Sometimes you just stumble onto a great piece of equipment. Sometimes you do it completely unaware of you needing that piece of equipment. Sometimes you are pleasantly surprised at the quality of that piece of equipment.
“Yes!” to all three of those when it comes to the West Mountain RIGrunner 4005H.
Over the last year and a half I have been working a whole lot on some great power projects. Correction, sometimes they have been radio projects but those too needed power. Years ago I standardized on Anderson Powerpoles for connecting all things power when it came to my radios. It seemed that every mobile radio I purchased had a different way to connect to a power source. And as you know, I like standardization…a lot.
Why? Because it makes things more inter-operable. And that applies to MOLLE tactical vests and pouches or radio rigs and power supplies. The solution became obvious to me early on that Anderson Powerpoles made the most sense. Especially considering it makes it virtually impossible to cross-polarize your power. I like “dummy-proof” systems!
Using Anderson Powerpoles gives me a solid connection every time and makes it clear when connecting positive to positive and negative to negative. Gone! were the scrambling around to figure out how to connect this or that radio to this or that power. They all had Anderson Powerpoles and naturally connected effortlessly.
To generically distribute power in my Power-Box project I used a simple Powerwerx PD-4 unit. Any one set of the Anderson Powerpoles going in supplies the power, three sets distribute the power to whatever device needs it.
Two drawbacks –
- There are only three outlets for devices to hook to.
- There are no fuses to protect the devices from any power problems.
The West Mountain RIGrunner 4005H solves that problem very easily and rather gracefully. Yeah, I just used the term “gracefully” when talking about electronics. But, I am serious, this sweet little unit just matches that terminology to me. It is simple, clean, effective, efficient, and looks great.
But, notice I have yet to state the mission? Almost criminal on my part based on my long-standing advocacy of always having a mission for any piece of gear or equipment. So here it is –
“A cost effective method of distributing fuse protect 12vDC power to a variety of electronic devices using standard Anderson Powerpoles.”
Once gain, I did my background research pretty well. I looked at available options, their features, and reputation. It was clear from the get-go that the RIGrunner was the choice. This is the second product I’ve purchased from West Mountain Radio. I purchased the PWRgate PG40S Auto-Switch previously so I had a good feel for the overall quality of West Mountain Radio products. West Mountain didn’t disappoint me.
Let’s look at some information directly from their website…
Manufacturer Description –
RIGrunner is the most convenient and safest way to connect all of your DC equipment to a power source. It uses the excellent Anderson Powerpole® connectors, standardizing all of your DC connections. This RIGrunner can deliver up to 40 amps total through 5 outlets and is available with side mounted Powerpole® connectors. Side mounted connectors enable horizontal mounting. Works equally well for 6V, 12V, 24V and 48V systems. Operates at 40 amp continuous duty with 5 outlets in operation.
Overall Dimensions (maximum, w/o cables): 1.4″ H x 7″ W x 3.0″ D
Weight: 6 3/4 oz.
Voltage: Positive up to 48 VDC
Maximum total current: 40 amps
Maximum single individual outlet current: 40 amps (fuse protected)
So, since the real meat of this unit is on the inside…naturally I had to open it up.
- The case is solid and of a sufficient weight tp protect the sides from damage under any reasonable conditions.
- Two screws hold the case in place and can be easily removed to access the inside.
- Once inside the first thing I noticed was the quality look to the board. By quality I mean the board was clean, obviously well made, and the solder was first rate.
- I started poking around at the various components and they were all tight and securely soldered to the board.
- The Anderson Powerpoles themselves were tight and solidly connected to the board.
And then I noticed this…
The folks at West Mountain put there actual call signs on the board to show who it was made by. Now, that may not be a big thing to you, but to me knowing that Hammers were behind the design and manufacture of this unit just gave me a sense that it was done right by people who know.
The unit was easy to put back together and gave me that quality “feel” once again. This unit is made for real-life field operations.
So, was there anything that could be better about this unit? You know…the “Cons” side of things. Yes, two –
- The unit is not weather proof, not even weather resistant. This unit must be installed where it is protected from the elements. Rain, dust, snow, etc. can easily enter the case and reach the board. I suppose you could silicone seal around the blade fuses and the Anderson Powerpoles to make is almost weather tight. Sothat is somethign to take into consideration. My applications do not require “weather-proof” or “weather-resistant” ratings.
- Let me show you how picky I can be. The power outlets are clearly marked “1” – “5” with no problem correlating the fuse to the outlet. But, then I noticed the “DCIN” label. I was not really paying attention and trying to figure out what “DCIN” meant. About a second later, and a darkening red face, I realized that was the DC power inlet fuse. Yeah, sorry, mini-brian fart on my part. So I would rather see “DC IN” vs. “DCIN” and yes, I know it is extremely picky.
Occasional Issue –
I never have experienced this myself but I did read where a couple of folks made the comment that on rare occasion that the Anderson Powerpoles separated from the unit. Not the ones mounted to the board, but the Powerpole (from the cable) plugged into the unit’s Powerpole came apart. I tried like heck to get mine to separate by pulling on them and no success. OK, well that isn’t entirely true. They did separate but only as designed after apply considerable separating force to do so.
However, I wanted to make sure I included a “fix” just in case you might worry about that occurring in your set-up. So step-by-step…
Now, if you were still really worried about (i.e. obsessed) the connection you could put a spot of SuperGlue on the retention clip. That would hold those puppies together through anything! Alternatively, you could wrap a piece of electrical tape around the retention clip a couple of times and that would hold the clip in-place as well. Problem (if there ever was one) solved!
This is a great piece of equipment that functions flawlessly. On top of all that, it is solid, and will do the job for you. This product is an unquestioned
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