The Littlest Things Matter

Flakey Omni VII power connector

Sorry for the poor photo. I'm not a great photographer. You can see, however, that the high-resistance connection got so hot that it melted and charred the crummy nylon connector.

Yesterday, down at the museum, our TenTec Omni VII started acting flakey. Twice, while Ovide, K8EV, was talking to a guy in Poland, the radio seemed to reset itself. He checked all the connections, but couldn’t find anything obviously loose, and after he signed off, we played around with the radio a little, and nothing weird happened, so we thought nothing more of this.

Today, however, after firing up the rig and calling CQ a few times, the radio just shut itself down. This time, Jim, K8ELR, and I disconnected pretty much all of the cables to the radio and found the problem. See the image at right.

As it turns out, the problem is the crummy nylon power connector TenTec used on the power cord. It looks like it didn’t fit tightly, and after jiggling around back there, for the last year or so, the positive connection turned into a high-resistance connection. So high, in fact, that the heat generated by the high resistance charred and melted the nylon around the pin. A little thing like a nylon connector is responsible for taking down a $3,000 rig.

I’ve sent TenTec an e-mail, asking for suggestions on what I should do now.  I’d like to replace the crummy nylon connectors with PowerPoles, but I’m not sure where to find a PC-mounted PowerPole connector, nor do I know if it will fit in the holes in the Omni VII’s PC board.  It looks like it might, but I’m not sure.

If any of you know where to find PC-mounted PowerPole connectors, please let me know.


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  1. Dean Franks says:

    PowerWerx has the PCB mounting pins for powerpoles. If you are replacing an existing PCB mount connector I don’t think powerpoles will work, they PCB footprint is very long and fairly wide.


    • Dan KB6NU says:

      Thanks for the info, Dean. The contact spacing for the current connector is pretty close to the contact spacing of the Power Pole connector, so it might fit OK. I sent an e-mail to TenTec last night, and I’m waiting to see what they recommend.

  2. Dan KB6NU says:

    Apparently, the TenTec Orion and Jupiter also use this connector, and similar problems occur with these rigs as well. There’s an article on the TenTec Wiki that describes how WC1M discovered this problem during a contest and how he fixed it.

    N2FQ has replaced the nylon connectors on his Jupiter and Orion with Power Poles:

  3. Fernando N2FQ says:

    Those links are now dead. I have move the info to the TenTecWiki.
    Molex to Power Poles



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