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

Reviews Summary for Anderson Powerpoles
Anderson Powerpoles Reviews: 195 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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WT3O Rating: 5/5 Sep 19, 2012 06:21 Send this review to a friend
Used for nearly a decade now  Time owned: more than 12 months
I was first licensed in 2004 when these connectors were new and somewhat controversial. I put these connectors on my first 2M radio and have been using them ever since.

What's great about PowerPoles:
1. They are genderless. Need an extension cord? No problem because it will fit and you won't have to get adapters to make it work.
2. It is impossible to reverse polarity IF you wire all of your connectors the same way. These connectors only fit one-way. If you try to insert them reversed they won't fit.
3. They are standard. No problem if I want to take my FT-857 out of my car and use it in the shack - just plug it in and go. Want to use my FT-817 in the car or portable? No problem, just plug it in and go. Want to charge my HT from the car or shack? You get the idea.
4. They don't fall apart or pull apart if they are assembled correctly. I have my West Mountain Radio RigRunners mounted under my ham desk (I wanted to keep the top of the desk clutter free). These connectors are installed upside down and have not pulled apart or come apart. Granted, it you yank the power cable it will come out, but with the force of gravity alone they will maintain their connection.
5. In the grand scheme of things they are relatively cheap. Banana plugs range from $3.49 to $6.49 per set of two at Radio Shack. You can get 10 sets of PowerPoles for $9.99 at PowerWerx.

What's not so great about PowerPoles:
1. You need to keep a lot on hand because you'll use them for everything. I try to pick up a pack at each hamfest so I never run out.
LNXAUTHOR Rating: 5/5 Jul 14, 2012 12:47 Send this review to a friend
Convenient, Easy  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bought a bag of 100 30-Amp connector sets more than six years ago. Have standardized nearly all rigs, accessories and connectors with these.

While these aren't mil-spec, they are (were) inexpensive, easy to put together, and fool-proof.

I have a few connected to 12V auto cigarette/power plugs, several epoxied back-to-back to 9V-type connectors (convenient to quickly attach various AA/AAA 4- or 8-cell battery carriers), a few on power leads, a few on M/F spade pairs (for screw terminals or gel cells), and a few built-into a custom-built fused multi-connector box.

i used one set for mobile ops for nearly eight years - very handy to pull a rig out of the vehicle, yet quickly re-connect

i always solder and never crimp; solder flows quickly on the lugs and provides a good connection

the only downside i have seen are the exorbitant prices for small quantities charged by some on-line scalpers

do yourself a favor and buy a bag - i'd recommend the 30-Amp size for general use; my 100-set bag is going to last me a lifetime

AB4D Rating: 4/5 Jul 12, 2012 14:52 Send this review to a friend
4 years of use, no issues  Time owned: more than 12 months
As an update to my last review in 2009..."I've been using he power poles for over a year, I have not had any issue with them, and they hold rock solid. However, I don't crimp the connectors, I solder them on. I just insert a piece of solder into the connector with the wire, heat and it is ready to go."

I am still using power poles in the shack and in the mobile, both on West Mountain power strips. I like the interchangeability of the PP system, and have not experienced any of the issues identified by some using the Anderson PP.

I've used Molex, Butt Connectors, and Crimp on terminals in the past, they are no better than the PP, some are worse. It seems all styles of connectors have disadvantages, none are perfect.

I agree with some, that you really need to pay attention when wiring and assembling the connectors, but beyond that, I've had no operational issues. Nevertheless, until someone comes up with something better, I'll stick with the power poles.

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.
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