[time-nuts] Anderson PowerPole (was Charles Wenzel GPSDO)

John Ackermann N8UR jra at febo.com
Thu Jun 22 15:09:41 EDT 2017

For what it's worth, I use PowerPoles extensively -- I use them for all 
my 12V distribution on ham gear as well as time-nuts stuff.  One great 
advantage of the genderless design is that you can use extension cables, 
breakout boxes, and other tools to solve lots of problems.

But they do lack as a chassis-mount connector.  I was looking for 
something inexpensive and reliable for 12V power on some rack enclosures 
I was building, and came upon a series of connectors that I really 
liked.  They are Conxall/Switchcraft "Mini-Con-X" series, available in a 
bunch of configurations from 2 to 8 or so pins.  I use a 2-pin version 
with solder-cup connectors that take up to 16 gauge wire.  The chassis 
version mounts in a 0.61 inch hole.

They're not throw-away cheap, but not unreasonable: the chassis 
connector (Conxall/Switchcraft 7382-2PG-300, DigiKey SC2130-ND) is $4.32 
quantity 1, and the matching in-line connector (Conxall/Switchcraft 
6382-2SG-3DC, DigiKey SC1893-ND) is $7.06 quantity 1.  I'm standardizing 
on these for any 12V project that goes into a box.  (If I do anything 
with 24V, I'll probably use a 3 or 4 pin version to avoid mis-plugging 
across the voltages.)


On 06/22/2017 01:45 PM, Brandon Graham wrote:
> Having followed Time nuts for a bit, I guess I'll finally chime in.
> For the PPs, it's like all other things, knowing the goods and bads.  I've
> been using PPs for years, starting with RC Warship Combat (Battleships that
> shoot and sink each other, so lots of interchangeable parts), and have seen
> some of the other hobby connectors in use.  The hermaphroditic nature of
> PPs are useful because you don't have to follow a standard as you can see
> the polarity. Tamiya connectors from RC to Ham radio had a different
> standard of opposite polarity with the same gender, allowing them to be
> connected and blow equipment.  If you are using a lot of PPs (We've gone
> through several hundred at this point) you don't create a mismatch of male
> vs female connectors in your stock.  The double edge is that you can
> connect things that shouldn't be connected if you are not careful.
> The silver plated PPs also hold up better in wet environments.  PPs are
> bulkier than some other hobby connectors, but for a connector that is
> connected and disconnected frequently, the PPs work very well.
> A safety factor the PPs have is that all contacts are covered.  There is no
> exposed metal that could lead to a short. They have a audible and tactile
> click when they are connected.  They can also be oriented in ways to
> prevent plugging different voltages together.  They can also be very useful
> in making large "bus" connectors, but are horribly bulky if something
> smaller would do.
> I'm not always a fan of chassis PPs on equipment (K3), and a short pigtale
> from the equipment or a captive connector like the Molex is preferred to
> then go to PP's. A command strip or other attachment on the equipment with
> the power cable held to prevent disconnecting alleviates unplugging it
> however.
> My experience.
> Brandon
> W0GPR (ex-KB3IGC)
> On Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 11:25 AM, Richard (Rick) Karlquist <
> richard at karlquist.com> wrote:
>> No one has brought up the issue of hermaphrodicity, so
>> I will.  Only PP's are hermaphroditic.  Why does this
>> matter?  It matters in the case of a battery.  A battery
>> is both a power source and a power sink.  In the PP
>> system, you can make a 3 way connection between a
>> power source, a power sink, and a battery, where
>> the battery float charges on the 12V bus it is connected
>> to.  Non-hermaphroditic connector schemes do not allow
>> a 3 way connection.  Attempting to do a work around
>> would require fabricating a special 3 way harness,
>> which would not be idiot proof.
>> This is the fundamental reason for using PP's.
>> If you never use batteries, then all the other
>> gendered connector schemes are fair game.
>> As far as connectors pulling out is concerned:
>> use a cable clamp to strain relieve the connection.
>> Rick N6RK
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