Portable Power Pole solution with a fuse

A bit of random DIY for a sunday and it involves hot glue, so it must be good.

Being a fan of Anderson Power Pole connectors along with a chunk of the amateur radio fraternity I’ve chopped the fuses and other gubbins from the power leads on most of the equipment I own that uses 13.8V and simply terminated them with a pair of standard power poles.

The trick once fuse-less is to use one of the dandy fused power distribution boards. RigRunners being the most common commercial option, although I’ve made my own because, well, ummm. Not sure why.

Although my DIY power pole distribution units are smaller than the commercial option they are still quite bulky to lug around when operating portable.

While looking around the web for ideas on more compact options I found a couple of commercial ones that were small with no fuse but that’s not really what I was aiming for given that I’ve viciously hacked the fuses off all my rig power leads.

A side note on working portable and the risks therein; you can get quite a bit more fault current from a sealed lead acid battery or Lithium based pack than most regulated power supplies you’ll use in the shack.

It wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect 100 amps for not very long from a modern LiPo pack for example, and that’d do quite a bit of damage to the wiring at least, and possibly whatever it was that shorted the pack out. Best off you have a ten cent fuse in the line somewhere, which will undoubtedly stay perfectly intact as your $1,000.00 HF rig catches fire.

With a pretty clear plan in mind I went off out to the shed and cleared a space about the right size for a small project on the bench which is no small feat in itself due to the piles of assorted junk lying around from a number of other unfinished diversions.

I had a quick rummage through the bits boxes and came up for breath with three pairs of power poles, some suitable wire and a standard in line automotive fuse holder. Enough bits of a handy-dandy two-output, single fuse adaptor doofer.

I trimmed the ends of the fuse holder a little, soldered some of the decent sized stranded copper into the power poles, mixed over a low head and came up with what’s in the photos below…

Once all wired up I was planning an elaborate machined affair from billet aluminium with hidden fasteners right up until the hot glue gun caught my eye and the utility of running plastic goop entirely replaced the intent.

The end result works well, and will take up half the space of my equally home-brew four port unit I’ve been using portable up till now.