Introduction: Using Anderson Power Poles for Electronics on a Boat.

I use these for power cables in Amateur Radio and love them. Why not use them to tidy up the boat wiring?

Step 1: UH OH! What Is This?

Here is the problem. I sail on Lake Erie in Ohio. The dang thing freezes in winter being fresh water and in the north where fresh water left outside freezes several months a year. I take my mast down as the marina I use doesn't have a travel lift that will handle a sailboat with the mast up. Cost is one reason I do this as they give a package deal for the season and winter storage.

The wires going up the mast for lighting and the electronics have to be disconnected to unstep (take it down) the mast. In the spring they need reconnected after stepping the mast (putting it back up)

The wires for the lighting had M/F spade connectors and nothing is wrong with that except the color scheme was messed up. The cable in the boat used a different scheme from the cable going up the mast and had masking tape with the colors marked in pencil. Tis is NOT a great idea for a boat as every crevice has the chance of getting wet.

The electronics were color coded. Yay! They were simply twisted together and covered in white vinyl tape. Boo!

Being an Amateur Radio licensee this will never do.

Step 2: Looks Good

Until you open the box.....

Step 3: The Fix

I'm not going into the intricacies of Power Poles. That is another instructable for another day. These are genderless color coded connectors that are usually used in Red and Black as power sources for amateur radio. Power Werkz however has them in a plethora of colors. I wrote down all the colors present and placed an order. I already had the Andy Crimper from West Mountain Radio that makes short work of this.

Step 4:

Step 5: Crimping and Connecting

The wires marked with tape and pencil, several of which had come off anyway were done first and one at a time. I matched color for color as marked and got with it. The crimper makes it quick and easy, a solder joint would work as well. Some folks actually crimp and solder. This is a step too far for me. I'm not a belt and suspenders kinda guy. There was one crappy splice I replaced with a 45 amp power pole tongue. These come in different sizes that al fit the colored housings. I used 15 amp tongues for the rest.

At the end of the season I will simply unplug the wiring and tape it up in a plastic bag to keep it dry.

If you look closely at the connectors in the little box I will need to cut away the plastic on one side to get the connectors out. Oh well I'm always fixing something on the boat

Comments

author
Arandall86 (author)2017-07-27

Excellent idea and very nice job. You should add a couple pictures of Lake Erie (Winter and summer). I miss how pretty it can be, I live down south now. keep up the great instructables.

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Bio: Amateur Radio guy with a 37 foot sailboat on Lake Erie.
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