Anderson Powerpoles are the gold standard in amateur radio DC power distribution, and they provide connectors stable to 15A, 20A, 30A, 45A, and more current ratings. Grab some red/black low gauge zip cord wire, a crimper, and go. I like to throw in a little bit of heatshrink and other things, so here goes.
You need a tool. Some are better than others. It all depends on how many crimps you need. I don’t need a lot very often, so I got an inexpensive crimper. See those interlocking half-moon grooves and the pair of circular grooves in the mouth of the pliers? Those are the powerpole crimpers. They also work pretty well on other types of crimp type terminals. You put the seam of the crimp terminal over the protruding half-moon, and the back into the recessed one, and press down. Then you close it off in the circular grooves. Let’s move on.
These terminals are great, but they don’t work worth a flip if you don’t have a heavyweight current distribution bus. You can go commercial and get the heavy duty RigRunners and MFJ buses, but those cost money. They’re good, but I had everything on hand I needed to fabricate a bus. I crimped the 30A terminals onto 12 AWG solid core copper wire, and cut down some perfboard to size enough to fit inside the smallest Radio Shack projecct box I could find. I had to drill out the holes that corresponded to the wires, and then I pushed the whole thing flush and wrapped it with a rubber band.
Well, that’s great, but it’s not a circuit. I added positive and negative rails in the form of another 12 AWG wire that I wraped the other leads around and soldered a bead around the joint. I knew I needed to make a cut out of the top of the project box to accommodate the headers.
After some drilling and cutting and sanding, I had a decent opening for the headers. A lot of hot glue was used to make sure there was a sizeable amount of insulation was around the buses and to secure the circuit board. Onward to more crimping!
I needed a spade terminal adapter for my power supply. I was very tired of just screwing down the bare wire, and wanted this to be the input to the bus. I guessed well on the dimensions, and it fit perfectly on the first try.
A trip down to Ham Radio Outlet to get the Powerpole adapters also had me picking up a few other things. After cutting up a 6 pin Molex connector I picked up for a rig, I found a quick target for some more crimping. I pulled the fuse caddy and radio power plug out and got to work.
Overall, everything works out. I’m ashamed to admit how much glue I went through, but it went towards a good cause. I completely ran through my supply of Powerpole connectors, and there’s always bound to be something I could pick up from the radio store again, hihi!
Well, it’s getting late. 73 DE KK4TSJ.