[aprssig] 12V Wiring and Crimping

KBØNLY kb0nly at mchsi.com
Sat Oct 29 12:45:30 CDT 2011

While I will agree with the crimping, I own professional grade tools to do 
this, I have to argue the Powerpoles.

Those PP connectors are the scourge of wiring problems.  Every field day I 
end up lopping off a few of them to get radios working.  I despise them... 
Last field day we had three club radios that wouldn't work, intermittent 
connections.  They were installed with a PP tool and all that, looked good, 
but just became intermittent from use.  I lopped them off and crimped on 
some ring terminals for the binding posts on the power supply and no more 

I don't use a single PP connector in my shack or mobile installs.  It will 
be a cold day in H, E, double hockey sticks before I do use one.



-----Original Message----- 
From: Larry McDavid
Sent: Saturday, October 29, 2011 12:35 PM
To: TAPR APRS Mailing List
Subject: Re: [aprssig] 12V Wiring and Crimping

The most reliable terminal connections are made by crimping, not
soldering. However, the crimp process requires the correct crimp tool,
surely not something from Harbor Freight, and correct sizing of
terminal, wire and crimp tool.

Solder wicks down stranded wire and causes loss of flexibility and
potential for vibration fatigue cracks in the wire bundle. Soldering a
crimped terminal is a really bad idea because a correct crimp will be
"gas tight" and not allow solder to enter the crimp zone; the soldering
temperature will also relieve the retained stress in the crimped
terminal material that keeps it gas tight.

There is a great deal of engineering, not guess work, in what
constitutes a good crimp. Done correctly, nothing is more reliable than
a properly designed crimp connection.

Anderson Power Pole connectors are nearly universal in the ham and
emergency communications arena here and are very reliable. The key
feature that is not appreciated is the spring-steel leaf spring in every
PowerPole connector that maintains the contact force. But, realize there
are various *size* PowerPole connector shells and contacts, sized by
current-carrying capacity. Anderson sells excellent (but, expensive)
four-indent crimp tools. PowerWerx sells acceptable "B-wing" crimp tools
for PowerPole connectors. Use of a "F-crimp" tool on a PowerPole
terminal will distort the crimp end of the terminal and prevent its
insertion into the plastic shell.

We hams are often casual about making crimps and then complain about
their performance. We have only ourselves to blame.

Bottom line: crimps work very well but you must have the correct tools.

Larry W6FUB
Retired Molex engineering manager

On 10/29/2011 10:06 AM, Rudy Benner wrote:
> I would recommend crimp and solder. Don’t forget the fusing. Do it right.

Best wishes,

Larry McDavid W6FUB
Anaheim, CA  (20 miles southeast of Los Angeles, near Disneyland)

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