High-current LiPo connectors?

Discussion in 'Cinestar 8' started by Steve Maller, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    I’m building a medium/heavy lift copter (see thread here), and in noodling through some of the use cases, I’m realizing that the amount of power surging through the connectors between the dual LiPo batteries and the MK Double Quadro 2XL is potentially very high. Most people quote the current-handling capability of the EC5 connectors we’re all using as 80-100A, but even with my 4S system I routinely saw higher draws than that (although usually just in a burst).

    Like many, I’m running dual batteries, in part to reduce the burst draw from 1 LiPo to 1/2 the total (a deliberate simplification for the purposes of this conversation). However, like many, I was using an EC5 splitter to do the parallel connection. I realized that the EC5 connectors that form the small end of the ‘Y’ are potentially shouldering the full current draw of the copter. So in my new build, I’ve hard-wired the ‘Y’ into the main LiPo lead from the Double Quadro 2XL, and split it into two parallel EC5 connectors.

    I’m still concerned about the EC5 connector at each LiPo. Have any of you upgraded to something more beefy than EC5 connectors?

    And are there any flaws in my logic? Thanks for your thoughts!
     
  2. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    Steve go over and watch the video at ProgressiveRC where they discuss all different types of connectors and their capacities.
     
  3. Drew Kachurak

    Drew Kachurak Member

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    Here's the link:
     
    Kenny Chen likes this.
  4. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Thanks. I’m a little concerned about their PRC6 connector, as it still appears to be plastic, and does not appear to be an industry standard. EC5 and XT60/90/150 seem to be generally supported among multiple vendors.

    I’d love to see a hybrid of either nylon or plastic with a silicone outer sleeve. Or something like that.

    Speaking of which...what is everybody using for heat shrink tubing?
     
  5. Drew Kachurak

    Drew Kachurak Member

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    I've always just used what I've had around from random projects for heat shrink - I've never bought a particular brand or felt compelled to use one specific type.
     
  6. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    With these super high-energy systems, I’m worried about the “weak link in the chain” problem. All the great design in the world could fail because a LiPo connector melts, shorts or breaks in the air.
     
  7. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    Steve perhaps something like this (Anderson 115107G1 340a) Size might be an issue 1x2x3 inches. 2/0 wire size.
    Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 10.50.37 AM.png


    With a smile on my face...:rolleyes:
     
  8. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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  9. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    I’m sorry I asked. o_O
     
  10. Tyler Olson

    Tyler Olson Member

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    I've got XT150 connectors on mine.
     
  11. Gary McCready

    Gary McCready Active Member

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    I switched over to Anderson Power poles about a year ago, after a solder break while unplugging.
    A local company makes wire harnesses for the USAF and they only use crimp connector ends, many are pressed with hydraulics.
    The crimp is fast and secure!
     
  12. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Gary,
    Thank you...that’s the kind of info I was looking for. What’s your experience with these? Are they a good option for replacing on big LiPo batteries? I feel more confident with the crimp connectors, but I wonder...what’s the story with current throughput? Do you lose any power with a crimp connector vs. soldered?
     
  13. Gary McCready

    Gary McCready Active Member

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    I know the APP can handle much more power than they are rated. I know most of the 700 size guys use the EC5. We are pushing more motors but they are really pushing current for 3D flying.
    I don't really load mine up, and I don't think I lose any power. The crimper is a must, ratcheted and really does a great job. I do know they are much more secure than me soldering the large 10 and 12ga wires, that require so much heat. I'm only flying a CS6 with 8000 4s lipos.
    I use the 45amp ones with 10 ga wire. If you have 6 or 8 ga wire you need the 75a, which are pretty big, and I've haven't used them. I know some of the local ham guys use them for pretty large wires, from 12v car batteries, but not sure what current they are pushing. They are the ones in the video that didn't even come close to failure. Here are the dimensions:
    http://www.powerwerx.com/anderson-powerpoles/powerpole-sets/
    Also: This thread might help:
    http://rc.runryder.com/helicopter/t703363p2/
    "I run Anderson power poles on my synergy e7, logo 600 and sab goblin. Love em! Never had an issue of them coming off in flight. Been using them for a few years. if your worried about them coming off in flight, they do make locks for them. I'll never use anything else. They work great for me!"


    According to an Anderson Engineer in the article Using Power Poles “The actual rating for a 30-amp Powerpole is for a 30° Celsius (54° Fahrenheit) temperature rise at 30 amps (and 110 volts) using 12-gauge wire” and “that 30-amp connectors would not fail in sustained use until over 200 amps.”
    (and those are the 30 amp ones)

    Also should note: there is nothing that prevents a red connector from being plugged into a black one. I use the pins to pair mine up so it is not a problem. But I did read about one guy who was very color blind.....
     
  14. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Great info, Gary. Might be worth a try. Thank you.
    I’m a little concerned about their current rating. However, one of the reasons I run dual batteries is to reduce the max current draw on each battery, and its connectors.
     

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