RAYNET has recommended standardised power connections
for many years to ensure equipment interoperability when different
groups ( or members of groups ) are brought together responding to an
emergency. The original RAYNET 'standard power connector' has served
the organisation well but as equipment demands and operational
requirements change, a 'one size fits all' approach is no longer
For this reason RAYNET now has two 'standard power
connectors', each having its own strengths and weaknesses but
reflecting the demands of groups in the 21st Century.
The original RAYNET standard power connector is based
inch male and female spade connectors and is good for 15-20 amps
depending upon quality of purchased connector, so will work
with most amateur equipment.
For requirements in excess of 15A the use of the
Anderson Powerpole connector is recommended. This connector is a
genderless design so there is less 'wastage' since the connectors can
be used for both supply and demand connections. The assembly may be a
little more involved and there is the possiblity of assembling the
connectors incorrectly, though the coloured shells should make such a
problem easy to spot beforehand.
There are a range of components which comprise the
Powerpole range which can accomodate currents from 15 to 45 Amperes.
For clarity, the requirements for RAYNET use are the 'Powerpole 30'
connector sets, comprising one red and one black housing and two 30A
contacts. These connectors will accept wire sizes in the range 1.3 to
3.3mm which should meet all present requirements.
Both connectors can be assembled by
crimping , so with the correct tools may be
easily assembled in the field without the need for soldering equipment.
Also, since both have open plastic shells, should water get
inside the housing it
will dry off quickly and the water can be shaken out.
Some early adopters of the Powerpole connector have
commented that the force required to disconnect a powerpole set is far
less than that required to pull apart an 'original' standard connector.
This may be seen as both a blessing and a curse but is easily
resolvable. Where a Powerpole connector requires to remain connected in
a high vibration environment for example, it is possible to loop a
plastic ty-wrap between the wires of the plugs and secure it along the
axis, to separate the plugs then requires a pair of cutters.
Alternatively, some Powerpole retailers now stock "Blok-Loc clamps'
which are a plastic accessory to clip a plug set together
The original connector remains available in bags of 10 pairs
and female) from RAYNET national supplies while the Anderson Powerpole
are available from Amateur Radio Retailers, Radio Spares and Torberry
The original RAYNET standard power connectors are always
wired up as follows.
is the top "cross" of the T shape
is the vertical part of the T shape
Male is always the equipment side.
The Anderson Powerpoles are always
wired according to the ARRL convention. There are many sources of
assembly instructions and graphics for this type of connector such as
those available from;
Female is always the live (battery / PSU)
West Mountain Radio
.. and detailed instructions on the connectors in general can be
obtained from the UK Importers, Torberry
While not as easy to describe in words, the Powerpoles should be
assembled so that when viewed from the open end with contacts at the
RED shell is on the LEFT,
with the BLACK on the RIGHT.