ARES Power Connector

NC Section ARES and Wake County ARES have adopted a new “Standard Power Connector.”

powerpole The connector is the 30 amp Anderson PowerPole, which has been adopted by many ARES groups nationwide. The connector has many advantages:

  • high current capacity,
  • compatability with higher and lower current rated PowerPole connectors,
  • polarized yet “genderless” construction.

The primary reason for a common ARES connector is that it will allow ARES members to connect their radios to any power source in an emergency situation (a fellow ARES member’s vehicle or home station, a shelter, fire station or hospital with an ARES power supply, etc). If you don’t want to change out all your existing connectors, you should at least build a jumper cord to adapt from your connector to the PowerPole.

More Info on Anderson PowerPole Connectors:

Basically this is a 30 Amp connector which is genderless; that is to say that there is no “male” or “female” form and while maintaining DC polarity, any 30A Powerpole connector will mate with any other similar Powerpole connector. This means that extension cables have the same connector type at each end and “anything plugs anywhere” (DC polarity is maintained). Internal terminals are silver plated and the recommended plastic housing can accept a range of terminals, rated by current capacity (15 to 45 Amps), which can mate with each other (current carrying capacity of such a connection is, of course, limited by the smaller of the two mating terminals).

The connectors are simple to install; the terminals may be crimped or soldered and the components snap together. Several manufacturers offer inexpensive and readily available crimping tools that are suitable for us with this connector, including Gardner, Klein and Harbor Freight.

This connector is available from a number of sources, including traditional distributors such as Newark Electronics, etc. and some website resellers such as www.powerwerx.com and www.thewireman.com.

Do I need locking pins?

The red and black connectors slide together to make one set. Users report that they usually slide together snugly enough that you don’t need a locking pin to hold them together. Some sets hold tighter than others, and if you have a large quantity of connectors, you can “mix and match” to get sets that are snug. Or you can just order the cheap locking pins and make sure the connectors will hold, especially in mobile and portable environments.

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