Anderson Power Poles for 12VDC radio applications

The Anderson Power Pole is a flexible modular power connector system that features:


I have used these connectors for several years with great success. The connectors are quite inexpensive when purchased from the US in lots of 30 2 pole connectors, coming in around A$3.00 a pair of 2 pole connectors including postage.

Anderson make specific crimp tools, but they are very expensive. You can crimp the smaller sizes using a ratchet indent crimper made for small electrical crimp lugs, position the indent on the opposite side of the barrel split. Powerwerx has a great "TRIcrimp" crimp tool that does 15 - 45 Amp contacts at around US$50, but their cheaper plier crimp tool is just a plier indent crimper for electrical lugs, doesn't do a good job, and isn't worth wasting money on it and international air freight.

One of the "issues" with these connectors, is that the small split dowel used to retain the red and black parts in alignment falls out. If you do not intend dismantling the plastic parts, they can be reliably glued together by placing a small dot of Super Glue (CyanoAcrylate Ester)  in the mating female keyway of the black part before quickly sliding the two plastic parts together, and dispensing with the split dowel. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE SUPER GLUE BEFORE USING IT.

The basic polarised genderless two pole 30A connector. 15, 30 and 45A connectors use the same housing and compatible contacts, they are interchangeable.

The wiping action cleans contact surface during disconnection, assisting minimal contact resistance at high current.

A pair of two pole connectors on 2 x 4mm2 mated.
A three way splitter at the end of a 2 x 2.5mm2 cable using a pair of pre-insulated butt joiners
A convenient little splitter from Red-Dee-2 Connect.
A RigRunner 8 port distrubution panel for a flexible, tidy, safe and effective DC distribution system. The IC-7000 at the left was plugged in temporarily to provide 6 meter capability in a contest, made easier by the PowerPole DC distribution. 
A close up of the RigRunner 8 port individually fused distribution panel.

Soldering connectors

When you solder the terminals, it is impossible to prevent solder wicking back up the strands of the conductor, and that makes the wire stiffer up to the point where the solder runs out, and that becomes a stress raiser at that point. If you want to minimise fatigue failure of cables, do not use solder.

There is also some risk of getting flux and solder onto the silver plated contact surfaces. Flux can be cleaned off, but it is an unecessary operation.

Further, the heat of soldering often causes the insulation to shrink leaving unprotected bare conductors adjacent to the connector.

Use the proper crimp tool. The Anderson tool is very expensive, but the Powerwerx Tricrimp tool (above) is around US$40 and is a must-have if you want to use PowerPoles. It is a quality ratchet cavity roll crimp tool and works very well.

Some sellers and users recommend indent crimpers, but the terminals are not designed for, and are not suitable for indent crimpers. Indent crimps are for terminals with a closed (ie welded/brazed) wire tunnel, whereas the 15A and 30A Anderson tunnels are split tubes (though they may look like they are welded shut), and the 45A terminals are obviously intended for roll-crimp. If you use an inappropriate tool, expect degraded results!

The widespread fear of crimped connections in ham circles is not rationally based!


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