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Powerpole assembly


Well OK, maybe I unintentionally exaggerated a little. But personally, I would still use a blow torch and a large pot of flux to solder these thick wires rather than a soldering iron. Also, connectors can be heated up very hot before the wire is stuck into them. When you solder wire to wire, which I did, the heat is conducted away from the splice very quickly. That heat could be conducted into the battery, which may not be very good for the cells. I only meant to suggest that crimps have their advantages.


I echo Geralds comments but was told to not solder them but i bought the crimper. Best investment I made

Also I made up a fuse holder with the poles on it and i can insert it wherever i need it. i.e the zippy batteries


I used a 40 watt iron Matt as my 18 watt one wouldn’t get the joint up to temperature. I must admit to having developed an aversion to crimped joints as I have had several professionally prepared cables go open circuit. Obviously “professional” does not guarantee reliability.


Obviously they weren’t very professionally crimped.

From my days back in medical and defense electronics, when I worked where real stuff you could touch was made unlike now where people pay millions for lots of 1’s and 0’s, the two biggest improvements in improving reliability were replacing soldered connections with crimps where possible and rigorous application of the ESD protection protocols during assembly and service. The crimping was done with some seriously highend crimping machines using wires correctly prepared. Infant mortality fails in looms dropped and as the assembly girls got into the swing of things, faults in looms disappeared apart from where soldered connections were made. They got bonus payments for have very low defect rates and so would reject and redo any crimp they didn’t like. Not all professionals are professional about this and will let dodgy stuff out if they don’t think it will come back and cost them.

But, you have to use the correct cable and crimps and prepare it all properly otherwise you wont see any of the improvements. Or… a ham fisted goon, who you wouldn’t let service your wheelbarrow, can probably make a badly soldered connection that will be better than crimped connection. Most of us do not have access to decent crimping tools and are probably better soldering instead.

The other thing is good soldering irons are not cheap. For occasional soldering, some of the cheap irons are OK but one of the best investments I made was buying a Weller TCP iron and stand, not cheap now. Being 45W, it has the “oomph” to do bigger jobs but being temperature controlled it doesn’t reach fusion temperature.

I have a 1977 vintage Antex X25 25W mains iron and a 12V 25W iron for field repairs on SOTA gear. I doubt either have the guts to solder chunky cable to power poles TBH.


I’ve got an old 100W Henley iron but after three generations of use the copper bit is getting a bit short so I reserve it for when I need the “oomph”…

I’ve got a special iron I use for temperature controlled work - you take it off the gas ring when it’s hot enough :wink:


Well it’s nice to resurrect an old thread. I saw a video on you tube showing how you can enlarge the 30A contacts so that the 10 gauge wires fit in them; saves ordering the 45A contacts. As per my original post, some form of pusher can be a bigger benefit than a crimp tool, at least for the silicone cables. Interestingly, the 4200 mAh LiFePO is not really holding its charge at the moment. Hopefully that will change with a few cycles.


Hi Matt,

LiPo/LiFeP04 batteries don’t improve with cycling - if you’re not getting the rated capacity you should be looking for an issue, either with the charger or the battery itself…

73 de Paul G4MD


Another PPP (PowerPole Project) I just finished this weekend.

My KX3 may run a bit hot when I operate at 15W continously, while sitting in the sun, so I carry a little fan (smaller than adding a heatsink to the KX3, and I can leave the fan at home if I don’t need it, like in winter).

Now my batteries have only one PP output, so I made this little “splitter” gizmo … at the same time adding a linear 5V regulator (no RF noise !).
I need 5V for charging my phone or digimode tablet, running a WSPRLite, my KX3 memory controller or Arduino text reader, and what else I may invent that runs on 5V.
I do have two USB outputs (old PC motherboard connector at the right in the picture).
Total current is limited to 1A, so of course, I won’t be able to use all accessories at the same time, but it saves me carrying a seperate powerbank for all that 5V stuff.

One of the outputs is direct through, this one is for the KX3.
The other one is switched, so I can use the fan if needed without fiddling with PP connectors in the middle of an activation. Could also be used to switch an external amp or transverter ON or OFF.

Clever people will notice there are no fuses inside, but rest assured, I have fuses on all of my my battery packs, and then … no fuse means I never will have to replace one … hi.
I closed the box with superglue … so it is not meant to be opened again,

The box used to house an external phone modem for a laptop, and measures only 9 x 3 x 2.5 cm

Now back to packing my suitcase for Gran Canariaaaa !


A homebrew tarp for a sunny day

I forgot to tell how much it weighs … I’m sure Ignacio, EA2BD will want to know ! :wink:
It is exactly … 56 grams !


The only power pole connections I’ve had trouble with were the ones I soldered.

Solder runs down those wires and the terminals like water runs down a drainpipe.

The thick wires on the 4.2 and 8.4 ah batteries can be split into two groups of wires and a connector put onto each wire group. Then you get a double adaptor always on the battery. Add heat shrink at appropriate places of course.

Having solder inside the last few cm of the wire makes it brittle instead of being flexible. This is an appointment with a failure and possibly worse.

The crimping jaws can be purchased alone and then you can use them in the tool you also use for other crimping processes.

Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH


I have used many power poles, I have both soldered and crimped them without any failures so far. I got the crimp tool from SotaBeams.

Stewart G0LGS


I always crimp them with correct crimping tool then fill the back of them with hot glue and that holds the wires very firm then finish off with heat shrink, I have never had one fail, every connection in my shack has power poles fitted and that makes changing things around simple.

Tony - G7OEM