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Reviews Categories | DC Power Supply Distribution Panels | Anderson Powerpoles Help

Reviews Summary for Anderson Powerpoles
Anderson Powerpoles Reviews: 192 Average rating: 3.7/5 MSRP: $varies
Description: Anderson PowerPoles are the ultimate wiring connectors you can use in your ham shack. Once you try them, you'll never use anything else for everything from battery connectivity to removable master power links.
PowerPole Features:
Flat wiping contact system
Interchangeable Genderless design
Colored, Modular housings
Polarized housings
Product is in production.
More info:
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WC3O Rating: 5/5 Jul 12, 2012 13:55 Send this review to a friend
Inky-dinky  Time owned: more than 12 months
There are a couple very simple things you need to know about PowerPoles that make all the difference between loving and hating them. I switched years ago and I have never looked back. Whenever I buy a new radio the T connector gets snipped off and PPs go on. I love them.

Things you NEED to know:

They slide apart? They were designed to slide apart. If you are talking about the red/black connector shells, you can either use the pins some suppliers give to lock them, or I use a dab of hot glue in the hole to lock the two shells together. To hold a connection together I simply use a ty-rap. They make cool little do-thingys that do it too, but a small ty-rap is easy and cheap. You only need that in a situation that there may be pulling on the connection. If the connection is going to live in a peacefully place you don’t need anything, it will stay just fine.

The crimp is VERY important. I don’t use the “correct” crimpers. I found a cheap crimp tool that works perfect I do still give mine a dab of solder, though. Be careful not to get solder on the silver contact area. The pins are all silver plated and solder very nicely. HERE IS THE THING WITH CRIMPING: The 30 amp PPs use a round barrel. If your crimpers allow the round barrel to flatten in a horizontal direction you will NEVER get them into the shells. You will learn new cuss words and think you hate PowerPoles. But if you use crimpers that punch straight down and do not allow the barrel to spread out horizontally, they will click right into the shells. No problem. I found my crimpers for $5.00. The “correct” crimpers go for around $50.00 and do a great job. Really, they are worth the money, but I’m just too cheap to buy them.

I keep one shell set assembled in the correct orientation in my bag of PP parts. This way I only need to refer to that example to be sure I don’t slide the red/black shells together backwards. Simple.

I LOVE the fact that PPs are genderless. This makes life SOOOO much easier with jumper, extensions, adaptors and so on. I have never had a single contact issue, assuming that were crimped close to correctly. I have them on everything and life is simple.

So if you are having big trouble with PowerPoles, consider you may not be doing something wrong. If you think they are too expensive, ok. I like them. That’s what I thinks anyways.

Best 73
K3OFX Rating: 1/5 Jul 12, 2012 13:55 Send this review to a friend
Not very rugged, a plastic toy.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have a military electronics background where these tinker toys would never be permitted and would never survive if they were. They are a real moneymaker for the manufacturers at a buck a piece and that's about the only good thing I can say. Maybe they work for a Ham, I dunno. Not for me. The crimpers are also expensive and I doubt if they crimp an air tight or pressure welded connection, which means they are temporary at best in any rough environment. Good luck with them.
KK8ZZ Rating: 5/5 Jul 12, 2012 12:49 Send this review to a friend
Finally ! Universal connections!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Ok.. been a ham for 40 years...been through T-connectors, 6-pin, 4-pin and whatever Heathkit had... don't even start me on Collins...., BUT... I've been standardizing all my power supplies and radios, HF, VHF, UHF to Powerpoles for the past six or seven years, and when you want to make the connection, just match the colors and plug it in. I have PowerPoles connecting an IC-7000 to the auto power port in the car, and in five years, it has NEVER wiggled out! I once asked a tech about my concerns about that, and he said "....just use an old bread wrapper tie, or a zip cable tie... don't pay more for special extras that bind the PowerPoles together... " I bought the special crimping tool at Dayton years ago, and I've NEVER had a PowerPole connector fall out or fail... Cheers... Bob KK8ZZ
W2BLC Rating: 2/5 Jul 12, 2012 11:47 Send this review to a friend
Not the greatest  Time owned: more than 12 months
I use them, only because I use a west Mountain distribution panel. The latter is a good, although somewhat over priced device.

I have had the Power Poles fall apart. They will stand no physical stress on them and they are a pain to install.
K0RGR Rating: 5/5 Jul 12, 2012 11:09 Send this review to a friend
I Like Them  Time owned: more than 12 months
The advantages of having common connectors far outweigh the drawbacks. Our radio club has advocated Powerpoles ever since ARES started referring to them as a standard. As a result, it's easy for all of us to swap 12V connections. I have a lot of different rigs at home and they all have Powerpoles, which makes life very easy when moving things around.

In the past, I've used other 'standard' plugs. The problem with Radio Shack connectors is that they have changed what they carry from time to time. There was never any standard on how to wire them, either, so swaps with others were a real problem. And, my pet peeve is that they have to be soldered - AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND BAD IDEA! I have had many Radio Shack connectors develop thermal runaway problems as the contacts get older, resulting in the solder melting and flowing around in and outside of the connector, resulting in lots of smoke, short circuits, and fire - not things I want when I'm mobile.

Even the 'standard' trailer connectors have changed over time. My second choice would be 'bullet' connectors, but they would be easy to get the polarity backwards, and some of these fine rigs on the market today have been built with no polarity protection. At least if you follow the color code and the published standard for assembling them, you can't get the Powerpoles backwards.

Powerpoles do take some experience to learn how to assemble, and if you don't use something to keep them from coming apart, you can have problems. But, all it takes is a very small cable tie or even a small piece of wire looped through the connector holes, and all those problems go away.
A good set of crimpers is important. DON'T SOLDER THEM. I haven't had any thermal runaway issues with Powerpoles to this point, nor bad connections due to corroded pins.
W5LZ Rating: 4/5 Jul 12, 2012 09:24 Send this review to a friend
Not fool-proof, but good.  Time owned: more than 12 months
There's no such thing as a 'fool-proof' connector. It depends on how large a 'fool' you have to deal with. It also depends on knowing how and when to use them, they are not the 'end all' of connectors.
No strain relief? Then you aren't following instructions, or expect to tow a car with them?
Reversing polarity? Know how to use the color coding and then USE that color coding. Still have to put them together right.
They still work very nicely.
- Paul

Using the proper tools is also nice...
Don't like them? Hey, good! Send them to me. I'll hold my breath.
K7SUB Rating: 1/5 Jul 12, 2012 06:58 Send this review to a friend
A product of hype  Time owned: more than 12 months
The "Standardized Connector" hype is pretty much a joke if you think about it. They are difficult to assemble, polarity can be switched, and they literaly fall apart. For anything up to 20 amps, I use the Radio Shack connectors which are keyed, self locking, cheaper, and no harder to assemble than powerpoles.
WA6MOW Rating: 3/5 Jul 12, 2012 06:47 Send this review to a friend
Expensive  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been using these for a few years and think they are way over rated. There are much cheaper ways to go. If you use them, be sure to solder not crimp.
K7UXO Rating: 3/5 Jul 12, 2012 06:17 Send this review to a friend
Not worthy of being standarized  Time owned: more than 12 months
As far as connectors go, these are about average. With good technique, they go on just fine. They are not particularly rugged or reliable.

Generally, the connector that came with your radio is better than the Anderson Power Poles.

It seems the reason why most people use these is based on they hype they are the "standard ecom connector".

Yeah, whatever.

It is absolutely crazy the Amateur Radio ECOM community has "standardized" on a connector with limited availability, particularly during the emergency.

If I thought there was some value to to having standardized connectors for use in emergencies, it would use the low tech trailer wiring flat plug, which can be had in every autoparts and hardware store in North America. At least you could get those connectors during the emergency!

W8AAZ Rating: 4/5 Jun 24, 2012 16:07 Send this review to a friend
Acceptable and easy  Time owned: more than 12 months
I don't use these on ham gear at home because I am not into alot of swapping power wires on a constant regular basis. But I have used them at work where they were utilised as disconnects for test panels. They seem to be fine for that, but the equipment is not often disconnected, it is a cheap handy way to be able to do so or move them when needed. Maybe not the best for something that is daily, or even weekly, moved around. As for those that hate them, try the old fashioned Molex connectors, or if you must have the best and have lots and lots of money, aerospace cannon plugs could be best for you.
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