Genuine RiG Runners
Last February I reviewed my Pegasus Power Box Advanced (PPBA) power distribution and USB hub which I have been using for more than two years www.californiaskys.com/blog/archives/02-2022. While I like the PPBA and will continue using it, there are cheaper and simpler options available for those who only want a simple device. I am speaking of the RigRunner which is widely used in the Ham Radio hobby as a power hub. The RigRunner is made right here in the USA by West Mountain Radio in Waukesha, WI. www.westmountainradio.com/rigrunner.php. They make 10 different power distribution hub models with prices ranging from $75 to $180 which is much less than the cost of the cheapest Pegasus Power Box.
While the PPBA has a lot of features including the ability to turn power ports On/Off, an environmental sensor which can automatically turn on and adjust the power level of my dew heater, an internal meter which records voltage, current and power and a software application which allows one to see all of this and control it from a computer, I seldom use any of these features on mine. If you are like me and, if you already have or do not need a USB hub, one of the RigRunner power hubs may be a better choice for you.
igRunners are made of 0.062 gauge aluminum case with a powder coating paint and silk screened labels. A simple circuit board made with 3oz copper, double sided plated through holes and a solder mask over bare copper wire is inside. Models are available with 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 12 outlets to power a variety of devices. Each output comes individually fused. The user has the option to easily change the fuse value since simple ATC/ATO automotive fuses are used and fuses are accessible from the front panel. The DC input is also fused and is user adjustable. Genuine Anderson Power Pole connectors are used for both the power input and outputs. Power Poles allow for secure connections and prevent connecting a device with reversed polarity. Models are available with the outputs configured horizontal to the base of the RigRunner or vertical to meet different user installations. All models are 1.4" in height by 3.0" in depth while the length varies from 4.7" for the 4 outlet model up to 11.75" for the 12 outlet models.
Models are rated at 40A total current, except the 8012 model which is rated at 80A. Any output can provide up to the maximum current as well, but the total cannot exceed 40A, or 80A for model 8012.
In addition to different numbers of outputs, 3 models include 1 or 2 USB charging ports with a maximum of 2A per port. The 4007U model includes several additional features such as:
Other Power Distribution Hubs
Powerwerx sells 4 position and an 8 position simple power distribution hubs where any one position is used for the input. These are made of sturdy ABS plastic with a sealed internal copper bus bar and are rated to 45A total current for all positions total or any single position. They are also made in the USA and also use genuine Anderson Power Pole connectors. The 4 position hub sells for $37 while the 8 position sells for $50. Both hubs are 1.3" high by 0.97" deep. The 4 position model is 2.33" wide while the 8 position model is 3.75" wide.
There are a number of Chinese companies that sell power hubs which appear to be clones of the RigRunner. Examples are the HCDC 8 output model which sells for $72 and the Chunzehui 8 output model for $75. Designs and features appear to be near clones of the RigRunners but they do not use genuine Anderson Power Poles. Instead they use Power Poles which are also Chinese clones of the original. That being said, these appear to be well made and have mostly good reviews.
In summary, if you do not need a combined power and USB hub, and just want simplicity of design and use, something like the RigRunner should be a good option for you.
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