Wow, I now see why people swear by the brand name powerpole connectors and swear at the knockoffs. They may interchange, but the off-brands don't go together nearly as easily. Some knockoffs came free with my crimper and now I know why they were free
Been there, done that! I use the powerwerx units now. I still have PTSD from trying to use some cheap power pole connectors years ago. Junk junk junk of the first order. I really don't like the things. However they do allow you to play well with others in a emergency. At the very least people need to have a few pre made power pole adapter cables ready to go!
I actually like the powerpole connectors, I've been switching over old wiring to use them in my Jeep. And it's nice to have several powerpole to whatever adapters on hand.
4x4 Ham Member
I use these in my home station, my Jeep, and my portable station, as well as my solar hookup. They are the gold standard for hams into EMCOMM and portable operation. They allow for sharing equipment, for example at Field Day. I have made a variety of adapters for all of my 12 volt stuff, like my handhelds and even have adapters to charge my phone and GPS. You can tell the authentic Anderson powepoles by the "A" stamped into one end of the housing.
If a cable is not made right, it's possible to get reverse polarity. The solution is to check the polarity on each cable as you connect it to the power source. Powerwerx sells a polarity tester just like this, made onto a pair of powerpole connectors, for $15.00 plus shipping. This one works the same way and costs about $1.50 in parts.
We all know from the various exams that diodes only conduct in one direction. Therefore, an LED that's properly polarized will light up while one that isn't won't. This device puts that into practice. Not only do you get polarity indication, but you also know whether or not there's power present on the source connector. That saves a lot of time in troubleshooting.
Here's the circuit:
These are the parts you'll need:
This is the finished product:
I use this every time i make a new cable and before I plug my rig into a or power source from someone else.
4x4 Ham Member
Here's something else I use that's proven to be very handy. If you've ever encountered resistance pushing the crimped (or soldered) connector into the housing, you'll appreciate this. It not only makes getting the connector to seat easily, it's also useful if you ever have to extract a connector from a housing - like what I've done when I space out and pick up the wrong color housing.
Twelve bucks on Amazon.com - a little pricey but it is a specialty tool and worth it if you make a lot of powerpoles.
That's a handy little tool. The polarity checker looks like a good idea as well, I've been pretty good about it so far. A powerpole phone charger is an intriguing thought, I may have to build me one out of an old car adapter.
Just spent some time making a powerpole polarity checker and some adapter cables and paid attention to whether I was using a knockoff connector or the real thing. Definitely makes a huge difference whether you're using real Anderson Power Poles (they have a little A molded into the connector end) or the knock off connectors. The real ones go together much easier, even when using the conductors for the knockoffs. It's really hard to get the conductors to seat in the knockoffs.