Santa Clara County, California

Anderson Powerpole Connectors

Submitted by: Weo Moerner, WN6I AEC Stanford

Here is some information on the Anderson Powerpole connectors. I am providing this in the interest of maximizing the possibility of successful mutual aid throughout the county.

List of ARES groups that have adopted this connector:

Anderson Power Products Web Site:

Technical Data:

Most common size: 30 A
Ratings of the 30 amp pin and body:
600 volts operating
2200 volts stand-off
0.0006 ohms average contact resistance (27 millivolts at 45 amps)
12-16 gauge wire

Details of how to assemble:

Easy way to remember the orientation: "Red on the right, tongues up, away from you." If you use this rule when clamping the black/red wires for soldering, you will be easily able to insert them both into the housings.   The image to the right shows ARES/Races standard orientation for the red and black connectors. Note, this orientation is identical to that shown in QST September 2010, pp. 36-37, and to that shown at, and to that shown at Don't be confused - in the picture on these other sites the connector is rotated 180 degrees. Nevertheless, the wiring configuration is identical to what I show here: "Red on Right, Tongues Up" is identical to "Red on Left, Tongues Down"! It's just that "Red on Right" is easier to remember!

One nice feature of the connector is that it is unisex!  Both supply and load connectors are wired the same way.  This works because the  connector has a handedness, just like your hand.  Your right hand can only shake with another right hand.  This means that connectors from a power supply, a battery, and a radio can all mate without other adapters, so it can be used for battery charging or operating from either power source. Note that in some cases this could allow undesirable connections (that is, you can connect a battery to a battery) so a tiny bit of care is required. But when you want to, you can connect a switching power supply to a battery to charge it! Other than that, it is a wonderful simplification that there is only one type of connector, for either sources or loads.

Supplier I have used: (arrived in 2 days, online ordering, run by a ham, lots of good information).   Another supplier: Since prices may change, I have not listed specific prices here, but you can expect less than $1 per connector in quantity.

Local supplier: Some suppliers sell them at Flea Markets.  I found some at San Antonio Hobby - ask in the RC department for connectors; they are sold under another name. But note that the per-item price is about 3 times the price at Powerwerx. We should ask HRO to carry them in 25 pair packs.

Do you need a special crimping tool? No. But for convenience when assembling many connectors, I use a standard Gardner Bender crimp tool that I had in the shack. Then I solder the connectors, which is very easy since they are silver plated.

One comment: Some people mentioned that they pull apart if you yank too hard. (This is also true of the Molex connectors.) I regard these as often being used for temporary connections, but if you need a more permanent connection, there is a special plastic part ( Blok-Loc-2, see ) that snaps over the powerpole pair, and now your connectors will stay locked together. This locking part fits where the roll pins are supposed to go. I understand that these were available at the Seaside convention for $1. If you just want to make the connection a little more secure, but not firmly locked, then use micro velcro tie-wrap (miniature versions of the rip-tie). I have not needed to do this for hookups in the shack, but the Blok-Loc-2 would be useful for mobile installations under the dashboard.   

By the way, I have no affiliation with Anderson or West Mountain Radio or Powerwerx. I am just trying to save others the time and money I spent trying to find the best.

73, Weo Moerner, WN6I AEC Stanford

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This page was last updated 08/17/10