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Reviews Categories | DC Power Supply Distribution Panels | West Mountain Radio RIGrunner 4012 Help


Reviews Summary for West Mountain Radio RIGrunner 4012
West Mountain Radio RIGrunner 4012 Reviews: 33 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $99.95
Description: A RIGrunner is the most convenient and safest way to connect all of your 12 volt equipment to a power source. It is a 13.8 VDC power panel that uses the excellent Anderson PowerPole connectors. Standardize all of your 12 VDC connections using the amateur radio ARES & RACES PowerPole system.

120 VAC appliances have the same plugs and sockets. Why shouldn't 12 VDC connectors be standard?
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.westmountainradio.com
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KQ4KK Rating: 5/5 Aug 21, 2003 08:14 Send this review to a friend
Better than sliced bread  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have a 4012 in the shack, and a 4005 in the van. Sold my poorly made MFJ bindpost boards! Takes a couple of hours to get started, then a month or two, to decide to change EVERY DC connector to powerpoles. Life then is simple. If you cannot understand the colored detailed instructions, get some help. Buy the $10 crimmper, and also solder. If they are in an enviornment that they come apart, you can buy little plastic clips that hold 2 or 4 together!
 
N1KSN Rating: 5/5 Aug 20, 2003 15:04 Send this review to a friend
The Way To Go  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I once standardized on Molex connectors, but mostly for low current QRP equipment. I used miscellaneous connectors for QRO equipment. After joining ARES I realized I should be standardized with PowerPoles.

It took a day to convert to PowerPoles and install a 4005 into my home station. I constructed several short adapter cables so I would not have to redo the Molex's on my QRP rigs and accessories and also constructed new cables with PowerPoles on one end and various connectors (large alligator clips, male and female lighter sockets, etc.) on the other end. Now I can use several different power sources with no compatability problems for all my VHF/UHF and HF equipment, and my DC distribution in the shack is much cleaner.

This is definately the way to go for power supply hookups!

Best,
Andy N1KSN
 
N2TU Rating: 4/5 Aug 20, 2003 14:41 Send this review to a friend
Finally a standard!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Look at KJ5RM's review. He is right on! Once you convert all your 12V power over to powerpoles, you are in "Fat City". I converted all my rigs, standby batteries, power supplies, cords, connectors....everything I could find! My EmComm Go box is fully equipped so now I simply unplug my base rigs and plug them into my Go Box. My car is now equipped with Powerpoles so I can easily swing any rig from home, to car, to GoBox. RigRunners are great.

The Powerpole connectors take a little getting used to, as they are not the easiest thing in the world to assemble. Don't bother crimping....solder everything. It makes a better, more durable connection.

Suffer the pain of converting, the payback is wonderful.
 
KJ5RM Rating: 5/5 Aug 20, 2003 13:56 Send this review to a friend
How did I ever live without this!!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I actually have two 4005. Took me a couple of nights to get every radio, power supply, and battery switched to powerpoles but it was worth it! My entire shack/mobile/gel cells/power supply/solar panels/and even HTS are now Plug and Play!!! Everything connects to everything, and no need for solder or eletrical tape anymore! Even built some interface cables so I can still plug my stuff into molex,cigar, bananna, or spade lug setups for those non-converted hams. :)

The rig runner really makes it easy to plug and unplug radios from the power supply. Was running the molex connectors previously, and was always worried about plugging them in backwards by accident in a low light situation. With the rigrunner and powerpoles that is impossible.

Have four 175 amp hour batteries tied together in the shack for back up power. So when the power is out, all I have to do is unplug the power supply from the rigrunner input and plug in the batteries. In less then 5 seconds I am back on the air with all rigs in the shack!

I am running the other 4005 in the mobile. It has really cleaned up the wire rats nest that I had. Was out on a radio event for several hours so I brought along a big gel cell and quickly plugged in all the moble rigs to it so didn't have to worry about running the vehicle or killing the car battery. The powerpoles, when installed correctly, stay connected together in the mobile environment very well.

There is only one thing I would like to see changed. The rig runner is rated at 40 amps, I run two HF rigs and two dual banders in the shack and that exceeds the rating. I would definately buy a higher current one say 80 amps if they came out with it!!

I fully recommend the rig runner and powerpoles. Why didn't they have this a long time ago! One thing, take your time installing the powerpoles, they are easy to put on, and will stay mated better if you do it right! Get the Gardner Bender tool from Lowe's or West Mountain to install them, it will make it much easier, I was glad I did!

If you are into ARES, RACES, or event support then these should be the only way you power your rigs, they are that good and that useful!!!
 
WO8USA Rating: 2/5 Jul 6, 2003 09:46 Send this review to a friend
If it ain't broke......  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
In theory this is a great idea...Andersen power poles and all. But once you eventually get it hooked up and look back you wonder "What's the value?"

The instructions are useless. I almost had my shack hooked up on the wrong polarity until I consulted my Icom manual. Once you do get it working, the power poles are constantly coming out. If your power system ain't broke, don't bother fixing it with this.

W. Mtn Radio is a good company.....maybe they just strayed a little off course.

 
AB0UK Rating: 2/5 Jul 5, 2003 23:05 Send this review to a friend
Good Idea....Poor Implementation  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Once up and running it is great. Getting it that way is at your own peril. My new unit came with no instructions on how to assemble the connectors. It takes some thought and mostly guessing as to how to assemble them. Even the person demonstrating them at the Hamvention admitted they could be troublesome. I cut a 1/2 inch gash in my left thumb trying to get a pin to go into one connector. I eventually found pounding the pins in with a hammer and screwdriver worked best for me. The fuses can be a pain to get in an out.....they are too recessed to get a good grip on or to insert properly.

The voltage level indicator is an obvious plus and is the only reason I did not rate it a big zero.
 
KB3GUN Rating: 5/5 Jul 5, 2003 15:21 Send this review to a friend
Nice for the shack, but...  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is a great product for the shack, but as mentioned earlier, they don't stay seated well in a mobile installation. I hope WestMountain will work on this.
 
K7SUB Rating: 3/5 Jun 17, 2003 09:15 Send this review to a friend
OK for fixed operation  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The Rigrunner is a great unit, the problem lies in the Anderson Power Poles. They don't latch (as noted previously) and tend to work themselves out with any movement. I was a little unhappy when the ARRL switched the emergency connector standard from the Molex connectors, but bit the bullet. After a little experience with the Rigrunner, I took it apart, removed 3 of the power poles and replaced them with female Molex connectors---they fit perfectly through the front panel and I have the best of both worlds in an emergency.
 
WB0EGR Rating: 5/5 Mar 30, 2003 23:28 Send this review to a friend
Love It  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
It's nice to be able to have one place to plug in all the various 12VDC accessories and rigs. I'm very happy that I went with the RIGrunner 4012 over a binding post distribution panel!! Thank you West MOuntain Radio!!!
 
K2GW Rating: 5/5 Mar 14, 2003 15:21 Send this review to a friend
Essential !  Time owned: more than 12 months
The RigRunner is incredible. Sold my MFJ binding post bus and will never go back. You plug in 110 VAC devices, don't you? Then why put up with random hunks of wire for 12 VDC?

Not only does it use the ARES/RACES standard Anderson Powerpoles, it also uses commonly available ATO automotive blade fuses. Mouser Electronics carries the more difficult to find 35 and 40 Amp ones, but the lower values are in any auto parts store.

By having everything on a common 12VDC bus, you can easily switch to emergency power or even float a 12VDC gel cell (with adequate blocking diodes or other mods to the power supply) on the bus for automatic standby power.

In addition to the 4012 at my home shack, we installed 4008's at our club shack and at the county EOC. Makes it a breeze to bring your own equipment out there to operate or pull a rig for maintenance.

Finally, one club member reports since he installed the 4005 in his car, he's finally able to get full power out of his rig.

If you're not using one, get one today!

73

Gary, K2GW

 
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