Power Pole’ing the shack

rrThe back of my 12V power supply was beginning to reach the saturation point. Not in terms of amps being drawn but of how many more alligator clips could be attached to the + and – terminal bolts to power all the doodads we need to make our stations work.

The autotuner, the lamps in the manual tuner, QRP wattmeter, the Index QRP+ and the odd gadget (WSPR tx, etc) I tinker with from time to time all need 12 volts and my solution for far too long had resulted in an unsightly mess of wires all running to the big Astron.

An order from Powerwerx for the power poles and a RigRunner have provided me with a clean layout that should have been implemented long ago.

I would have ordered a PWRGate for battery backup but already have that in the form of the small APC UPS that feeds the main computer here in the shack. It won’t let me operate on battery backup for very long but the point is to shut things down “nicely” in the event of a power outage.

About the power poles – I botched up the first couple of sets by not crimping properly. The terminals must be oriented in the crimper in such a way as to not crimp an impression onto the “seam side”.

If I had it to do over I would have spent a few extra bucks and bought the ratcheting crimper instead of the one pictured.

Live and learn…





  2 comments for “Power Pole’ing the shack

  1. July 9, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Good idea and great job John. I did this to my shack a couple of years ago. I had heard so many good things about PowerPoles that I gave ‘em a go and haven’t looked back.

    I’m a bit of a cheapskate, so have been soldering the connections instead of buying a crimping tool. In theory, the stress point created by the junction between the flexible wire and the non-flexible part that is tinned increases the failure rate but all is good so far.

    The fusing in the RigRunner has saved a few of my homebrew projects too :-)


  2. July 9, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Dave, it never occurred to me to solder them but that’s probably a better way to go despite the stress point you mentioned, particularly at higher current levels.

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