October 14, 2012

How To: Lock Together Anderson Powerpole Connectors

Anderson Powerpoles are a wonderfully useful invention for radio amateurs.  They are connecting power to more and more amateur radio equipment every day and have become the defacto standard for 12v power connection.  Interestingly, radio manufactures are still catching up on this trend.

When two Anderson Powerpole connectors are connected together they snap together but are not locked.  This allows quick connect / disconnect and works just fine in many situations.  However, there are several situations where locking the connectors together is required.
  • The power cable is subject to movement which could work the connection apart.
  • The power cable with a vertical orientation and connection where gravity could pull the connection apart.
  • The power cable and connection is being pulled during routing which could cause a disconnect.
There are commercially available retention clips to lock Powerpole connectors together.  These cost around $0.60 / clip.  Hams are nothing if not thrifty.  Why buy expensive clips when there is an alternative way to lock together Anderson Powerpole connectors for next to nothing?

The secret is to use a suitably sized wire tie.  Wire ties are cheap, fast, easy, and work perfectly to lock Powerpoles together.

Select a wire tie slim enough to pass through the small holes on the Anderson Powerpole connectors.
Anderson PowerPole connectors and wire tie

Just slip the wire tie through the holes on each Anderson PowerPole. 
Anderson Powerpole connectors locked together with aid of a wire tie

Voila!  The two Anderson Powerpole connectors locked together.  To disconnect just give the wire tie a quick snip with wire cutters.


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