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N8CPA
03-22-2011, 07:49 PM
Anybody use them?

I'm in the process of revamping my station to look, at least, a little neater and PowerPoles look like the way to go. I have ordered 12 pairs to start, but I did not order the special crimping tool. I have a geneic 9 1/2" crimper/stripper with a range of built in dies--or, is the brand specific tool needed?

W2IBC
03-22-2011, 07:59 PM
I know someone who has them, they seem to work well.

as for the tool, not sure.

N4AYZ
03-22-2011, 08:01 PM
I use powerpoles both for my rig and for radio control airplanes, and I am very pleased with them. I use the purpose-built crimper, so I can't comment on how well generic crimpers work. With my tool, crimping is quick, easy, and secure.

You may want to try a Rigrunner to help organize your shack. Mine makes for a neat installation.

Good luck.

N8CPA
03-22-2011, 08:07 PM
I use powerpoles both for my rig and for radio control airplanes, and I am very pleased with them. I use the purpose-built crimper, so I can't comment on how well generic crimpers work. With my tool, crimping is quick, easy, and secure.

You may want to try a Rigrunner to help organize your shack. Mine makes for a neat installation.

Good luck.

I'm starting with the car, for practice. I will probably get the RigRunner at Dayton. And I'm trying to make up mind between an Astron BB30M or a PowerGate for an AGM backup battery. That too will be decided by Hamvention time.

WS4E
03-22-2011, 08:09 PM
I have used them for EVERYTHING for the last few years.

You don't need a specialized crimper to do them correctly. I use one of these $5.49 crimpers at your local harbor freight.
http://www.harborfreight.com/9-1-2-half-inch-wire-crimping-tool-36411.html

The key is the first die, that you use on the split part of the PowerPole connector that pushes the split in the middle down, and then use the round part of the criper to fold over the remaining edges to make a nice compressed crimp. Works well.


Also +1 for a Rigrunner of some sort to make things very nice.

They really are very nice to use. I use them for all sorts of things even for the mobile installs and my telescope too.

K7VZ
03-22-2011, 08:14 PM
I use a generic cheapo crimper and put a light crimp on them and then follow up by soldering the connection before inserting into the colored ends. I've had good luck with this method. If you crimp too hard, it gets out of round and won't fit into the plastic piece.

http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/wcsstore/CVWEB/staticproductimage//N3065/large/25988995_ptl_1483_pri_larg.jpg

N8CPA
03-22-2011, 08:38 PM
Thanks for all the responses. The only difference between the crimper I have and VZ's picture is that mine has a yellow handle. So, I think I'm good to go. With my mitts, I'll probably blow the first one anyway. :D

WB3BEL
03-22-2011, 10:09 PM
Use your own crimper and solder will work fine if you are careful. If you find yourself using a lot then consider better tools.

The other thing to consider...Use the next larger current version from what you think should be OK. I'd use 30A for currents in the 10A range and I'd use 45A for currents in the 22A range etc. Lots of folks using the bare minimum and it does not make a lot of sense.

W6CD
03-22-2011, 10:32 PM
I converted everything to Power Poles and Rigrunners a few months ago - wish I would have done it long ago. I use a crimper designed especially for the Power Pole connectors - quick, easy, and reliable connections.

W8ZNX
03-22-2011, 10:42 PM
13.8 volt work
last few years
have gone from
Jones plugs to Power Pole

never crimped them

always solder them

still use Jones plugs
for old style tube lash ups

WA3UCR
03-23-2011, 01:33 AM
If you crimp too hard, it gets out of round and won't fit into the plastic piece.



Yes, I had the same experience. It is very important not to deform the circular barrel where the conductor is, especially down toward the wire end of the connector or it will not fit and lock into the housing. Once you get the hang of it it seems simple - but you may need to ruin one or two before you figure it out. However, they are great connectors and very reliable. Good luck - I think you'll like them.

KB1JCY
03-23-2011, 03:11 AM
I used to balk at the cost of the PowerPoles but after using them for 4 years, I'd say they're worth it.

N8CPA
03-26-2011, 11:21 AM
I tried to crimp one with my generic tool--didn't work. I don't have the pinch to hold the wire in the channel while positioning the crimper. So, I'm making a pilgrimmage to Universal to pick up the ratcheting tool. It has a built-in contact positioner to give my fingers one less thing to hold.

K7MH
03-26-2011, 03:35 PM
I just solder them.
You can use a Q-Tip shaft instead of the pin they use to hold a set of them together.

KD0CAC
03-26-2011, 04:04 PM
I have been doing many kinds of crimpers and soldering for a few decades , mostly in the auto repair business , had lots of issues with most everything .
Have found that the issues are mostly applications , such as soldering , never solder a connection that may have any movement / flexing the soldered point ends up breaking vs. a crimp .
Then when it comes to crimping , most of those yrs. just used what everyone else used the basic crimpers tools like the picture earlier , many times the crimp required to do the job ended up cutting some strands of the wire , the wires were easily pulled from connector and also corrosion if any exposure to elements .
Then when specialized connectors & crimpers came into automotive because of computers and sensors in autos started , I found what was called a double roll crimp tool the same type of crimp as the Power Poles .
I now have almost any size that is out there , up to welding cable / battery sizes .
This is the only crimping I do anymore , because of eliminating all of the listed issues and when doing mobile work trying reuse connectors , especially large cable / battery connectors [ that tool has 3 ft. long handles ] that actually fused the wire to the connector , without cutting strands .
So you do not need to buy the Power Pole crimpers if you get the correct tool / crimp heads for the job , get the general crimp fittings that seem to be everywhere , pull the plastic off the connector and use the appropriate size jaw , wire and connector .
A saying I got from the Snap On tool guy has saved me a lot of grief and comebacks ,
Bitch once when you buy quality tools , not every time you use a cheap tool .

KR2D
03-26-2011, 05:46 PM
You can use a Q-Tip shaft instead of the pin they use to hold a set of them together.

I use superglue. No reason to ever separate them once they are assembled.



Bitch once when you buy quality tools , not every time you use a cheap tool .

Cheap tools cost more than quality tools. You pay for the cheap tool, and then end up buying the quality tool when the cheap one breaks or fails to perform.

N7MOG
03-26-2011, 07:16 PM
I suggest you get a crimper (any make) that maintains the outer diameter of the crimp with the actual crimpinside this diameter. I use a Thomas and Betts, and it's fine. I als have a cheapy from 'scraps' that works. just dont use one theat "smashes" a crimp like the $2 ones in the bargain tool bin, or come with the sets of chinese crimp ends/splices.
Bill, N7MOG

NC9Z
03-26-2011, 07:33 PM
I converted my whole station, and my mobile, makes life much easier, and it has taking the mobile in the house for programming down to about a 2 minute process.

After doing all those, it certainly can be done without the special tool, that said after doing that many, next time I buy a piece of gear, I'll be buying the tool designed for the job.

KB1NXE
03-26-2011, 09:58 PM
I solder them. But for a more practical reason. You can unsolder. You can't un-crimp.

N8CPA
03-27-2011, 12:44 AM
My wife went shopping today. She stopped by the Candy Store--aka to the rest of Hamdom as Universal. She brought home the SuperCrimper--a die by any other name. I finally got a chance to try it. I put a PowerPole on my TS-50 power cord, plugged it into a cigarette lighter PowerPole adapter and the lights light up! Took me more time to find my bent nose pliers to guide the contact into the tool than to use it. That vise is utterly virtuous for my 6 out of 10 fingers that don't work!

So my conversion to PowerPole is a go!

WA3UCR
03-27-2011, 02:40 PM
My wife went shopping today. She stopped by the Candy Store--aka to the rest of Hamdom as Universal. She brought home the SuperCrimper--a die by any other name. I finally got a chance to try it. I put a PowerPole on my TS-50 power cord, plugged it into a cigarette lighter PowerPole adapter and the lights light up! Took me more time to find my bent nose pliers to guide the contact into the tool than to use it. That vise is utterly virtuous for my 6 out of 10 fingers that don't work!

So my conversion to PowerPole is a go!

Congrats Steve. I wish I could get my wife to run a successfull errand like yours did! That's pretty cool.

K0RGR
03-27-2011, 10:15 PM
I use them on everything, and they are good, reliable connectors. I do waste a few in assembly, though. I have a set of crimpers I prefer to use with them that I bought from West Mountain Radio a long time ago. It's not one of their 'power crimp tools' but I think I paid more for it than they want for the new one.

I don't believe in soldering low voltage DC connectors. I've seen too many thermal runaways, and had too much solder melt out of low voltage connectors over the years. All it takes is a very small resistance in a high current connection. The soldered joint might be fine, but there might be 0.1 ohm between the two blades in the connector. P=I X E so in a 25 amp installation, that 0.1 X 25 = 2.5 watts of heat being generated in that joint. Over time, that heat will lead to corrosion, which will increase the resistance. At 1 ohm, you will have 25 watts of heat in the joint - like holding a pencil soldering iron on it. Next, the solder in your connector melts and all heck breaks out! Been, there, done that, have the burn holes in the carpets to prove it! We used to get some real doozies in the computer industry. I've seen entire mainframe-sized machines slowly burn themselves up before anybody noticed!

KA7PLE
03-28-2011, 08:05 AM
My personal experience with crimp style connectors (literally 1000's), don't solder them. If its on a connection that is ever subject to movement, the solder connection will eventually fail.
I've been using PowerPole connectors for many years, never had a problem with them. I also use the cheap-o crimp tool. works just fine.
Good luck,

73
Mike
KA7PLE

KG4RUL
03-28-2011, 03:50 PM
Here is a presentation I put together: http://www.w4brk.org/AnatomyOfPowerPoles.pdf

N8CPA
03-28-2011, 07:34 PM
Here is a presentation I put together: http://www.w4brk.org/AnatomyOfPowerPoles.pdf

Excellent presentation.

I can't believe how easy that tool makes it! So far, I've used 7 pairs with only 1 blowout. That one was a cable for my R-75. I forgot to test which wire was the center positive on an odd coloring scheme pair, for the Icom floorwart P(o)S. When I plugged the revised cable into the other PS, it blew the crowbar in the R-75. No big deal, I had a spare fuse.

It was the first time I looked under the hood of the receiver. Quick fuse replacement, run a magnet over the carpet to find the screw I dropped, drive the cover screws home. Restrip and recrimp the cord, repeat test, test passed, hook up, and full recovery. And soon the R-75 and 735 will be on the same power supply, when I get a PowerPole strip.

And I just finished installing one on the rig in the car. That 20 amp lighter circuit is finally getting some use again.

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