should be avoided due the risk of them slipping out and falling into the wrong place and wreaking havoc on your expensive gear.  Glue them or buy them welded together.  I just slip them together and haven't had any problems with them coming apart, especially if both conductors are tied together in some way.

http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Public%20Service/TrainingModules/Technical/Anderson%20powerpole.pdf


Offline Carl

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Re: Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?
« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2014, 03:14:44 AM »
A small , plastic, ZIP TIE slipped through the lock detent works well and gives a handle for clod wearher separation.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?
« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2014, 05:32:44 AM »
Bicycle cable cutter/crimper worked well.
+1 for Park Tools!  Thanks for pointing this out, seems that I've had a couple of back-up cable crimpers all along and didn't realize it.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?
« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2014, 08:38:04 AM »
+1 for Park Tools!  Thanks for pointing this out, seems that I've had a couple of back-up cable crimpers all along and didn't realize it.

Park tools aren't  cheap but those are almost 10 years old and will be around to fix my grandkids' bikes.

The trick is to set the end piece level inside the concave portion on the park crimper.  It will deform slightly into an oval.

As FreeLancer  mentioned with the sturdy 12g insulated wires, its also harder to make a bad crimp.

The reason for the 16g wire was that was part of an existing harness for an older mobile radio. 

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?
« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2014, 11:07:09 AM »
Park tools aren't  cheap but those are almost 10 years old and will be around to fix my grandkids' bikes.
Uh-oh, I'll bet you have a Silca floor pump too! ;)    You can brain zombies with them and calmly go back to pumping your tires up without missing a stroke.  The kids are already fighting over who gets my pump when I pass on.

Back on thread...  Next time I need to crimp a connector, I'm going to practice with the Park tools.

Offline SCWolverine

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Re: Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?
« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2014, 04:30:53 PM »
A small , plastic, ZIP TIE slipped through the lock detent works well and gives a handle for clod wearher separation.

this

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?
« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2014, 04:47:17 PM »
this

I thought the detents and roll pins were just to give that AR15 tactical vibe...

Offline Carl

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Re: Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?
« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2014, 05:05:46 AM »
Also...food for thought...15 and 30 amp versions use the same body,but different metal insides(heavier for 30 )

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?
« Reply #26 on: November 23, 2014, 03:21:49 PM »
Also...food for thought...15 and 30 amp versions use the same body,but different metal insides(heavier for 30 )

As well as the 45 amp, which have wings that are crimped around the wire, instead of barrels.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?
« Reply #27 on: December 11, 2014, 01:13:54 PM »
Regarding "zipcord".

Others have praised the powerwerx 12awg red/black paired wire.  Before shipping it's ~$1/ft. 

On eBay for about the same price I can get what appears to by similar spec wire, but at 1/4 the cost.

Any thoughts on how the original:
http://www.powerwerx.com/wire-cable/red-black-zip-cord.html

compares to this (says "speaker wire"):
http://www.ebay.com/itm/12-GAUGE-100-FT-RED-BLACK-ZIP-WIRE-AWG-CABLE-POWER-GROUND-STRANDED-COPPER-CAR-/291321169794?pt=US_Car_Audio_Power_Speaker_Wire&hash=item43d4184782&vxp=mtr

or maybe this (separate spools, but cheaper):
http://www.ebay.com/itm/12-GAUGE-AWG-WIRE-CABLE-50-FT-25-BLACK-25-RED-POWER-GROUND-STRANDED-PRIMARY-/231080059485?pt=US_Car_Audio_Power_Speaker_Wire&hash=item35cd71e25d&vxp=mtr

Offline Carl

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Re: Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?
« Reply #28 on: December 11, 2014, 02:11:09 PM »
Regarding "zipcord".

Others have praised the powerwerx 12awg red/black paired wire.  Before shipping it's ~$1/ft. 

On eBay for about the same price I can get what appears to by similar spec wire, but at 1/4 the cost.

Any thoughts on how the original:
http://www.powerwerx.com/wire-cable/red-black-zip-cord.html

compares to this (says "speaker wire"):
http://www.ebay.com/itm/12-GAUGE-100-FT-RED-BLACK-ZIP-WIRE-AWG-CABLE-POWER-GROUND-STRANDED-COPPER-CAR-/291321169794?pt=US_Car_Audio_Power_Speaker_Wire&hash=item43d4184782&vxp=mtr

or maybe this (separate spools, but cheaper):
http://www.ebay.com/itm/12-GAUGE-AWG-WIRE-CABLE-50-FT-25-BLACK-25-RED-POWER-GROUND-STRANDED-PRIMARY-/231080059485?pt=US_Car_Audio_Power_Speaker_Wire&hash=item35cd71e25d&vxp=mtr

Offhand ,I would say UV resistance,chemical resistance,abrasion resistance,and temperature handling ability. That said ,unless mounted in a vehicle (abrasion/temperature) or out in the weather(abrasion/temperature/chemical,and UV)...the cheaper speaker wire will do.
It has been my habit to 're-purpose' old extension cords and sometimes NEW extension cords as the price is often hard to ignore when on sale...just be sure the wire gauge is heavy enough as some cord are mis-labeled.

Offline exSun

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Re: Anderson Power Poles. Should I dig 'em?
« Reply #29 on: December 20, 2014, 08:19:17 PM »
I've used the 15A, 30A, and 75A Power Poles (the latter for a special project involving a portable auto jumper). I use an old Radio Shack crimp tool - which works fine. (The 75A size requires "special ops" to fit.) As a rule, I crimp, re-round as necessary, do a  pull test to see that the crimp is secure, then carefully solder the end of the wire to the lug - making sure not to get solder into the crimp. You don't want solder in the crimped area as it weakens the mechanical joint, making it much more subject to bending fatigue. But I like the soldered electrical connection, for a long term low resistance connection. Sort of "belt and suspenders," I guess.