Common Ground

The KC7SHN Anderson Powerpole® Connector Page


Why this page
The Anderson Powerpole®
Powerpole® Assembly
Positive / Negative Housing Standards
Switched Auto Wiring
Wiring Harnesses
Additional Connections
Part Numbers
Contact Me

Why this page

I have been looking for a power connector to standardize on for quite some time. For whatever reason, I never liked the Molex connectors and hadn't been able to find anything else. I was about to give in and wire everything for Molex when I stumbled on a web page that explained the Powerpole® or A.R.E.S. connector. Eureka!

The Anderson Powerpole ®

The Anderson Powerpoles,® also knows as A.R.E.S. connectors, are "identical, interchangeable, genderless interconnects [that] ensures short assembly cycle times, a simple-bill-of-materials, minimized work-in-progress and low inventory parts count." (Anderson Power Products Catalog) With the Anderson Powerpole® design, you simply have the connector and the contact. Nothing else. The connectors slide together to make compound plugs and the contacts are available in different ratings to accommodate different wire sizes, but the housing stays the same!

A detailed drawing of the 15-45 AMP housings from Anderson (In PDF format 260KB)

Powerpole® Assembly

Here is an excellent file from Anderson Power Products on assembly (In PDF format 552KB)
(This has lot's of great information on assembly, part numbers, how to remove the contacts from the housing)

To sum up what has worked well for me:

Read the above PDF file.
Strip about 8mm from the end of the wire.
Place the contact, pointing down, in the bottom clamp of a third hand type device (19KB).
Use the other clamp, at the top to support the wire with the striped section in the contact (If you are using zip wire, you will want to pay attention to which side the positive wire is on, explained in more detail below).
Heat the contact and let the solder flow in from the top (where the wire goes in).
Be careful not to let the solder wick up the wire and make it stiff and that solder has not covered the contact area.
To put the contact/wire assembly into the housing, simply slide the contact (seam side up) into the housing (hood side up). You may need to use something to push the connector all the way in, especially with smaller gauge wire. When it is seated properly, you should hear a "click". Give the connector a tug to make sure the contact is seated correctly.

Now that you have a few connectors put together we need to slide a red and black housing together to make a power connection:

Positive / Negative Housing Standards

Well, you knew that it really couldn't be this good and there had to be something wrong with it. Here it is: Not everyone is putting to connectors together the same way, so for some people the positive is on the left and some it is on the right. I am going to show what I believe is the most common setup up, and explain who is doing it differently. If you have any thoughts on the subject, please email me, I have found no information that might make one way the "right" way.

As you are looking at the connectors, with the contact facing up and the hood on top, the red connector should be on the right. To further explain, the black connector should slide on to the red connector.

Anderson Powerpole Drawing

If you are in California, they have standardized with red on the left and black on the right. Apparently, the California Office of Emergency Services (OES) has dictated which way they are hooked up. Here is a link to OCRACES where I originally found the information on the Powerpole® showing the "California" standard.

Switched Auto Wiring

I have wired my car so that I have 12 gauge wire from the battery (65KB) to a switched relay to the radio. I have also added two 18 gauge plugs, one before the switch one after the switch. So I now have 2 plugs in the car one that is switched and one that is always on (36KB).

Relay Block

Here is a page about making the relay block.

Wiring Harnesses

Here is a picture of a power splitter using 12 gauge and 18 gauge wire (17KB). I got some good tips from the Baker to Vegas web site on building the power splitting harness.

Here is a scanned page from Utah County A.R.E.S. that shows how to add an additional plug to your connector (40KB). Remember that when you add a splice to a wire that you need to offset the positive and negative connections, so that if there is wear or abrasion, you still have the insulation of the other wire to protect from a short. Also this scan suggests using super glue to hold the connectors together. While this might be fine, the plugs were designed to take a 1/4 long 3/32 diameter spring tension pin (Anderson part number 110G16) to secure two housings together. These do a great job of locking the positive and negative plug together, but will still allow you to make changes in the future.

Additional Connections

There are some obvious additional connectors you might find useful:

Here is a picture of cigarette lighter adapters and a fuse block (27KB).

Part Numbers

Part Number Manufacture Description Notes
1327 Anderson Power Products 15-45 AMP Housing - Red  
1327G6 Anderson Power Products 15-45 AMP Housing - Black  
1332 Anderson Power Products 15 AMP Contact 16-18 AWG
1331 Anderson Power Products 30 AMP Contact 12-16 AWG
110G16 Anderson Power Products Retaining Pin 1 High Block Check hardware store
110G17 Anderson Power Products Retaining Pin 2 High Block Check hardware store


Check you local supply house, I get the best price there.

Richard Heryford, WD6ESZ (offers packages at cost for hams)
1175 Baker Street, Bldg. D-13, Apt #210
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 851-8176
[email protected]

Wes Allen, K7WWG
2870 S.W. 199th Place
Aloha, OR 97006
(503) 649-3295
[email protected]

Contact Me

Chris Nichols - KC7SHN
[email protected]


My Index Page

Adobe Acrobat Reader (Free) - Needed to view PDF files
Anderson Power Products - Maker of the Anderson Powerpole®
Baker to Vegas Home Page - Lots of good wiring ideas
DC Power - Source for Anderson Powerpoles
California Sites
OCRACES - Powerpole Information
The Carson Valley Radio Club Page - More information on Anderson Powerpoles

If you screw something up because of anything on this page it's not my fault. Remember fuses are your friend.
Powerpole® is a registered mark of Anderson Power Products® which is a registered trade mark of Anderson-Carbolon Group, or something like that.

Page Last Updated: Monday, August 23, 1999

Copyright 1999, Chris Nichols.