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Preferred power distribution

What is your preferred method of mobile power distribution?


  • Total voters
    13
  • Poll closed .

BlueMoon2

Member
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Dec 26, 2008
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452
Location
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Just wanted to do an informal poll on what people’s preferred method of mobile power distribution to run their radios, etc is.
 

a417

!#
Joined
Mar 14, 2004
Messages
2,053
fused terminal block w/ insulated spade connectors. I have thousands of them left over from every project ever and don't see a reason to spend money on a branded product when what I have works .
 

N0ZQR

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Feb 16, 2003
Messages
284
Wow! I have been looking forever for those !
 

mmckenna

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Overpriced Anderson PowerPoles for low current applications like mobile radio? I don't really see a point other than if someone really changes out radios frequently. Never had a problem with the manufacturer specific connectors. But I know the hammys love them.

Instead, run a dedicated power feed from your battery to a large fuse/circuit breaker near the battery. Then run from there back to where your RF decks are located. Install a fused distribution block there. Pull ground off the vehicle chassis/body point. Then you can simply connect radios to the fuse block/ground block. Use high quality crimp terminals installed with a proper full cycle crimp tool, not the $5 Harbor Freight 'squeeze and pray' pliers. I've seen a lot of failed installs due to improperly installed terminals.
 

enine

Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2006
Messages
217
I've used Eaton/Bussman #15600 series fuseholders, selection of number of poles, with or without ground post, etc .

View attachment 87576


Data sheet:
I like these a little better, more modern style


 

N9JIG

Sheriff
Moderator
Joined
Dec 14, 2001
Messages
4,577
Location
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I love PowerPoles, but not in a mobile environment. They tend to loosen up and pop out, even when I use the retaining clips.

The BlueSea blocks work great.
 

bharvey2

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2014
Messages
1,491
I love PowerPoles, but not in a mobile environment. They tend to loosen up and pop out, even when I use the retaining clips.

The BlueSea blocks work great.

Do you do any amount of off-roading? I've used several different power distribution methods, including Powerpoles and haven't had problems with any of them least of all the Powerpoles (which I agree are a little expensive)
 

vagrant

ker-muhj-uhn
Joined
Nov 19, 2005
Messages
1,953
Location
California
PowerPole user here. If it uses 12 volts it gets a plug, even if it is not a radio like lights, fans etc. With distribution blocks, it makes it easy to hookup whatever, wherever. I even wired a trailer plug to tap the 12v at the back for occasional use. Well, for a low amp draw like an LED light or a Yaesu 817 is fine for that particular line. I find PowerPoles convenient, but I do move things around perhaps more than others.

I use a crimper and it's quick and easy. I know of others that said they needed the ratchet as they had trouble. This was for the 15/30/45 amp connectors.

As to coming loose in the vehicle, that has never happened to me and I don't use retaining clips. I also go off-road using 4WD. How does that even happen when using retention clips? I guess there must be some tension on the cable. Things happen.
 

wa8pyr

Technischer Guru
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Joined
Sep 22, 2002
Messages
5,546
Location
Ohio
Just wanted to do an informal poll on what people’s preferred method of mobile power distribution to run their radios, etc is.
Fused terminal block with Anderson power pole connectors. I've got a West Mountain RigRunner for the ham rigs, and an eBay Special for the scanners. Works like a charm and makes wiring a lot neater and easier.
 

N9JIG

Sheriff
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Messages
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Location
Far NW Valley
Do you do any amount of off-roading? I've used several different power distribution methods, including Powerpoles and haven't had problems with any of them least of all the Powerpoles (which I agree are a little expensive)
No off-roading in a mini-van, I keep trying but the wife won't allow it.

It could be that I was using cheap connectors or something then but in my old installation they tended to work loose.
 

wwhitby

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Jan 10, 2003
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1,120
Location
Autauga County, Alabama
FWIW, I've used PowerPoles in the car for a while now, with no problems. None of them have worked their way loose.

I like the flexibility that PowerPoles give me. For example, if I'm working a ham radio public service event out of my car, where I am in a fixed location, I can easily unhook my mobile radio from the vehicle's 12 volt power supply and hook it up to my battery box that is fed with solar panels. No worry about running the battery down, or having to run the engine to keep the battery charged.
 

wa8pyr

Technischer Guru
Moderator
Joined
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5,546
Location
Ohio
FWIW, I've used PowerPoles in the car for a while now, with no problems. None of them have worked their way loose.

I like the flexibility that PowerPoles give me. For example, if I'm working a ham radio public service event out of my car, where I am in a fixed location, I can easily unhook my mobile radio from the vehicle's 12 volt power supply and hook it up to my battery box that is fed with solar panels. No worry about running the battery down, or having to run the engine to keep the battery charged.
Ditto, got a nice battery box and solar panels myself. Using PowerPoles makes it easy.

I do have some older stuff that uses two-pin polarized Cinch connectors (the former ARES standard in many places), so I just made PowerPole adapters rather than install all new connectors.
 

slowmover

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Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
322
Location
Fort Worth
How is it that Anderson PowerPoles are “overpriced”?

I’ll agree that to set yourself up with tools and supply seems expensive. But the same would be true with the need for screwdriver sets when nails or brads are no longer the only choice as fasteners.

I’ve an ongoing R&R in a Peterbilt. Changing to this system makes a significant difference as I’ve run at least a half-dozen different radios, several amps, tuner, etc. In three different tractors

“Cost” is relative to Value. High Value = Low Cost

As to how sturdy are the connections, that’s expertise. TLC. I had a few come loose early on. Corrected those mistakes.

Strain relief & cable securement are needed in every install. Without regard for termination-type.

And same for routing. Have a look at commercial marine. Or aviation. Orderly is understatement.

Anderson PP makes remove & re-install a snap. The Radio System is independent of components. One plugs in gear to the existing.

For an install where gear is specific (unchanging), the terminations are a moot point when a vehicle isn’t in use as long as is the gear installed. One time in, then out.

Where the gear (components) are subject to replacement over a long vehicle lifespan or the quest for least-noise (or moved to house temporarily to use as Base) the Anderson PP tool & supply expense is low versus the gains achieved.

I’ve re-routed power (made longer) and distributed (made shorter) the four to six leads in one radio stack configuration with success in noise reduction.

That I wind up with “extra” distribution leads (PP at both ends) just illustrates the modular capability this termination system offers.

The POWERWERX website offers custom assemblies for some radio types. That “explains” in pictures better than I can describe in words the desirability of the PP system.

The wiring system (like the coax) is a given. Permanent. Changing components needn’t involve changes to that any more than loosening a BNC connector for a different antenna.

1). The wiring system precedes the radio in importance.
2). Just as the coax system precedes the antenna.m

As I see Coax preceding Power, routing is where right-of-way is optimized for vehicle installation.

Include the mic cord, and there are a dozen power or coax ends in a simple Radio/Amp/Powered Speaker rig.

Add a tuner. A watt/voltmeter. Battery control.

Etc.

Believe it that I wish I’d switched over twenty years ago.

.
 
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