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Reviews Categories | DC Power Supply Distribution Panels | West Mountain Radio RIGrunner 4010S Help


Reviews Summary for West Mountain Radio RIGrunner 4010S
West Mountain Radio RIGrunner 4010S Reviews: 10 Average rating: 3.6/5 MSRP: $$109.95
Description: A RIGrunner is the most convenient and safest way to connect all your 12 VDC 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, RSGB, ARRL PowerPole system. The 4010S has one always on "Master" outlet and 9 automatically or manually controlled switched outlets. The switching is done with an FET switch rated at 90 amps max with temperature and over current protection. It has our has unambiguous precision overvoltage and under voltage indicators. An audio alert is selectable for over and/or under voltage or may be disabled.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.westmountainradio.com
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AE7Q Rating: 4/5 Jun 26, 2013 15:02 Send this review to a friend
Good but idiosyncratic  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had two significant issues with the 4010S, but eventually solved them. Background:

I have an Icom IC-2820H radio in the trunk of my car. Since this radio has a data capability (D-Star, but the following might apply to traditional TNC usage as well), I wanted to be able to send/receive data via WiFi to the radio via an Android tablet (would also work with a laptop with WiFi, or even an Apple iFad). That required two accessories:

1. A device to convert RS-232 serial data to/from Ethernet. For this I use a Digi International "PortServer TS" (expensive new, but about $40 on eBay). This device can be powered by 9-30vDC @ 200ma, so it's a trivial connection to the 4010S.

2. A device to send/receive the Ethernet data via WiFi to the tablet. Any wireless router should work, but I used a NetGear WPN824N. This device is powered by an AC-to-12vDC @ 1.0A wall wart (the measured draw is less than 500ma). Given that specification, I was reluctant to connect it directly to the 4010S, so I used a Dimension Engineering "AnyVolt 3" converter (about a 1" cube) to provide exactly 12.0vDC.

Both of the above devices were initially fused with a 1A fuse in the 4010S; the IC-2820H draws over 10A in transmit, so I used a 15A fuse in the "Master" fuse slot.

The above configuration worked perfectly as designed/intended with the 4010S switch in either the "Off" or "On" position. However, with the switch in the "Auto" position, and with the 4010S powered by the vehicle's battery (at a measured 12.2vDC) I had the following issues:

1. Shortly after power-up (not transmitting), the low-voltage audio alert started "chirping", and shortly thereafter entered into an oscillation (about 10Hz) mode with the 4010S, with the power-on LEDs on the 4010S and the two accessories flashing at the same oscillation rate, meaning that they were being power-cycled at the same rate. Shortly thereafter the 1A fuse to the"AnyVolt 3" converter blew. I went through about four 1A fuses (no big deal; I had bought a bag of 25 1A fuses), but switching the 4010S to "On" before the fuse blew, solved the problem. Also, removing the "Lo" P14 jumper solved the problem! I finally surmised that there might be an initial surge draw on the "AnyVolt 3" converter and/or WiFi router, and that the oscillation caused a continual larger current draw. I replaced the last blown 1A fuse with a 3A one, and after that, I have not seen a recurrence of this problem, even after replacing the "Lo" P14 jumper. Weird.

2. Ok, so now I decided to test the whole radio setup, and used Icom's setup software on my PC to connect to the radio via the WiFi link. As a test, I attempted to upload and download ("clone") radio settings (with the 4010S switch in the "Auto" position). At this point the WiFi link failed, and the two accessories were powered off. Of course, with the 4010S switch in the "On" position, "cloning" worked as expected. However, the "failure" of the 4010S's "Auto" mode in this situation appeared to completely negate my intended use of the 4010S, and lead me to consider returning the 4010S. However, I then decided to measure the current draw of the Icom IC-2820H radio. In quiet receive mode, the radio draws 700 ma. However, I discovered than when I entered into clone mode, the current draw dropped to 380ma !!! The radio's firmware is apparently removing power to the AF/RF portion of the radio when cloning, and this is dropping the IC-2820H's current draw to below the 4010S's switching threshold with the 15A fuse. Although the same data link is used for both cloning and normal data transfer operations, the latter operation obviously does not power off the radio's AF/RF section. Further testing of the 4010S in "Auto" mode during normal data transfer operations worked perfectly. Since cloning is done infrequently (and not mobile), it's easy enough to temporarily switch the 4010S to "On" for cloning.

I initially tested the 4010S with an Icom ID-880H, which also draws more than 10A in transmit (thus requiring a 15A fuse). It only draws 360ma in quiet receive, and thus will not trigger the 4010S's switching threshold with the 15A fuse. Note that I did not touch either calibration potentiometer in the 4010S during the entire process above.

Since the Icom IC-2820H has dual receivers, dual receive antennas (eg, used with diversity reception), and a GPS, I tried turning those features off (dropping the quiet receive current from 700ma to 560ma), and the radio continued to power the 4010S switched accessories. Interestingly, as the current used by the radio in this test dropped from 700ma to 560ma, the 4010S low-voltage alert started to chirp. Turning those radio features back on (and thus increasing the current draw) caused the 4010S to stop chirping.
 
WX9DX Rating: 2/5 May 8, 2013 08:02 Send this review to a friend
There has to be something better!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I installed a Rig Runner automatic power strip in my pickup trucks wanting it to switch the outlets for amps etc when I turned on the IC 7000 radio. I used the outputs to click relays that then feed 12VDC from the vehicle battery to amplifiers. This worked flawless for this. Now for the problems, the unit squeals even when the new 2009 and also in the 2012 Chevy Crew cab. Chevy says there is nothing wrong with the trucks battery system in either truck. But the rig runner squeals most of the time. I have checked the voltage and also had other Tecís check the unit. We all agree it is a built in problem with the 4010s Rig Runner.

Also after about a year the unit did stop running the Icom 7000 plugged into the master port while the IC7000 was in tx at any power level. It works if it is plugged directly into the supply cable coming from the battery that supplies power to the Rig Runner. Because of that this makes it a Rig Runner problem! Even with a new fuse in the Master fuse holder it still fails intermittently or most of the time to run the radio in the transmit mode even with the IC7000 set at low TX power 10 watts. This is even with a dummy load on the output of the radio or amplifier. It sure is strange it does this in two new $40,000 plus trucks. The antenna is a Predator 5 foot 3Ē stainless with a max height of about 13.5 ft on 75 meters.

Any help would be great, and if anyone has a diagram please pass it along. Iím good on QRZ.
73
Jimmy, ARRL TC, WX9DX
 
N3ZH Rating: 2/5 Jan 10, 2010 07:31 Send this review to a friend
Works like a 4012 with a manual on/off switch  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Well,

I've owned the 4010S Complete rig runner for under a year.

At first, when turning off the radio, I'd get strange humming sounds from it, then eventually it would power off the rest of the equipment.

Now, it never hums and also never turns off the rest of my equipment.

However, it is nice to have the manual switch to turn everything on and off. Is it worth 30 bucks for having the switch? probably not.

I use a 746pro with a 25 amp fuse.
The rest of the equipment is ordered from highest power use to lowest power use (lowest power use at the end farthest away from the manual switch).

So, I give it a 2 "Needs help" because it never turned off the rest of the equipment properly, and now it never does.

But, I didn't give it a 0 "Awful", since the manual 3-position switch works, and the distribution of power works.

Maybe I got a lemon from the factory?

I'm going to need another rig runner in the near future, and I'll probably buy another 4010S because I like having one manual switch to turn everything on - though it is a rather overpriced switch.
 
KE0XS Rating: 4/5 Nov 20, 2007 10:06 Send this review to a friend
Good Product  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just finished installing my rigrunner flush against the wall. Solder all my connections ranging in size from 10 to 20 guage wire. Remember guys, solder runs down hill so stand the metal connector upright, heat it and let the solder flow down into the metal connection. Instead of using super glue to hold the plastic housing together I used a small nylon tie on each one. Larger wire starting at 10 guage has a tendency to pull the plugs out. In order to keep those from falling out I used a wire hold down tacked into the wall to form a slight loop that pushes against the plug in socket. The over/under voltage light/beep works great as does the automatic setting. It meets my expectations no more/no less. I thoroughly read all the reviews before purchasing so was not surprised when the 10 guage wire easily pulled out of the plug in socket. One reviewer wrote they should have a voltage meter built in. Nice but not necessary. That's why I have an Astron VS35M and VS70M in plain sight. Why have meters if you're going to place something out of sight?

Suggestions:
1. Input power cord should be permanently attached inside the case, not as a plug in connection.
2. The tie down bar to keep the connections from falling out should be a part of the package
3. Connectors that utilize some kind of snap in place clip
 
KB0GU Rating: 3/5 May 30, 2007 09:28 Send this review to a friend
Not for Mobile Op  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Owned only a little over a week, finally got around to installing it. This is probably a fine unit if used in the main station location, however, I wanted to employ it to power my mobile HF rig and to use the auto feature to turn on and off the SGC coupler at the base of my antenna rather than it draw current all the time in the on condition. After spending an entire morning and most of the afternoon, wiring, neatening things up, and then testing I discovered that the off feature and the auto feature do not work in the Dodge Dakota I installed this in. A quick call to West Mountain resulted in being told that due to the vehicle negative chassis that the switching circuit would not work in that application and that they are working on a beta unit for mobile right now that will do so. I am not understanding why this is the case but was told I could send it back to them for refund or credit. I would like to be in on the beta testing of the new unit so am inquiring about that now, will post on that later if it materializes. So, I did not see anything in the advertisement or literature about this unit not working mobile and thought would pass along so another does not make my same mistake. Oh, one other draw back I might mention, the heavy power cord supplied with this unit will pull out of the plug ins on the unit as these plug ins have no solid catch when you plug them in, rather they are more of a slip on friction fitting, so if you move the heavy cord around a bit, it will pop right off the terminals. I used a couple of wire zips to go around the two leads and then ran another through that around the unit to hold them on. West Mountain would do well to incorporate some sort of positive catch on these terminals to prevent them from working loose.
73
Gene Bigham KB0GU
 
NV7E Rating: 5/5 Feb 6, 2007 22:51 Send this review to a friend
Use gets addictive fast  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had a jumble of DC connections in my shack. I was using an old MFJ multiple DC power outlet strip which worked fine, but it was getting hard to keep track of all the red and black wires. I got a RIGrunner 4010S from AES thinking I would gradually move over to the Anderson Powerpole connector system. The first night I had converted all my 12VDC connections to the Powerpole format. I was able to get rid of some AC adapters in the process. I ordered another 4010S which should satisfy my needs for the life of my station. The appearance of my shack is much improved.

I find that putting together the Powerpole connectors is easy and almost intuitive. I highly recommend the West Mountain crimping tool, which makes crimping a breeze. In one instance I got a Powerpole contact stuck in the crimping tool due to frayed wire. I had to drill the contact out. Due to the high tensile steel in the tool, the tool remained unscathed by the drill bit.

The most complete source for Powerpole components that I have found is Powerwerx.com. They have parts such as contacts rated at 45 amps which are required for use with 10 gauge wire and other products I have not seen elsewhere. ZS6SIG
 
KB3LSR Rating: 5/5 Apr 19, 2006 14:02 Send this review to a friend
Great Product!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I received the 4010S and wired up all of my 12V equipment to the Anderson PowerPoles in a night. The connectors are real easy to install. As far as the panel, I originally ordered a 4012, but it was out of stock, so the supplier shipped me a 4010S at no extra cost. The "automatic power on" feature is pretty cool, but I wouldn't pay extra for it (it turns on all of the outlets when the "main" device is turned on). I would rather have the 2 extra ports than the auto. power on. Anyhow, this product is small, easy to maintain (as far as the fuses go). I highly recommend this power panel to anyone who wants to organize their power distribution. This also fits the ARES standard, so there is no question of incompatability for other radios (that follow the standard).

73 de KB3LSR
 
W4TXS Rating: 3/5 Mar 29, 2004 20:51 Send this review to a friend
Just OK - Go MFJ  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
They should make this with a combination of binding posts and power pole connectors like the MFJ-1124, for one. They now offer a "complete" version of these products that includes a DC power cord to the supply and some power pole connectors. What a concept to include the connectors that you are going to need to use the product! The power pole connectors work fine for smaller gage wire. I just cut off short lengths of solder and pushed them into the connector with the wire and soldered away. no problem. There is a larger version of the connector for heavier gage wire. However, that does nothing to offset the weight of the heavier power cables pulling out the connectors. ( Maybe use cable ties for support) By the way....the MFJ products include the power cable and the power pole connectors in addition to spare fuses. ( and they cost less)
 
KC2LZT Rating: 4/5 Jan 2, 2004 18:27 Send this review to a friend
Nice addition to the Shack, however...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Love the concept of standardizing all my equipment on the Powerpoles, and having the option of switching from my DC Powersupply to another source in just a minute. My only big gripe so far is one that other reviewers have mentioned, there needs to be something to take up the load on the wires to keep the powerpoles from pulling out of their sockets. It is quite annoying, surely this must be a relatively easy thing for someone to think up an adequate fix for. If it were not for that, I would have given a 5.
 
WA4FOM Rating: 4/5 Oct 25, 2003 19:04 Send this review to a friend
Sweet little device; connectors require patience  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The 4010S is a bit more than your basic Anderson PowerPole distribution strip. It
can be set so that the device plugged into the "master" jack controls the others.
That is, when you turn on the "master" device (presumably the flagship of your
transceiver fleet), it turns DC on to the remaining jacks. As you might expect,
when you decide to turn the flagship off for the night, the remaining jacks lose
DC as well. Yes, it is a convenience feature. Yes, it's cool. No, you don't
really need it (but it is sooooo cool). Yes, you can disable it.

Now, on to my opinions regarding the PowerPole connectors themselves.

FINALLY WE HAVE A STANDARD! No longer will you take your Pride and Joy out to
the Field Day site with your power supply cables terminating in spade lugs, only
to find out that Joe, Jeff, Jim, and Billy-Bob are usng banana connectors. A
moment of silence for the sound accompanying your cables being mercilessly
butchered to adapt them for the Cause. I think the really slick part about the
PowerPole connectors, apart from establishing a standard, is they are not gender-
bound. If you want, you can unplug your rig from the RigRunner strip and snap it
directly into the power supply, if it is PowerPole equipped.

Now for the downside, which prompted me to give this device a 4 out of 5.
These connectors are not easy to assemble without some practice. Once you get
the hang of it, you will be able to saddle up these plugs on the first go.
In my experience, preparing the connectors for the larger wire sizes (#12 or
#10) is tricky. I tried to solder these, but had little luck, especially with
the larger wire. I then shelled out the extra clams for the deluxe crimp tool,
which makes things MUCH easier. I honestly think that the plastic connectors
could have been made just a tiny skosh wider on the inside to more easily
accomodate the larger wire sizes. I understand that this is actually a weak
point of the PowerPole connectors and not the RigRunner itself, but you buy in
to the whole ball of wax when you buy the RigRunner, so I felt I had to give it
just that one tiny black mark. The crimp tool can also be used to crimp the
spade lugs you will likely have to use at the power supply end, so it's not like
the tool is only for PowerPole use. Fortunately, West Mountain Radio has a nice
Web page graphically detailing the best practices for preparing the connectors.
Here's the URL:

http://www.westmountainradio.com/supportrr.htm

I bring up this page every time I begin to assemble a set of these things. I
also recommend the use of a little dot of Crazy Glue to hold the plastic
pieces together. It does contribute quite a bit to the rigidity of the end
assembly. Be careful and be patient; it is really easy to screw up the
preparation, but once you get it, you'll have a nice set of connections.
Oh, by the way, I found a great security blanket in the form of ordering
extra connectors. They're relatively cheap, and you'll be a lot less nervous
knowing that if you botch a connector, you have plenty of spares.

At my station, I have a 4010S and a 4005 mounted on a wooden block which is
fixed to the side of the operating table. The 4010S is connected to the
"main" supply and the 4005 is jacked into a solar-charged marine battery.
At a moment's notice, I can switch any piece of equipment between conventional
power and emergency backup. No more climbing behind the desk with a wrench
fiddling with all that red and black spaghetti. I also recommend the use of
"ID cable ties" at the RigRunner end of each power supply cable. That way,
you know what cable runs to which piece of equipment, and re-cabling between
main and solar power is a snap (no pun intended).

These are just my experiences; yours may vary. In the long run, it's worth
the effort to convert.
 


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