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Reviews Categories | DC Power Supply Distribution Panels | West Mountain Radio RIGrunner 4008 Help


Reviews Summary for West Mountain Radio RIGrunner 4008
West Mountain Radio RIGrunner 4008 Reviews: 18 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $$79.95
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 RIGrunner 4008 is rated at 40 amps maximum and has 8 outlets. It has precision indicators of over or undervoltage with an audible alert. Each outlet is fused with blown fuse illumination.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.westmountainradio.com
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AH6FC Rating: 3/5 May 8, 2005 19:00 Send this review to a friend
RIGrunner good/power poles JUNK  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The rigrunner works fine. Seems to be well built, does what it's suposed to. The "power poles," i.e. connectors, are not so hot. After a little work I got the connections made, everything "clicked" like it was suposed to. But I'm still having some difficulty keeping the power poles inserted into the Rigrunner. The Rigrunner is mounted horizontally on the end of my operating desk. I almost need to tape the power poles in to keep them in place. Even the screw-down banana plugs would be better. Had I known of this problem, I would not have purchased the unit. It's too bad. Looks good, sounds good, but doesn't work so great.
 
W2NSF Rating: 5/5 Apr 19, 2004 08:44 Send this review to a friend
Great! Even the powerpoles...  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I've been using this system for six months, now and I find the RigRunner and PowerPoles an extremely useful and efficient way to manage your DC power hookups. I love the way you wind up with both a plug and a socket with just one type of component. No more fishing around for males and females. There is a learning curve with the connectors, but when you're done, it's well worth it. Some tips from my experience: 1) make adapters for your "lug" needs, by using short pieces of stiff, solid-conductor wire and soldered-on wire terminals; 2) after crimping AND soldering the powerpole inserts, use the smooth jaws of your crimping tool to reshape the insert back to a round shape - that will make it easier to insert into the plastic holder; 3) keep a picture of the correct insert/plastic holder configuration handy when soldering up new plugs/sockets; 4) use a large jeweler's screwdriver to assist inserting the inserts into the sockets, especially when connecting smaller, braided wire; 5) once you're happy with your completed plug configuration, put a drop of contact cement on the groove before final assembly; 6) when making free-standing plugs and sockets (I have one on my small gel cell battery as a charging adaptor) use a piece of stiff wire to make a movable plug/socket lock, by inserting it into the little holes in between the black and red sides. (Send me an email and I'll send you a photo of this.) Anyhow, I'm sold on this setup and I haven't even used the RigRunner or PowerPoles outside my shack, yet. Can't wait 'til good WX and field day. In the meantime, the DC power management inside the shack is very organized, safe, and neat.
 
AE6OX Rating: 4/5 Apr 17, 2004 16:52 Send this review to a friend
Nice product, but ...  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The Rigrunner is an excellent concept and well made. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for Anderson Power Poles (I know, I know, there're the RACES/ARES standard, etc.). Wish West Mountain Radio would make a Rigrunner equipped with standard lug connectors instead of the power poles.
 
K0KAV Rating: 5/5 Jan 11, 2004 19:48 Send this review to a friend
They work great  Time owned: more than 12 months
I wouldn't be without these distribution panels. They work great. I have never had ANY problem crimping 10 guage wire in the 30A PowerPoles with the $10 crimper from WestMountain Radio. The directions are detailed and accurate. Can't go wrong with this equipment.
 
W5EI Rating: 5/5 Dec 31, 2003 22:39 Send this review to a friend
Great shack accessory  Time owned: more than 12 months
I became acquainted with the RIGrunner when a ham friend brought one to Field Day. The idea seemed pretty good, so I ordered one for my shack. It has worked out very well, but I do not care much for the idea of crimping connectors. I used the 30 amp powerpole connectors without any trouble by soldering each one instead of crimping them. They work much better that way. All my radios, accessories, power supplies, etc. now have interchangeable connectors which sure is an improvement over the assortment of plugs, lugs, barrels connectors and other connectors I had before.
 
N3SKO Rating: 5/5 Dec 31, 2003 20:31 Send this review to a friend
Use the good crimpers  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have used hundreds of Powerpole connectors in the past year with no difficulties whatsoever, even on 10 gauge wire. The key is to purchase the good (expensive) full-cycle crimp tool. You will always get a good crimp, as you can not release the tool without it! Granted, they are over a $100, but if you are going to use a lot of these connectors, it is worthwhile.

I have wired several large radio rooms, military and amateur, with the RIGrunner used for all of the 12 volt power. I have also retrofitted several mobile installations. These panels are a god-send, especially compared with the MFJ power strips (which are AWFUL) or some of my home-brew solutions. The blown-fuse indicator is especially nice, as is the fact that the fuses used in the RIGrunner are common automotive blade fuses/

If you have a problem with the connectors slipping loose, I have found that a small piece of heat shrink tubing slipped over the connectors and heated with a heat gun solve the problem. It is easy enough to remove, if needed, with a sharp penknife.

Proper tools make all of the difference in using Powerpoles, as in many other fields of endeavour. They certainly reduce frustration. :-)

73,
john
N3SKO/AAT3BF/AAM3O/AAA3DE/AAA9AC
 
N4UZZ Rating: 2/5 Dec 31, 2003 20:09 Send this review to a friend
Rigrunner great - power poles awful!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The Rigrunner 4008 and the Rigrunner 4005 are fine and high quality pieces of equipment. The problem is with the Anderson power poles.

The Rigrunner comes with an assortment of 30 Amp power poles. The poles have to be assembled. There is an indented shoe that must be crimped to the wire and then inserted into the power pole housing.

The 30 amp power poles are actually a little too small to connect to 10 gauge wire. That was surprising to me, because I did not want to connect 25 amp equipment with 12 gauge wire. But the highly detailed and extensive, illustrated instructions on the Rigrunner website said to go ahead and to be careful not to leave out any strands. When you are careful, the wire will insert into the round tube fine, but it fills the tube so tightly that it becomes impossible to make a good, deep crimp no matter how hard you try. When you do crimp it down, the crimping results in the tube widening. If it widens, it won't fit into the power pole housing. So, the instructions are to rotate the tube in the crimp tool, go to another die, and squeeze the sides so that the tube is no wider than it was before the crimp. Theoretically, if you have a good deep crimp in the center, then this additional narrowing procedure will simply fold up the sides of the crimp to narrow it all up. However, since the tube is too full for a good deep crimp, squeezing the crimped tube on the side simply opens the crimp up again. As a result, connections that I thought I had crimped strongly and fixed exactly as instructed, wound up pulling loose. The wire pulled right out.

The power pole housings are so narrow that if the crimping widens the tube at all, then the shoe cannot be inserted into the power pole housing. If you narrow the crimp to fit it in, you then start getting loose wire and a crimp that opens back up. You see the dilemma.

This is less of a problem when you crimp 30 amp power poles onto 12 gauge wire. But then, another problem happens. When you crimp down hard, the shoe bends down, again making it impossible to get it into the housing. Then you have to bend the shoe back. If you work with wire that is 14 gauge or more, the wires simply are not stiff enough to push the shoe and the attached crimp into the power pole housing. You then have to set the housing on the table and perform the following procedure: with one hand hold the housing; with the second hand hold the wire and the shoe and crimped tube into the housing; with the third hand hold a small screw driver and set it on the crimped metal; and with your fourth hand use a hammer to push the crimped metal down into the housing of the power pole. When it goes into the housing, you will hear a click.

Once you have your power poles assembled, it is time to (1) attach the positive and negative together side by side, and (2) plug them into the Rigrunner. You will attach many power poles side by side before you discover that you did some of them wrong. Sliding them apart requires the edge of a table that is not an heirloom; a hammer; and prayer. The prayer is needed to know if the black or the red one is supposed to slide down. If you guess wrong, the whacks will make things worse rather than better.

Okay, so now ... are you still with me? ... you have a red and a black power pole, correctly assembled and attached to each other, ready to plug into the rig runner. Whoops, not this way. Whoops, not that way, either. It takes experience, it takes the school of hard knocks, to figure out that tiny indents and grooves in the power pole housing need to be used as clues to the mystery of how to plug these suckers in. Alas, when you plug them in, there is no click and there is no restraint to keep the plugs from being pulled out. But you have the reward of knowing that you have connected your equipment through connectors that have the lowest loss this side of superconductors at minus 273 degrees Celcius.

The next time I rewire my station, I am going to wrap wire around bolts and hold them with nuts and washers, insultate them with electrical tape, and put them in a plastic school lunch box that costs 99 cents. At best I will terminate the wires with round eye type ends that you can pick up at any automotive shop. And those things don't care if you squash the daylights out of them when you crimp them.
 
KA2UUP Rating: 5/5 Oct 20, 2003 16:27 Send this review to a friend
Works very good!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I ordered the panel on a Thursade morning and arrived on Friday by UPS. Having a RigBlaster for about two years I was familiar with the quality of the workmanship. The RigRunner is no different. This is top notch quality and design.

I was able to eliminate 5 "wall warts" from my shack. Now it looks like a professional installation instead of something just thrown together. Also, very convenient to run the equipment by just throwing one switch on and off at the power supply.

The panel is well built and the fuses have the advantage of being the automobile type. Connectors are supplied with the "complete" version and can be soldered or crimped.

Highly recommended.

Bert @ KA2UUP
 
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