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Old 06-23-2013, 12:34 AM   #1
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Default Is there an alternative to Deans connectors for battery diconnect after fllying?

When using lipos Deans connectors seem to be best choice for solid conections, high current. But I have diffculty disconnecting them after flight.

Is there a way to have a switch disconnect and charge jack that will handle a system that draws 10 amps nominal, 13 peak?
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Old 06-23-2013, 01:34 AM   #2
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There are a number of options available.

For starters you could try modifying your existing connectors to make them easier to work with.

First, I would plug a set together and re-do the solder connections on each side - do NOT disconnect them until the solder and the connectors are completely cool. Thats one of the main ways they get messed up = soldering them while they are apart makes for mis-aligned tongs.

Second - some small ridges or rows of epoxy on each half can make them easier to grip and pull apart. I have also seen loops of string and other things glued to the halves for better grip.

You can drill a small hole in each half and use split ring plyers to take them apart. Be careful where you drill!!

My favorite connectors are the Anderson Power Poles. You can buy them from Powerwerx.

http://www.powerwerx.com/anderson-powerpoles/

If your sure you will never go beyond 20-25 amps, then the 15 amp contacts will do you fine.

You should also get the $39 crimper inorder to make things easier. It allows you to do a set of contacts in just a couple of minutes - perfect every time.

http://www.powerwerx.com/crimping-to...-contacts.html

Other than that there are a number of options in the bullet connector category. I prefer Power Poles unless Im working with more than 80 amps or so.

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Old 06-23-2013, 02:26 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by skyler View Post
When using lipos Deans connectors seem to be best choice for solid conections, high current. But I have diffculty disconnecting them after flight.

Is there a way to have a switch disconnect and charge jack that will handle a system that draws 10 amps nominal, 13 peak?
For those wattflyer readers that are going over 40 Amps or so, check out the connectors at www.alliedelectronics.com. These Anderson Power Pole units have 50% thicker copper pins, as compared to everyone else. I routinely run 80 Amps through them without a problem.

Anderson Power Poles???
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=64539

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Old 06-23-2013, 03:20 AM   #4
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EC5 based on 5mm bullets

4mm (banana plug size but much higher current rating) bullets

Both are rated higher than the Deans.

Part of the ratings of the connectors is how they handle connect/disconnect under load. This part of it is hard to associate with our use because high voltage electric power systems can creat quite an arc-spark while connecting due to the capacitors being charged. None are immune to being eroded by this arc.

The deans can handle 100 amps continuous in our planes if they get adequate cooling airflow and are not subjected to that arcing. EC3 will not do as well. EC5 and 4mm bullets handle it fine.

If your only issue is disconnecting:
To make deans easier to disconnect you can add pins to a clothespin and matching holes in the deans connector plastic. Insert the pins into the modified Deans and use the clothespin to pop the connection open.

Finding a 10 amp 12V rated switch is easy... check any auto parts store. There are panel rocker switches that will handle that.
I did run into issues finding switches for 12S 100 to 120 amps... Hard to find something like that.
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Old 06-23-2013, 05:39 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by fhhuber View Post
EC5 based on 5mm bullets

4mm (banana plug size but much higher current rating) bullets

Both are rated higher than the Deans.

Part of the ratings of the connectors is how they handle connect/disconnect under load. This part of it is hard to associate with our use because high voltage electric power systems can creat quite an arc-spark while connecting due to the capacitors being charged. None are immune to being eroded by this arc.

The deans can handle 100 amps continuous in our planes if they get adequate cooling airflow and are not subjected to that arcing. EC3 will not do as well. EC5 and 4mm bullets handle it fine.

If your only issue is disconnecting:
To make deans easier to disconnect you can add pins to a clothespin and matching holes in the deans connector plastic. Insert the pins into the modified Deans and use the clothespin to pop the connection open.

Finding a 10 amp 12V rated switch is easy... check any auto parts store. There are panel rocker switches that will handle that.
I did run into issues finding switches for 12S 100 to 120 amps... Hard to find something like that.
Somewhere there is a video clip of someone applying 300 Amps to the Deans and Anderson Power Pole connectors. Way above what we are doing, but the solder connection on the Deans connector melted in a half second, breaking the connection.

The APP connector did OK at 300 Amps, with the connector surviving longer than the wires used on the connectors. However, these currents are way beyond what either the Deans or 45 Amp APP connectors are rated for. There is a 75 Amp continuous rated APP connector, but that thing is way larger than anything else. And, its contacts are a very beefy solid copper unit that is more like a bus bar than a contact. They have ratings up to #4 copper wire. (I do have a few of them) The arcing we have with our higher powered ESC's won't have much of an effect on these 75 Amp contacts.

Perhaps the best compromise is the EC5 units for these high currents. Also have a few of them.

As for finding a switch to handle 12S at 120 Amps, pretty much forget about it. If you are trying to break 100 Amps DC under load, that demands a magnetic blow out switch. We had some custom designed blow out switches at work, and you'd better believe they were many $$$$.

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Old 06-23-2013, 08:50 AM   #6
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This is one of those questions that brings a hundred ardently opinionated people out of the woodwork.

I had the same problem with one of my early planes, which came with a Deans. It was IMPOSSIBLE to disconnect.

I switched to EC3s because
A) I had Parkzone planes, and those come with EC3s, minimizing the number of different kinds of batteries I need to have around.
B) They're so easy to solder up, that even I can do it.

Doesn't make them 'better,' just better for me.

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Old 06-23-2013, 04:52 PM   #7
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I've used an electrical graphite/silicon based lube (just a tiny dab) on each male Dean plug that was too tight to pull apart......it does not collect any unwanted dust or debris if kept out of harms way....easy to clean if necessary and "water proofs" connection as well.

Then again, I'm not pulling anything higher than 30amps on any of my planes or more than 60amps on any of my heli's...........

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Old 06-23-2013, 10:18 PM   #8
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I am a relative noob. Right out of the gate I elected to go with the EC3 connectors (high amps not on my plate at present). They have worked pretty well, but I consistently have two issues with them. They also can be somewhat difficult to separate, particularly if your hands are arthritic. I have to rock them back and forth several times to get them apart, and the fit is inconsistent from fitting-to-fitting, depending upon how much distortion the bullet has taken while soldering and fitting it. And I have a heck of a time getting the bullets seated down in the plastic shells after soldering. I fabricated a brass tool, from tubing, that straddled the wire while pressing on the back rim of the bullet, and used a small hammer to drive the bullet home (you feel and hear a snap when it happens). The brass kept changing shape, and eventually work-hardened and became semi-effective. I now use a small blunted nail and my tack hammer, placing the nail head down into the bullet, where the wire is soldered, and hammering lightly. Still not ideal, but it works most of the time. I have had a couple of instances where a bullet wouldn't stay put in the housing, with its mate pushing it out the rear of the housing as you try connecting them. They are also quite sizeable, though that seems to be a necessary evil if you want to be able to use fingers to get them apart. Your mileage may vary.
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Old 06-23-2013, 10:43 PM   #9
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at 10 amps and 13 peak, go with a jst connector. we ran over 100 watts through them on our slow sticks all the time.
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Old 06-23-2013, 11:08 PM   #10
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As another says -this topic brings out the replies from woodwork and many are so repeated often - you can honestly name .. quote post BEFORE it comes ....

I sadly fall into that category as well !

I am a Deans fan .. but fed up with Hobby King forcing the XT60 on us by fitting to various ESC and batterys. I was fed up cutting them off and fitting my own preferred Deans. So now I use both ... Deans and XT60. Both suffer the same problem of hard to separate when it's cold out there in winter ... or hands sweaty in summer ... But I'd rather have a solid connection than a wishy washy one that caters for my cold or sweaty hands.

For what it's worth ... Hobby King do sell 'ribbed' T connectors that fingers can get a better grip on ... but I do not trust them. I have had too many failures with them .. and unlike most others plain T connectors - they do not like mix and match ...

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Old 06-23-2013, 11:16 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by maxflyer View Post
...I now use a small blunted nail and my tack hammer, placing the nail head down into the bullet, where the wire is soldered, and hammering lightly. Still not ideal, but it works most of the time...
I do essentially the same thing but with an awl. One simple tool struck with the palm of the hand. Works even better if you have a block of wood with a hole that the plastic housing fits into.
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:40 AM   #12
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Snap ring pliers can be purchased which act to open a ring that is on a shaft. Squeeze the handles and the jaws open. (opposed to classic pliers, wire cutters or scissors)

This is where the idea for the clothespin with wires inserted plus drilled holes in the Deans comes from.

The Snap Ring Pliers are not as easy to locate and often expensive.

I got the idea from a thread on some other forum (forgot where) it works very well for popping deans connections apart. Cheap and easy.

Much safer than trying to punch a nail or something into the crack and potentially causing a short.

I advise NOT to use JST for above 5 amps.
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:01 AM   #13
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Why not go to the source of the problem and fix IT. It's the spring on the Deans that is causing the friction holding them together. If you flatten the spring far enough, they will fall apart. Flatten them just enough to make them easier to come apart but tight enough for a good connection. I do use the HK T connectors with no problems.

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Old 07-02-2013, 05:36 AM   #14
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Gord - thats not the problem. The spring needs to be that strong in order to get a low resistance connection.

The problem is how they get soldered. Poor techniques end up MIS-aligning the blades and sockets.

If the directions are followed - and a decent soldering iron is used - then Deans work well - although they are still more dificult to get apart than most other connectors. But that difficulty is a bi-product of having them working as they should.

Weakening the springs/connection is a bad idea.

I think I need a signature.
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:45 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by fhhuber View Post
Snap ring pliers can be purchased which act to open a ring that is on a shaft. Squeeze the handles and the jaws open. (opposed to classic pliers, wire cutters or scissors)

This is where the idea for the clothespin with wires inserted plus drilled holes in the Deans comes from.

The Snap Ring Pliers are not as easy to locate and often expensive.

I got the idea from a thread on some other forum (forgot where) it works very well for popping deans connections apart. Cheap and easy.

Much safer than trying to punch a nail or something into the crack and potentially causing a short.

I advise NOT to use JST for above 5 amps.
I agree. The cheep JST's are unsafe above 5 amps. The good ones - with the heavier connectors and wire - are good to 10 amps but I wouldnt go beyond that.

I think I need a signature.
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:21 PM   #16
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Worse thing you can do is plug the Deans together for soldering. Now you've made a heatsink drawing the heat away from what your trying to heat up to solder!! Tin the tabs with the trusty heat gun. Let the plug cool before you solder on the wires. Takes no more than 2 seconds with the heated up gun on the wire/tab to solder, not long enough to distort the nylon.

Gord.

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Old 07-02-2013, 01:21 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by kyleservicetech View Post
....The APP connector did OK at 300 Amps, with the connector surviving longer than the wires used on the connectors. However, these currents are way beyond what either the Deans or 45 Amp APP connectors are rated for. There is a 75 Amp continuous rated APP connector, but that thing is way larger than anything else. And, its contacts are a very beefy solid copper unit that is more like a bus bar than a contact. They have ratings up to #4 copper wire. (I do have a few of them) The arcing we have with our higher powered ESC's won't have much of an effect on these 75 Amp contacts.
Denny - I get what you are saying but a unique feature to the APP's is they are HOT SWAPPABLE at their rating - correct?

I have run the 45amp connector (crimped) at 80-100 amps for many seasons with no ill effects. I can't notice any significant heating of the connector (there is a bit though).

Just curious.

Mike
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:38 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by fhhuber View Post
Snap ring pliers can be purchased which act to open a ring that is on a shaft. Squeeze the handles and the jaws open. (opposed to classic pliers, wire cutters or scissors)

This is where the idea for the clothespin with wires inserted plus drilled holes in the Deans comes from.

The Snap Ring Pliers are not as easy to locate and often expensive.

I got the idea from a thread on some other forum (forgot where) it works very well for popping deans connections apart. Cheap and easy.

Much safer than trying to punch a nail or something into the crack and potentially causing a short.

I advise NOT to use JST for above 5 amps.
Fred, I actually bring a pair with me to the field and for the most part I use EC3's which are also difficult to disconnect. Bought mine for less than $5.00 at Harbor Freight. Love that store !

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Old 07-02-2013, 01:51 PM   #19
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You guys don't know what you are missing with APP's - they rock! You can disconnect them with one hand too. Crimping....they rock!!!

Mike
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:00 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by rcers View Post
Denny - I get what you are saying but a unique feature to the APP's is they are HOT SWAPPABLE at their rating - correct?

I have run the 45amp connector (crimped) at 80-100 amps for many seasons with no ill effects. I can't notice any significant heating of the connector (there is a bit though).

Just curious.

Mike
Hi Mike
As you may all ready know, those 45 Amp ratings are for when these connectors are used inside an electric box with no ventilation. As we use them, they might have a 60 MPH or more blast of air passing over them. That makes a huge difference.

I've got a bunch of the APP connectors with the "Thinner" contacts. Also have a bunch of the Allied Electronics original version of these same connectors. The Allied connector contacts are 50% thicker than those APP connectors. I actually had an APP connector melt while carrying 56 Amps continuously for 18 minutes. The same circuit had the Allied contact that only got slightly warm. We use those heavier duty Allied contacts at work for some 30 years.

Take a look:
Anderson Power Poles???
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=64539

I don't know where Allied is getting those contacts. Seems no one else has them now.

It's interesting, if you locate the APP connectors in www.mouser.com and similar places, they have a current rating of 31 Amps, perhaps due to their thinner contacts. The Sermos connectors with the silver plated 0.035 inch thick contacts at Allied Electronics are rated by the Mfg at 45 Amps.

Before retiring, the company I worked for routinely ran temperature rise tests on circuit breakers rated to 800 Amps continuous load current at 38,000 volts three phase. The test guys would put in 75 or 100 thermocouples on these breakers.

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Old 07-02-2013, 08:09 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by flypaper 2 View Post
Worse thing you can do is plug the Deans together for soldering. Now you've made a heatsink drawing the heat away from what your trying to heat up to solder!! Tin the tabs with the trusty heat gun. Let the plug cool before you solder on the wires. Takes no more than 2 seconds with the heated up gun on the wire/tab to solder, not long enough to distort the nylon.

Gord.
What makes a big difference in soldering those Deans connectors, and anything else with heavy gauge conductors is a high powered soldering iron. No, not those 100 watt soldering guns either! Using one of those guns is a sure way to damage a Deans connector. (I've got two 100 watt guns, and an old 350 watt soldering gun.)

The big problem with those guns, and many of the soldering irons that are not temperature regulated, their tip temperature can vary all the way from 1000 degrees F down to 400 degrees F when trying to solder heavy gauge wire. Yeah, I've measured it. Some of those irons can actually ignite a paper towel after they've been on for an hour or two.

IMHO, if you're going to solder these types of connectors, or any #12 gauge wire, a high power temperature regulated soldering iron is required. I've got the Weller 100 watt Temp regulated iron, that will solder #12 gauge wire to a Deans plug in 5 seconds. Not cheap at around $65, but it is the last high powered soldering iron you will ever need to buy.
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=59884
(FYI, this 100 watt iron far out performs that 350 watt soldering gun.)

Certainly, many people have been soldering with the unregulated irons, and doing so with success. But, once they've used a quality temperature regulated iron, everything becomes much easier.

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Old 07-02-2013, 08:21 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by rcers View Post
You guys don't know what you are missing with APP's - they rock! You can disconnect them with one hand too. Crimping....they rock!!!

Mike
Yup, another guy that has standardized on those APP type connectors. I've also used the EC3 and EC5 connectors. But those EC connectors can not be disassembled for reuse.

Reusing an APP type connector is simple. Just take a needle nose pliers, place one jaw under the connectors pin and its spring, the other jaw on the top of the plastic shell. Gently squeeze the pliers, bending the pin. That pin can now be easily slid out. (This only works with the Allied Electronics type of Sermos connector. It does not work with the APP connectors.)

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Old 07-02-2013, 08:41 PM   #23
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Was soldering generator copper commutator bars back in the 50s but I guess experience doesn't count.

Gord.

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Old 07-02-2013, 08:52 PM   #24
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I switched to the APP's and love them...But...getting the clip into the housing requires, at least for me, the use of a small screw driver to push the unit forward enough to engage the clip. The wires are too "soft" to get the clips to engage. Pther than that. Very ahppy indeed. Will be switching everything over to this arrangement. i love it that much!
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:28 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Yakfishingfool View Post
I switched to the APP's and love them...But...getting the clip into the housing requires, at least for me, the use of a small screw driver to push the unit forward enough to engage the clip. The wires are too "soft" to get the clips to engage. Pther than that. Very ahppy indeed. Will be switching everything over to this arrangement. i love it that much!
Yep me too - they also make an insertion and removal tool (I have it) that works well too. But I find a tiny flat blade screwdriver works best for insertion.

Also pay attention and make sure the clip is not deformed by the crimp. You can give it a very slight (very) outwards bend and they engage on the spring better for me.

Mike
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