NEWS on heading in another direction!

The post office delivered my change of direction this week. I’m very excited as this is going to be a 180 degree turn for me. This may sound odd but this box contains something that at times will frustrate me, take me in a direction I have never been before, expand both my  knowledge and skill and I hope as I will be retiring next year keep me amused and occupied for years to come. Below is a picture  the weller soldering iron preping some cable with Anderson power pole connectors........hmmmmm how on earth does Anderson power pole connectors fit in with my 180 degree turn?????
Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

30 Responses to “NEWS on heading in another direction!”

  • Harry K7ZOV:

    >>>>>> TOY <<<<<<

    Not sure what you got, but maybe a nice K2 in kit form..

    73 and I am sure it will be fun

    Harry

  • Phil ZL2OWL:

    Could it be…hmmmmm, table top nuclear fusion? Just a wild guess.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Harry, sorry not a K2 as I have already done a few of those.
    73,
    Mike

  • Ron Wright, N9EE:

    Looks like you plan on soldering the PowerPoles. It is better to crimp them for when soldering solder runs up into the wire making it brittle and subject to breaking off. Crimp does not have this issue near as much.

    One can get a crimping tool for PP for about $35 that will crimp the 3 types of pins, 15A, 30A & 45A. And is much quicker.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Phil and thanks for stopping by, the only heat from fusion here is the heat my grey matter has been using up getting the project up and going. But that is part of the challenge I mentioned from the get go. Soon I will have it up and running and a new blog post.
    73,
    Mike

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Ron, sorry to late and yes you are very correct but I have not as of yet dropped the coin for a crimper. I have seen them advertised in QST and CQ but as of yet I have not purchased one.
    73,
    Mike

  • Larry Nixon VE7VJ:

    Isn’t “vague posting” a whupping offense????

  • Dave, WD8CIV:

    That looks like US Postal Service tape on the end of the box. Are you smuggling black market soda pop across the border? (Not that I’ve ever done such a thing.)

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Greetings Larry, vague is the new vogue??
    73,
    Mike

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good morning Dave, yes you are correct there is U.S postal service tape an it is from south of the boarder. Not black market soda pop but running shoes I did not have a chance to scuff up before hitting the boarder so to play it safe I mailed them to myself.
    73,
    Mike
    VE3WDM

  • Lowell NE4EB:

    I solder all my powerpole connectors also. It’s not for everyone but done correctly that is a perfectly good technique.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good afternoon Lowell, I have always soldered the power poles but for the only reason I do it very seldom and for that reason do not want to drop the coin on a crimper.
    73
    Mike
    VE3WDM

  • Harry K7ZOV:

    ME… Power Pole connectors. I crimp then at the crimp I apply a little solder. Just enough to get sucked into the crimp. I wand THE best connection possible to minimize voltage drop and me doing stupid and pulling to hard on the wire and pulling it out… An extra few second for soldering might mean being on the air or not…

    73 Harry

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Harry when I crimp regular crimp connectors I do the same but as for the Anderson power pole I would not use my standard crimper. So because I don’t (at this time) want to dish out the coin for the right crimper I continue to solder…….having said that it does give me some thing to look for at ham fests.
    73 Harry
    Mike

  • Harry K7ZOV:

    Mike,

    I don’t have a expensive one. Would be nice, but being on fixed income limits a lot of things. I don’t know where I got mine. I know it was NOT from MFJ, however this one looks identical to mine. Check it out… It has worked great for me for the past 10+++ yrs ..

    https://www.amazon.com/MFJ-7602-Crimper-Anderson-Power-Poles/dp/B00AR0BRVO/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1530473761&sr=8-7&keywords=anderson+powerpole+crimper

    73 Harry

  • I had only seen the ratchet type crimpers and they were very pricey. I too soon will be on a fixed income and will have to mind my spending. Thanks for the link I checked them out and very reasonable for sure.
    73,
    Mike

  • Lowell NE4EB:

    Harry, a properly crimped connector displaces metal during the crimping operation and results in what the industry calls a ‘gas tight’ connection. This is every bit equal to the electrical connection that soldering provides. If you are using the right dies for the connector, the correct wire size and compressing the join properly, soldering provides no additional benefit.

    That’s not my opinion, it’s NASA’s, who taught me what real soldering is. The only reason I solder the PP connectors is because I know how to do it without compromising the connector and the connection, and I have enough tools around here already.

  • Back to you Harry……….

  • Harry K7ZOV:

    Lowell,

    I worked in the field of electronics for about 40+ yrs. A number of times as a MFG. engineer and we did use “industrial” grade crimping … and yes they do a a outstanding job. When it comes to Anderson Power poles, as far as I am concerned we are talking toys and not real industrial crimping, unless it was done at a factory. Why am I saying such a outrages thing like this? Experiences… Many experiences… of cables that came with used radios I got in trade with power poles added by a owner and not factory put on.

    As Mr. Mike knows I have had more radios in my hands since 2000, then most hams will have in a lifetime. I do a lot of bartering… A WHOLE LOT, thus I have had many radios come to me with power poles added. I have also had quite a few that the wires pulled out since they were NOT crimped correctly. I have also had that happen to me, even when I borrowed the high price version from a friend of mine…

    So can a crimp work as well as a solder… Yes, when done correctly with the right tools. Can a crimp done by a amateur hold up under stain? Yes… when done with the right tools and correctly. However most amateurs done’t do crimping 8 hrs a day 5 days a week at a job, with the right tools, so the chances of it being done correctly is not possible 100% of the time. I have seen quite a few fail, including mine… I will stick with crimping and soldering. I rather put the extra effort in and know for sure that I will not have a problem down the road, then one day have a OOPS day. I have had a soldering iron in my hand since 6th grade and not only do I know how to solder, I taught techs and assemble line people classes in soldering, thus doing a minor soldering to a power pole is something I find extremely simple and it gives me peace of mind….

    Thank you for you comments and reply. You are correct on many points.. You just have to realize that most hams that do a crimp job, even with the right tools, once in a blue moon will not always make them NASA quality.

    73 Harry

  • Lowell NE4EB:

    Harry! What a wonderful reply. I too have worked in electronics for 40+ years. Civilian and military. Did a stint at White Sands Missile Range as an engineering technician and just loved it.

    The NASA reference I made I learned at a military school they designed and wrote the curriculum for. Years later, I was a tech for a Motorola MSS as a senior tech and trainer. Did that for a living for thirteen years.

    You’ve found what works for you and based on what you’ve said above I’ll be the last to tell you you’re wrong.

    I think both of us would just like the less experienced guys reading this to glean a small bit of knowledge where it’s found and make better connections powering their equipment.

    Happy to hear from you my brother in the art,

    Lowell

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Harry and Lowell thank you both for your insight and as for me from both the comments I have gained knowledge! One thing I always want to do in my blog posting is generate conversation and the last 2 post have done just that. Again thanks for the input (and more is always welcome) have a great Sunday evening. Oh and up this way it’s a long weekend and we have Monday off……am I rubbing it in……maybe. Having said that Harry I know for sure is retired so every day is Friday…..:))
    73 all
    “Mr Mike”
    VE3WDM

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good LORD……both Harry and Lowell speak of 40+ year……I have had just a bit over that time on this earth!!! Thanks very much for your insight, experience and most of all your comments for all us young snappers to glean from.
    Mike
    VE3WDM

  • John KU8Q:

    Hey guys. Check out Harbor Freight for a power pole crimper. I’ve had mine so long I forgot where I bought it but, HF comes to mind, and it’s similar to the photo posted earlier.
    73
    John

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good morning John, I have heard the store “Harbor Freight” mentioned a few times on my blog. I looked it up and it seems to be similar to a store up this way call Princess Auto. A jack of all trades store with great prices on lots of things.
    73,
    Mike

  • Dave KJ8U:

    Mike, Lowell and Harry, thanks for the very informative banter. It’s always nice to hear from the experienced guys who’ve been around the block a few times. I have never used PP’s, but the thought always crosses my mind about using them. Especially when making electrical connections.

    I do crimp then solder all my connections, learned that from a friend 30 years ago when I first got licensed. Might be overkill, he mentioned if it’s going to break, it won’t be at the connection points.

    Mike, look forward to the rest of the story. 🙂

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good afternoon Dave thanks very much for chiming in. As for the bog posts more to come.
    73
    Mike

  • Lowell NE4EB:

    Dave, the PP connectors are fairly new to me. I think the first time I saw them was on some replacement 48 volt positive ground switching battery chargers we got at work to replace some really massive (and obsolete) linear units. These weren’t the red and black ones we use, but a molded gray two conductor connector rated at 60 amps/48 volts. About half the size of a pack of cigarettes.

    I looked it over closely because I hadn’t seen this before. Seemed well designed to do what it does.

    Now I’m a believer. I’ve converted all my power supplies and radios to the Anderson connectors. I’ve purposely stressed them electrically to observe the failure modes. They perform far better than the white nylon Molex connectors found on so many pieces of equipment. Of which I’ve had to replace far too many on commercial equipment that committed no sin other than being in use for years.

    I wish the ham equipment manufacturers would embrace this as a standard.

  • Harry K7ZOV:

    Lowell,

    40+ yrs when the world changed with the into of the i4004, i8008, Motorola 6800 and the knock off 6500 as wells as the 8080, 8085 etc. I started off in as a tech at Motorola Semi in Phoenix. Later worked in the IC group designing IC test equipment and at many other companies with many different titles. What I (we) saw is the birth of new technologies that were only is SyFI movies and now are part of our lives.

    40+ yrs. No wonder I am so damn tired…. Also burned out with technology most days also. Glad you made it also.

    73 Harry

  • Dave KJ8U:

    Lowell, you’ve done pushed me over the edge now 😉 Ordered a PP crimp kit. Will be changing all my electrical connections now.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Dave, it’s great to hear that the feedback here has moved you forward toward purchasing a PP crimp kit.
    73,
    Mike

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