The BEST connectors, period

General Discussion about electric vehicles.
larsb   10 MW

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Re: The BEST connectors, period

Post by larsb » May 19 2020 3:33pm

Yes, i know :wink:
I increased power usage for a while without issues, then, strangely, i got issues :mrgreen:

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Re: The BEST connectors, period

Post by john61ct » May 19 2020 6:30pm

SB-350 goes over spec for even a minute or two, use for jumpstarting even big diesel engines

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Re: The BEST connectors, period

Post by amberwolf » May 19 2020 8:55pm

Something people frequently choose to ignore is that while many connectors exist that are used for high currents, and some of them are even *labelled* for that, many of those are not really well-designed for that kind of current, and not really able to take it continuously day in and day out under any usage conditions (especially buried in a cable bundle, inside a device, bag, etc).


If you want more current thru a set of contacts, it requires more actual contact surface area to do that, with good and even pressure across the entire contact surface, to minimize contact resistance.


This is one of the problems with various barrel connectors--they may have a large surface area, but little of it may actually in full contact with the mating plug's contact surface, if both barrel and plug are not perfectly concentric and exactly the same mating diameters along their entire length. If either has splits along it then the sections will press apart from each other, causing no connection except at whichever ring-shaped areas at the end(s) still touch. Same with other designs that use springs for contact (similar to banana plugs)--only the area along the springs that touches the barrel will pass current.


Andersons and other flat-contact connectors also have this issue, but it's generally easier to make larger surface area contact alignment with flat surfaces than complex shapes, so most of the time that type can have a lower resistance connection, as long as alignment is correct. Of course, if alignment fails, it can be even worse than a barrel misalignment, as you may only have a single corner / point of contact. :/ This is why Andersons sometimes melt when still being used well within their limits; usually caused by the incoming cables not feeding straight into the housings, and causing twisting forces on the contacts greater than the springs can exert to cancel out and ensure alignment.


Had other stuff to say but had an involuntary nap in the middle of typing and can't remember what it was. :(
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Re: The BEST connectors, period

Post by amberwolf » May 19 2020 9:01pm

larsb wrote:
May 19 2020 3:33pm
I increased power usage for a while without issues, then, strangely, i got issues :mrgreen:
Typically what happens is that the extra heat in high power slowly deforms the plastic of the housings, even just a little bit, loosening hte spring contact slightly. That increases the resistance, which increases the heat, which increases the deformation which increases the resistance, which increases the heat, which increases the deformation which increases the resistance, which increases the heat, which increases the deformation.... :/

You get the idea.

The problem is worse on the non-genuine Anderson connnectors as their plastic is softer than the Anderson ones. (that includes powerwerx, generics, etc etc).
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Re: The BEST connectors, period

Post by john61ct » May 19 2020 10:08pm

I thought Powerwerx were authorized distributors of the original Anderson products?

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Re: The BEST connectors, period

Post by larsb » May 20 2020 12:47am

amberwolf wrote:
May 19 2020 8:55pm
Had other stuff to say but had an involuntary nap in the middle of typing and can't remember what it was. :(
I think you were about to tell me about your favourite lethal voltage power connector :D :D
6C874A64-99BB-4E91-95BC-15BF844C0B88.jpeg
6C874A64-99BB-4E91-95BC-15BF844C0B88.jpeg (63.9 KiB) Viewed 1255 times

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Re: The BEST connectors, period

Post by amberwolf » May 20 2020 1:09am

john61ct wrote:
May 19 2020 10:08pm
I thought Powerwerx were authorized distributors of the original Anderson products?

Not everything I've ever gotten that's labelled as from Powerwerx (which didn't all come directly from them--some were sent to me by other people, so I don't have certainty that they actually came from Powerwerx) looks the same (some of the housings vary significantly in color shade and translucency, and hardness, which doesn't happen on the stuff I know for sure is Anderson), so I don't think Anderson is the only source of their products. That means I couldn't guarantee that *any* connector housing from them is genuine.

If the "odd" ones I've seen are not actually from Powerwerx, then perhaps everythign they have is genuine. I don't have any way of knowing, though (and I don't typically just trust what a website says; too often they are just wrong from mistakes, or because suppliers were changed but nobody told the webmaster, or the site just plain lies; you can never really know which).
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Re: The BEST connectors, period

Post by amberwolf » May 20 2020 2:55am

larsb wrote:
May 20 2020 12:47am

I think you were about to tell me about your favourite lethal voltage power connector :D :D
I think this one is pretty good.
Image

But this is my favorite connector, becuase it smells so good :roll: while it's conducting.
Image
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Re: The BEST connectors, period

Post by larsb » May 20 2020 2:59am

Ugh! Now that's nasty.

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Re: The BEST connectors, period

Post by john61ct » May 20 2020 8:09am

needs a TW fo sure

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Re: The BEST connectors, period

Post by motomech » May 20 2020 9:58am

For the main power wires, it's depends on the system Voltage. Under 50 Volts or so, simple 6 MM bullets work well. They are easy to install and replace.
For everything else, I prefer the Turnigy JST's w/ real silicone wires.
Or whatever else I have in my junk box:)
'11 Motobecane Fathom team, Bafang SWX02-11T, 14S (54V) LiPoly, PSW Power 9-FET 17A controller. Schwalbe Marathon's, 24 to 25 MPH.

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Re: The BEST connectors, period

Post by john61ct » May 20 2020 1:11pm

ampacity matters even more than voltage

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Re: The BEST connectors, period

Post by Gizmosis350k » May 20 2020 7:42pm

amberwolf wrote:
May 19 2020 9:01pm
larsb wrote:
May 19 2020 3:33pm
I increased power usage for a while without issues, then, strangely, i got issues :mrgreen:
Typically what happens is that the extra heat in high power slowly deforms the plastic of the housings, even just a little bit, loosening hte spring contact slightly. That increases the resistance, which increases the heat, which increases the deformation which increases the resistance, which increases the heat, which increases the deformation which increases the resistance, which increases the heat, which increases the deformation..That increases the resistance, which increases the heat, which increases the deformation which increases the resistance, which increases the heat, which increases the deformation which increases the resistance, which increases the heat, which increases the deformation..That increases the resistance, which increases the heat, which increases the deformation which increases the resistance, which increases the heat, which increases the deformation which increases the resistance, which increases the heat, which increases the deformation..
:flame:

I just want good waterproof stuff for 30-60a BBSHD. Why the BAC800 is rated for 96a is beyond me(at).

Why a ebiker would need 200a even at 3.7v makes no sense whatsoever.

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Re: The BEST connectors, period

Post by amberwolf » May 20 2020 9:41pm

Gizmosis350k wrote:
May 20 2020 7:42pm
Why a ebiker would need 200a even at 3.7v makes no sense whatsoever.
FWIW, 200 * 3.7v would only be a little over 600w, which isn't much.


As for power levels, it depends on your needs.

For instance, a cargo bike or trike that needs to haul heavy loads (hundreds of pounds) up hills, or accelerate quickly in traffic with such a load (even if the max speed is only 20MPH), 200A could actually be insufficient, even for battery current (and several times that may be used on phase currents in the motor itself).

The average ebike probably doesn't need more than 10-20A battery current, but it might still see up to 60-80A phase currents at peak, depending on hte load and hte motor type it uses.
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Re: The BEST connectors, period

Post by markz » May 20 2020 10:54pm

Gizmosis350k wrote:
May 20 2020 7:42pm
I just want good waterproof stuff for 30-60a BBSHD. Why the BAC800 is rated for 96a is beyond me(at).
Why a ebiker would need 200a even at 3.7v makes no sense whatsoever.
Having a small connector, water proof capable of 80-100A would be good.
The Powerpole 75's would do but not waterproof, same with the go to XT60 or XT90, then theres the "HV" bullet connectors from Hobbyking, all decently sized, can handle the current but not waterproof.

Maybe look through Mouser's selection, or find milspec or german. Some of the automotive connectors may suit your needs of waterproof, but fall well short on the amperage rating. The RV and Solar markets is an option to look at.

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Re: The BEST connectors, period

Post by john61ct » May 21 2020 4:50am

Why focus on truly waterproof?

Unless you are literally submerging in seawater, fresh water is hardly conductive and splashes don't matter.

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Re: The BEST connectors, period

Post by nicobie » May 21 2020 2:38pm

Whenever I am concerned about water getting in I just apply a liberal coat of Vaseline or silicone grease. WD40 is a water displacement and does a pretty good job of protecting stuff too.
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Re: The BEST connectors, period

Post by markz » May 21 2020 3:15pm

I use duct tape or electrical tape to get water resistance

Also grabbing a piece of garbage bag from a public garbage can and cover the controller which I've done a handful of times. But if you are in a more rainy climate like say hmmm Vancouver then I dont know how they deal with it. Just electrical tape, a bag and fenders for the puddle action.

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Re: The BEST connectors, period

Post by Smoke » May 21 2020 5:20pm

Anderson's are good for high current but they are designed for frequent connect and disconnect. The wiping contact that makes the connection needs to be wiped. If you plug it in and leave it, the contacts will oxidize and then those heat and cable twist problems start to happen. If you are connecting and disconnecting frequently, the oxidation will be wiped off the terminal each time and you will get better contact.

I believe Speakons also have wiping contacts and may have weather resistance. They are designed to survive the abuse of touring musical acts so if the current rating is sufficient, they are a good multi-conductor option.

A lot of the other options don't have wiping contacts but they might have good contact surface area and spring force which is good for connectors that you plug in and leave alone.

Anderson's certainly have their place and I'm all set to crimp the small power pole connectors but I'm not planning to use any on my scooter/e-bike projects.
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Re: The BEST connectors, period

Post by Gizmosis350k » May 21 2020 5:39pm

Smoke wrote:
May 21 2020 5:20pm
Anderson's are good for high current but they are designed for frequent connect and disconnect. The wiping contact that makes the connection needs to be wiped. If you plug it in and leave it, the contacts will oxidize and then those heat and cable twist problems start to happen. If you are connecting and disconnecting frequently, the oxidation will be wiped off the terminal each time and you will get better contact.

I believe Speakons also have wiping contacts and may have weather resistance. They are designed to survive the abuse of touring musical acts so if the current rating is sufficient, they are a good multi-conductor option.

A lot of the other options don't have wiping contacts but they might have good contact surface area and spring force which is good for connectors that you plug in and leave alone.

Anderson's certainly have their place and I'm all set to crimp the small power pole connectors but I'm not planning to use any on my scooter/e-bike projects.
Taking a look at the stock ones that came with my BBSHD they don't look so hot....
considering switching over everything to xt60/90 in the interim until I can get weatherproofing figured out

better yet, swap those with the charger leads for 2-5a stuff, use xt60 w/ vaseline duct-tape garbage bag mod for everything else :mrgreen:

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Re: The BEST connectors, period

Post by amberwolf » May 21 2020 5:58pm

Smoke wrote:
May 21 2020 5:20pm
Anderson's are good for high current but they are designed for frequent connect and disconnect. The wiping contact that makes the connection needs to be wiped. If you plug it in and leave it, the contacts will oxidize and then those heat and cable twist problems start to happen. If you are connecting and disconnecting frequently, the oxidation will be wiped off the terminal each time and you will get better contact.
I have them on many things, stationary and mobile, and most of it never gets disconnected, and none of them have the problems I noted. The same is true of the many various large-EV's (cars, trucks, etc.) and medium EVs (golfcarts, forklifts, etc) that there are thousands and thousands of out there. ;)

The problems with heat/cabletwist/etc I noted have nothing to do with this, and are caused specifically by the things I noted.

It doesn't mean it *can't* happen, but in my experience it does not.

I guess I could get the ESR meter out and see what the contact resistance is across the connectors that have never been disconnected, vs the ones rarely disconnected, vs the frequently disconnected. It isn't a spectacular ESR meter (DE5000) but it goes down low enough to see a "problem level" of contact resistance.


If you are in a wet environment, then you might see the results you note, because the connectors are not designed for that, so water / moisture can wick into the contact surfaces over time, starting corrosion from the outside in (and even into the crimps, dependign on crimp type/etc). The contacts are silver-plated, so there won't be as big a problem as there might be with some metals, but it can still happen, especially if roads are salted and that gets on them.



If you already have the problem of the contacts being twisted slightly, then oxidation / corrosion will happen more because there is already a gap....
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Re: The BEST connectors, period

Post by Smoke » May 21 2020 8:31pm

I've seen the big Anderson's get used and abused on forklifts and if you park a forklift for too long in a humid environment the contacts can get cruddy. It's probably a combo of warn housings, warn contacts and cables twisting things but they seem to always get better if you plug and unplug them a few times to wipe the contacts.

Otherwise, I have seen good luck with situations like 15A or less in a 45A rated power pole.

I never pushed those hard enough to find the limit but their housings are not confidence inspiring to me.

When you're talking about 50A or 200A+, the connectors start to get really big if you're going to overrate your connector by 3x. Then there is the issue of weather resistance. I just don't see a good role for them unless you have a situation like a fork lift where weight doesn't matter and it's 100% guaranteed to be abused.

One more thing, I don't know where to look for Anderson's locally. I have never seen anything in a home improvement store, auto parts store or electrical supply store. The electrical supply store might have had them behind the counter, I didn't ask. The only time I have bought them locally is at electronics surplus stores which are all gone now.

A Speakon can be found at Music stores and DJ stores. In the event that I find a suitable application, I know I can find connectors locally.

I actually had to convince some people to switch from XLR to Speakon for some low voltage, medium current connectors. There was some resistance because they were invested in lots of XLRs and they are cheaper but when they finally stepped up from 1940s technology to 1990s technology, they were kicking themselves for not doing it sooner.

Weatherpack is probably 1980s technology but they got a lot of stuff right to make them reliable in harsh environments.

I don't know when they came up with XT connectors but they seem pretty decent.

Oh, another thing people should do is design their wiring with drip loops so any water drips to a nicely insulated cable and then drips off. If you have a connector at a low spot, that's a recipe for corrosion.
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Re: The BEST connectors, period

Post by ddk » May 26 2020 4:37pm

the best connector is the one you chose...sometimes

I've been using 4-pole Speakons for my
power connections forever thereabouts.

I've yet to have a single failure.

BTW I live in a rain forest on the best (west) coast
featuring steep hills, riding heavy trikes,
carrying heavy loads and using 20-30A controllers

:banana: NL4 ftw

1+ and 2+ for battery+
1- and 2- for battery-
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Re: The BEST connectors, period

Post by Smoke » May 26 2020 7:14pm

I'm glad to hear that is working for you. I know Speakon connectors are designed to handle some current, but I have never really tested them at high current. Now I'll have to think about them for other things.
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Re: The BEST connectors, period

Post by markz » May 26 2020 7:45pm

ddk wrote:
May 26 2020 4:37pm
I've been using 4-pole Speakons for my
power connections forever thereabouts.
Arent they a tad bulky?

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