Anderson PowerPole connectors have a unique genderless design, meaning there is no male to female requirement. Therefore, when assembled in pairs this design makes it impossible to insert them the wrong way round. The design also allows any pair to mate with any other pair.
PowerPole connectors are available in different current ratings and colours. The most common connectors used in amateur radio are the red and black connectors with a current rating of 35 Amps.
Each PowerPole connector is supplied in two parts, the coloured shell and the contact. The shell has small dovetails moulded into each side which allows them to be paired easily. A roll-pin can be used to prevent the shells from sliding apart, but it has been found that using the pin can cause alignment problems. Some people simply use a spot of super glue to hold them in place, although it’s very rarely required as they are a very snug fit.
Assembling PowerPole Connectors
Because the connectors are paired on assembly, it is possible to cross-wire them, especially if the recommended layout is not followed.
Anderson recommend crimping the cables into the connector, while the cable can also be soldered. If the connectors are soldered, be sure to not get any solder onto the contact surfaces.
Once the terminals have been attached to the cable, they are simply pushed into the shells from the rear until the contact “clicks” into place. For smaller gauge cables a small screwdriver may be required to push the contact fully home.
To enable the connection of multiple pieces of equipment at once, it is possible to build a multi-way block. This is similar to the multi-way mains adapter blocks that can be purchased.
For those with less able engineering skills, SotaBeams produce easy to assemble kits or ready built units. Ready built units are also available from other ham radio suppliers.
Personally, I have installed PowerPole connectors on all the 12v equipment I use for portable operating, as well as some in the shack for maximum compatibility.