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The BEST connectors, period

Posted: Apr 03 2017 1:47pm
by flat tire
So, people a million different types of connectors for the variety of interconnects found in our ebikes. But not all of these connectors are that great, and for the connectors included with many China sourced generic controllers, they are downright terrible! The goal of this thread is to find the BEST available off the shelf connectors that we can use for any e-biking application. I'm talking high end, money is no object, not "I bought these counterfeit Deans off ebay and they're pretty good for the price".

For everyone's convenience OP will be updated with best connectors in each category. If there's not a clear winner we can list several. Please provide explanations for and against the use of any connectors you bring up. Different power levels mean there will be a variety of "best" connectors under each power category, and all this will be added as it's posted.

Phase Connectors:

Battery Connectors:

Balance Connectors:

Data Connectors (Hall, throttle, CA, etc):

Re: The BEST connectors, period

Posted: Apr 03 2017 2:01pm
by teslanv
For 5V-12V signal wires, etc, I followed Justin's lead a while ago and moved to all JST-SM connectors. Once you have the crimping tool, and a well-organized selection of pins and connector housings, this is a great connector type.

The original "SM" is made in Japan by this manufacturer:

Knock-offs of the JST-SM connectors are widely available and cheaper than the OEM, and generally work OK, even if those are a bit harder to engage/disengage.

For Battery Connectors, I like the XT90 Connectors for anything under 60A, and XT150 Connectors between 60A and 150A. I have not yet gone over 150A, so I cannot say what connector after that - Perhaps multiple XT150 connectors in parallel?

For Phase Wires:

<80A - 4mm HXT
>80A - XT150

Re: The BEST connectors, period

Posted: Apr 03 2017 8:00pm
by flat tire
Well, I'm looking for some really high end connectors like you would find on a spacecraft or nuclear bomb. So I googled "mil spec connectors guide" and I'm trying to digest all that...if anyone beats me to it please comment.

Re: The BEST connectors, period

Posted: Apr 04 2017 2:35am
by cwah
Waiting for it. Needs to be waterproof

Re: The BEST connectors, period

Posted: Jan 10 2018 10:05am
by spinningmagnets
Jonescg has used amphenol mil-spec connectors for all-weather E-motorcycles, they have recently been added to the connectors reference thread.

Re: The BEST connectors, period

Posted: Jan 10 2018 11:44am
by ThierryGTLTS
Fischer, ODU, and Lemo do very good waterproof connectors, even IP67 :!:


Re: The BEST connectors, period

Posted: Jan 30 2018 1:28pm
For general use there is JST-SM on the signal side, Anderson for Power up to 25A, and AMASS XT-90S for battery or MT-60 for phase wire connectors.

If you take your e-bike into the dirt, you need at least an IP65, ideally an IP66 rating. No dust ingress, and they can hold against a strong water spray nozzle. Here the HIGO Mini-B series connector* is first choice, they are only 9 mm in diameter and used by many OEMs. They are also available as panelmount connectors*, which lets you build clean looking wiring containers.
HIGO also supplies motor cables for currents up to 40A like the HIGO L-1019* with 3 phase and 7 signal wires.

I used to work with Amphenol connectors a lot, they are good but I find them too big and too expensive.

* From moderator: deleted electricwheel's links to products on his own website. Not allowed in a technical forum by Endless Sphere rules. Anyone interested in his products can PM or find his sales topic in Resources & EV Related Parts and Services.

Re: The BEST connectors, period

Posted: Jan 31 2018 5:21am
by Rube
Nice IP rated JST connector available with multiple pin configurations.
6 pin male manufacturer part number JSTJWPF MFR PT 06R JWPF VSLE.
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Re: The BEST connectors, period

Posted: Feb 10 2018 8:01am
by John in CR
flat tire wrote:
Apr 03 2017 8:00pm
Well, I'm looking for some really high end connectors like you would find on a spacecraft or nuclear bomb.
If you're building something that well, why do you need connectors? Just hard wire everything. In the amount of time it takes to install connectors you can hardwire 2 or 3 times. Connectors are useful for charge plugs but not much else on my builds.

Re: The BEST connectors, period

Posted: Feb 14 2018 1:40pm
by okashira
cwah wrote:
Apr 04 2017 2:35am
Waiting for it. Needs to be waterproof
MX150's are nice. Tesla uses them extensively.
The hand crimper is reasonably priced and there are a massive selection of contacts and housings.

Re: The BEST connectors, period

Posted: Feb 18 2018 12:23pm
by zzoing
The best possible plugs for the battery connection are not XT150/XT80/Anderson, the reason is that the slow time necessary to align the plugs plastics and slowly slot them in, giving plenty of time for an ark to corrode the edges, gold plating just melts straight away, I have XT80 on a 50A battery and they are corroded after a week... just trying them out for battery.

They are fine for phase.

For battery wires +/- which can ark at 60V, you can have a plug that has a plastic dustcap which requires you to force the plug in and when you have 3-4 pounds force on the plug it CLACKS and latches into place, without much arking, they last 5 times longer.

For cars I don't know what would suit. For an Ebike, I can walk to the french shop and get the smallest 2 pin 240V plugs, which have integrated dustcap-spring mechanism and which cost 2-3 dollars. Size wise they are a bit bigger, the 2 pin M/F all in is about the size of a small matchbox.

For a car you'd be best off having a heavy and clunky lever-switch out of an old factory, no live plugging the battery terminals, which then last forever. In this french town I'm living in there's factories from 1920 with sawmills, high pressure steam tanks all riveted and with 1920's electric control panels and pressure gauges, and some 1970's switches in another factory. damn cool.

Re: The BEST connectors, period

Posted: Mar 03 2018 7:30pm
by rberger
I've been looking into the Hirose DF62 Series after Justin mentioned them in the new Connectors Learning Doc on the Grin tech website. Their comment was:
We haven't seen these used in a commercial ebike application yet, but if we could start over our standards we would have totally chosen this Hirose DF62 series as our preferred small signal connector over the JST-SM. It has all the benefits of the JST-SM in being crimpable, pin extractable, and probeable, with the additional plus of being much more compact and in a profile that seamlessly bleands into the wire with a piece of heatshrink. It can look as sharp as the HiGo plugs without all the downsides of being overmolded. Like the JST-SM series it's also available in a large number of contacts, from 2 through to 7. And the pins are gold plated too. There is also slightly larger gasketted waterproof version, the DF62-W. Oh where were you 10 years ago.
Has anyone played with these? I'm wondering if I can use the same crimping tool I use for the JST connectors...

Re: The BEST connectors, period

Posted: Mar 07 2018 7:35am
by cwah
What about the Higo connectors? Even more compact

Re: The BEST connectors, period

Posted: Mar 07 2018 1:36pm
by rberger
cwah wrote:
Mar 07 2018 7:35am
What about the Higo connectors? Even more compact
From what I can tell, they are much more difficult to "do at home".

Re: The BEST connectors, period

Posted: Mar 10 2018 2:42pm
by Julez
This discussion in a nutshell:

Here's my solution for connectors that need to be installed and tested once, and then stay connected all the time:
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Double row headers. At the male side, one can move the pins around until everything fits correctly should the need arise. To make them watertight, I put a bit of hot glue on the cables and solder joints before shrinking them in. Then I add a bit of vaseline to the contacts before connecting them. Finally, I put a 1.5cm long additional piece of shrink tube over the gap where the connector mates to make the connection permanent. I can cut open the shrink tube to disconnect the connector, and I can remove the idividual side's shrink tubes and even solder through the hot glue to remove individual cables if I want.
An even better alternative to double row headers might be Sub-D connectors:
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When one drills through the holes of the metal case, the two halves fall away, and just the plastic part with the contacts is left over. The size is now much more manageable. If one needs not all 9 contacts, the excess part of the plastic and contacts can be clipped off.

For permanent power connections, I take 3.5mm bullet connectors:
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They cost next to nothing, and can carry 50A no problem.