BoatUS ANGLER: Do-It-Yourself Department
Cutting Power To Power Poles
By Capt. Steve Chaconas - BoatUS ANGLER Pro Staff
Without question, the innovation of the Power Pole Shallow Water Anchors has taken bass fishing by storm! What started as a saltwater flats application has spread to the boat of every professional bass angler! Weekend anglers are also on board with this must-have power accessory.
In a previous DIY, we detailed the ease of Power Pole installation for most do-it-yourselfers. Along the way, an add-on, though not required, might be advisable. Power Pole hydraulic pumps are always on, allowing the anchors to kick into action with a touch of a button, either hard-wired or wireless remote. Accidental deployment might happen if a button were to be activated. While on the water, not such a big deal, but if you accidentally trigger your remote your Power Poles could activate while traveling down the highway. This could cause damage. While incidents are rare, these cases are mostly attributable to operator error. Wearing the remote fob on a lanyard is great while fishing, but with a seat belt accidentally applying enough pressure, the anchors will deploy! Even placing the remote in a cup holder or in a pocket can trigger the system. In addition, the pumps are always running a very small current draw. Not an issue if you frequently charge your batteries with a quality smart charger or if you use your boat frequently. However, if your boat sits idle for periods of time, don’t be surprised to find your batteries drained! A simple cut-off switch can be installed at any time. Preferably while installing the new Power Poles. But, the switch can easily be added after installation as well.
A few supplies are required. Get a decent quality metal switch! Ones with a plastic toggle will break eventually and aren’t worth the effort. I also prefer screw down connectors on the switch. This way I don’t have to add blades to my wires. I use some Loctite on the screws and some tape to help keep everything tight!
You'll need two Solderless crimp-style wire connectors, either blade or round style terminals, electrical tape, and some 12-strand wire. For tools: a connector crimp tool, wire cutters and stripper, and a heat source for heat shrink tubing. To get the right sizes, just match them up while you are at the store. Keep in mind the wire connectors must be able to accommodate two wires on one end and one wire on the other. The heat shrink tubing must fit over the connector and shrink down to seal the double wire side and tight enough on the single wire side.
Choose a location close to the battery with easy access from above. After all, you will be turning this on and off every time you go out! Drill the hole for the switch. The package for the switch will indicate the size of the drill, or you can just eyeball it and make the hole just big enough to allow the switch to go through.
Measure the wire length required to go from the switch location to the battery. Make it a few inches longer just in case! Add a wire to the “hot” lead on the side of the OFF terminal. This really doesn't matter unless you want it to match up with the ON/OFF plate that comes with the switch. Add a connector that works for your battery. Crimp the connector, with attached heat shrink, and then use a heat source to seal the connection. Add an 18-inch length of wire to the other switch terminal. Use Loctite and tape to hold and cover the connections. Plan ahead for routing of wires before you make all connections.
Take the 2 positive red wires from the Power Pole pumps and insert them into one end of a solderless connector. Crimp this connection. Slide heat shrink tubing over the connector and the two wires. Insert the 18-inch wire from the switch into the connector and crimp. Then use a heat source to seal the connection.
Now mount the switch. Insert from below the surface and slide the mounting nut over the toggle to the switch threads. Tighten. Again a drop of Loctite will help secure this installation. Take the terminal power lead from the switch and attach to the positive battery terminal. Make sure the switch is in the OFF position first! Flip the switch!
The coolest part of the power up with the Power Pole pumps is the digital audio, “Da-da-da-da-da-da! Charge!”, played when the power comes on! The lights on the top of the pumps will flicker showing readiness!
I cut my switch off as soon as I pull my boat from the water! I now feel safe that my Power Poles will not accidentally deploy on the way home! The last thing I do before I launch is to turn the pumps on. This allows me the ability to use my Power Poles as a launching assistant once my boat floats off the trailer. I can retrieve my boat with the attached dock line and move it out of the way for others to use the ramp, without having to affix dock bumpers to my boat as the Power Poles will keep my boat far enough away from any thing that could cause damage.
For about $15 in parts and a few minutes of labor, you can install a “safety” switch for your Power Poles, preventing accidental deployment and unnecessary drain on your batteries.