Crimping Anderson power pole connectors?

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by AC0FP, Aug 30, 2010.

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  1. AC0FP

    AC0FP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Do Anderson power pole connectors require a special crimping tool or will any standard crimp tool work? I didn't want to buy the connectors and then find out a special tool was required to install them!

    Thanks,

    fp :)
     
  2. KW2P

    KW2P Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been buying them in big bags, and using them for 16 years, and always solder them. Everyone I've ever known to use them also solders them. I'm not even sure if they are crimpable but I'd be interested to know--although I'll still solder them. :)
     
  3. K0CMH

    K0CMH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Unfortunately, to do the crimping properly, the only tool available is the one made by the power pole manufacturer, and that is not cheap, last I saw was over $50.00. If you do a search for companies that sell power poles, there is a combination cutter/crimping tool that sells for about $18.00. However, it does not crimp nearly as well as the factory tool. The factory tool is built so that the clip fits perfectly into a grove (i.e., registration) , and then it crimps the entire length of the tube. The cheaper tool has no registration ability and only cimps about 1/3 the length of the tube. I have the cheap tool and I have to "eyeball" it, using two crimps, to get a crimp that is almost the entire length of the tube. But then, sometimes my eyeball is off and I ruin a clip.

    Then there are the really cheap ($5.00) crimping tools that have about 5 or more sizes that they fit. Sometimes you can find one that will crimp as well as (or as bad as) the $18.00 tool, but it is hit and miss.

    If you are only going to do a few power poles, I suggest you check with a nearby Ham club as see if someone with the power ople tool will crimp what you need.

    Also, I have soldered my connections on the power pole clips, but again, if you are not careful, solder will wick up the clip and get on the contact surface.

    Any way you twist it, Power Pole seems to have a corner on the crimping tool market for their products.
     
  4. AC0FP

    AC0FP Ham Member QRZ Page

    The ring lug connectors I've installed are always first crimped then soldered.

    73,

    fp :)
     
  5. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The Anderson connectors are intended to be crimped. Standard electrical crimpers do not work. You have three choices:

    - Anderson ratchet crimpers, about $200

    - Pliers type crimper, around $10 (last I knew) You can get bye with these, they aren't always consistent and can bend the terminal making it hard to get into the shell.

    - West Mountain Radio ratchet crimper, about $40 Does a great job, consistent tight crimps. Can accept other inexpensive crimping dies.

    Good sources are Powerwerks, and West Mountain Radio.
     
  6. W7FAL

    W7FAL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I just made up some Powerpoles for my TM733. I used my Molex crimping pliers to set the lug and the soldered, turned out fine!
     
  7. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I used the Klein Tools Journeyman J1005 crimp tool (~ $30)
    for non-insulated and insulated terminals,
    http://www.kleintools.com/Klein-Tools-Literature/CATALOG-SUPPLEMENTS/J1005-CrimpTool_Supplement.pdf
    Klein Tools - Journeyman series catalog
    http://www.kleintools.com/ToolCatalog/PDFs/02_Journeyman_Series.pdf

    It is the professional version of this tool:
    PP15/30 Powerpole Crimping Tool for 15 & 30 Amp for $13
    http://www.powerwerx.com/tools-meters/powerpole-crimping-tool-15-30-amp.html

    When I had several to do, I eventually upgraded to the $40 racket style PWRcrimp tool.
    Sold by West Mountain Radio and Powerwerx.
    http://www.westmountainradio.com/PWRcrimp.htm

    Easier on hands when doing hundreds --
    and provides repeatable pressure level to the crimp terminal (not subject to hand fatigue).

    Powerwerx web site -- EVERYTHING you could possibly need for DC Power.
    http://www.powerwerx.com/

    w9gb
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
  8. AC0FP

    AC0FP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks GB, I have a ratcheting power crimp tool that looks similar to the one in your link and its die has the red, blue, and yellow dots on it. Maybe it will work after all.

    73,

    fp
     
  9. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    The "dots" are for the standardized color used on insulated wire terminals.
    Each color designates a specific AWG.

    That can work with a bit of experimentation.

    IF the DIE in your tool is attached with Socket/Allen/Hex screws (and not riveted) .. then you could get the proper PowerPole DIE for that tool (and change out).

    Brooke Clarke, N6GCE -- Close-up photos of Powerpole connectors and tooling
    http://www.prc68.com/I/PowerPole.shtml

    w9gb
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  10. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I use the pliers type crimper West Mountain used to sell. I see they have a $39 one now. I think any decent crimper can be used, if you know how the thing is supposed to look when you're done. Yes, I've wasted more than a couple of the connectors learning how to do them. I don't consider the connectors to be really easy to assemble, but once you have them assembled, they work great.

    I always have a very small screwdriver standing by to help push the metal pin into the connector body. This is needed with smaller gauge wire. They sell a tool for taking them apart, and I've never seen one. If I bugger one up, I pitch it - they aren't that expensive.

    As for soldering them - I don't believe in using solder in high current applications. Heat can build up on the pins in the connector, as a result of small resistances between the connector blades. Over time, this can create enough heat to melt the solder you've put in the connector. Now, you have a fire and molten solder dripping someplace you don't want it. I'd prefer to limit the damage to fire. If the connection is properly crimped, you should be able to chin yourself with it, and it will last forever.

    I've seen this thermal runaway condition in mobile radio installations of mine, and I've also seen it literally burn up huge logic gates in computer systems when the thermal protection failed.
     
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