Order Tray | Contact Us | Home | SIG Lists

[aprssig] 12V wiring ideas

KA7O ka7o at ka7o.net
Sat Oct 29 19:13:22 UTC 2011

I work for a company that builds hundreds of LEO and PS vehicles every 
year for agencies in several states. We build our own harnesses, use a 
centralized power distribution block, ignition sense, high current and 
low current feeds, etc, etc, etc. It's a big production. And our 
reputation in this business is not only respected, but has been for decades.

We tried Anderson PowerPoles on these vehicles. They were only used to 
connect our Power Distribution Units to their main feeds. After 2 years 
- we no longer even carry them as replacement parts. We had so many 
reliability problems, connections working loose, intermittent problems - 
having to apply tape, zip ties or other 'band-aids' to keep these 
critical vehicles reliable - our engineering policy now is to just 
replace them when we encounter them. What did we replace them with? Bolt 
studs, nuts, lock washers and eye rings. Snug them down and they stay put.

PowerPoles were simply not the best choice for our application as they 
are designed to be opened and closed with cycle counts exceeding 
hundreds and into the thousands. At this, they excel. But, unless you're 
a hobbiest, a developer, other experimenter or for some other reason 
have a need to remove, return, remove, return over many, many cycles - 
it's not the right connector.

The features that makes them so useful for ham use is what makes them 
in-appropriate for high reliability or critical connections. They simply 
come apart too easily.

Don't get me wrong - I like them and use them myself - where 
appropriate. But, they are not a cure all that is right for every 


On 10/29/2011 05:48 AM, Robert Naegele wrote:
> Our Ham Radio Club supplies Anderson PowerPoles to each member to promote
> interoperability so we have hundreds of them in both mobile and fixed operation.
> There never has been a report a connection vibrating apart. They just work.
> Bob, w9mz
> --- w9rxr_ at rlburns.net wrote:
> From: Bob Burns W9RXR<w9rxr_ at rlburns.net>
> To: TAPR APRS Mailing List<aprssig at tapr.org>
> Subject: Re: [aprssig] 12V wiring ideas
> Date: Sat, 29 Oct 2011 07:00:22 -0400
> The one concern I have about Anderson PowerPoles is that they are not
> a positive locking connector. They depend on friction to stay
> connected. Without some sort of lock, they could vibrate apart,
> especially in a mobile installation. Don't get me wrong--I love
> PowerPoles and use them in other applications. But they do have limitations.
> For my mobile installs, I use a Blue Sea Systems blade fuse block.
> They are available with either 6 or 12 individually fused circuits
> and they use screw terminals for a positive, vibration resistant
> connection. The block comes with a cover so your connections are
> protected. And the design makes for a low-profile installation
> without wires sticking out perpendicular to the panel on which the
> fuse block is mounted. You can buy these fuse blocks from West Marine
> (on-line or at one of their many stores around the country). A little
> pricey, but I've never had any problems with them.
> Bob...

More information about the aprssig mailing list