Wisconsin APRS

Anderson Power Pole Information


For years, hams have used "Molex" connectors as a standard to connect their radios and other equipment to power sources.  The Molex connector had the drawback of being limited to about 10 amps, and were often used well beyond their ratings.

Marathon County ARES and Wisconsin ARES/RACES standardized on the Anderson Power Pole as the standard dc power connector for use by all personnel. This standard, highly reliable connector allows quick and easy installation and substitution of radios, power supplies, batteries, and other equipment.

Either the 15-ampere or 30-ampere sizes may be used, and both sizes mate with each other. The plastic parts are the same for both sizes. The barrel area (which holds the wire) of the 15-ampere silver-plated contact is smaller than that of the 30-ampere contact, but the contact area is the same. The connectors dovetail together as a compact unit.

Housings should be mated according to the diagram above, viewing from the contact side (opposite the wire side), tongue down, hood up, RED on the LEFT, BLACK on the RIGHT. Use a 3/32-inch-diameter roll pin, 1/4 inch long, or a drop of super-glue, to keep the housings from sliding apart.

Highly conductive silver-plated copper contacts allow minimal contact resistance at high currents. Self-wiping action on make and break keeps conducting surfaces clean. Contact dents keep connectors mated in high-vibration applications and provide quick-break, snap action upon disconnect.

Non-corrosive stainless-steel leaf springs maintain constant contact pressure—ideal for frequent connections/disconnections and intermittent overloading. Durable, high impact-resistant, polycarbonate housing with UL94V-2 flammability ratings comes in many colors for circuit trace ability and coding.

Identical connector halves are genderless—making assembly quick and easy and reducing the number of parts stocked. Molded-in dovetails allow for customized harness in a variety of configurations. When the connectors are disconnected, no metal parts are exposed.

The 15-ampere contacts are designed for 16-20 AWG wire and the 30-ampere contacts are designed for 12-16 AWG wire. The contacts can be soldered or crimped to wires. An expensive crimping tool (#1367G1) is available from Anderson. Other, less expensive, crimping tools are available from other suppliers. After a contact has been attached to a wire, it should be installed into the housing so that the housing spring mates with the underside of the contact.

To remove a contact from the housing, use Anderson insertion/extraction tool #111038G2. You may also substitute a very small blade (jeweler's screwdriver or X-acto knife) to depress the spring, allowing the contact to be removed.

Here are the Anderson part numbers:

15 A

Complete Connector

Housing Only

Contact Only

30 A

Complete Connector

Housing Only

Contact Only


Cut-away Detail of Connector


Our Suggestion: Keeping everything together but also still field serviceable.
Not to say the roller pin is a bad idea.  In doing some research and comparisons we have read some concerns from other States ARES/RACES Groups over the possibility of the roller pin falling out and into the transceiver or other equipment causing damage.  A commonly suggested solution is a drop of superglue on the roller pin to help prevent this.  Cementing the connectors creates another issue, because there is still some controversy as to standards of “red plug on the left side or right”, from different Emergency Communications Groups.   Still some inconsistency…  In our minds a wire tie seems to be an easy safe and cheap alternative if the need ever arises to swap positions.


From time to time, members of the WVRA put together group orders for Anderson Poles, so if you want to order some, you can order them with a group from the club to get a better price, or you can get them from one of the places below.

Sources of Anderson Power Poles:

Allied Electronics
Phone: 800-433-5700
Parts #803-0100, 803-0108, 803-0125, 803-0164

Cable X-Perts
416 Diens Drive, Wheeling, IL 60090
Phone: 800-828-3340 (orders only) or (847) 520-3003
Fax: (847) 520-3444

D&L Antenna Supply Co.
3410 Gibbs Rd, Kansas City, KS 66106-3308
Phone: 800-965-8880 (orders only) or (913) 677-8674
Fax: 800-219-9392 (orders only) or (913)-677-2648
http://www.wavehunter.com   Power Pole Page 

DC Power
2870 S.W. 199th Place, Aloha, Oregon 97006
Phone: (503) 649-3295

401 S. Harbor Blvd., F-320, La Habra, CA 90631
Phone: (714) 570-3303
Fax: (714) 990-5532
http://www.powerwerx.com   Power Pole Page

West Mountain Radio (Power Poles, RIGrunner power panel, power cords)
18 Sheehan Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06854
Phone: (203) 853-8080
Fax: (203) 299-0232

Anderson Power Products Web Site: http://www.andersonpower.com