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 Post subject: Anderson Power Poles for high current helicopter application
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:05 pm 
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I have been using EC5 connectors on my 550, 600, and 700 helicopters for over 2 years. I consider them difficult to disconnect at the end of the flights. Also, my soldering skills are such that solder ends up wicking up the wires.

I am looking into using Anderson Power Pole connectors. I like the idea of crimping, and the ease with which I can disconnect the connectors at the end of the flight. However, I am concerned about the implications of using connectors rated for 45A on applications which will see peak currents over 160A.

I understand that these 45A Anderson Power Poles connectors are underrated, and should be able to handle currents over 45A. However, I need reassurance from those with experience and knowledge using 45A Anderson Power Pole connectors with 550 to 700 size helis before I convert my batteries to Anderson Power Poles. BTW, all my batteries are either 10awg or 12awg, so fitting the 45A connectors should not be a problem.

So, will the Anderson Power Pole connectors work for me?

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 Post subject: Re: Anderson Power Poles for high current helicopter applica
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:46 pm 
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Well, this used to be an easy answer of "YES", but recently we've had some guys post that they've had issues with APP's deforming / melting in continuous high current applications. To be honest, I've never had that happen (or even had one get warm), but then again I'm not stressing them that hard. I do use them in my 550, which sees peaks over 100A, and also in my Logo which sees 120A on occasion.

I guess I can answer by saying I've never had an issue with 550-600 helis and APP, but my flying style may not be typical and if you stress them a lot it might be better for you to continue with a bullet-style connector of some sort.

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 Post subject: Re: Anderson Power Poles for high current helicopter applica
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:40 pm 
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There does not seem to be much information on the limitations of the 45A APP's. One aspect that seems to pop up often is that the limitation lies with the wire itself, not with the connector or the connector housing.

This guy tested the 45A APP at 12V/350A and it took a while for the wires and the plastic housing to melt. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeTTw9i8WEc The connectors themselves did not fail, and remained intact. The video also shows that the voltage drop across the APP connectors was limited to around 0.2V.

Another phenomenon that leads me to believe that the 45A APP's should be able to handle high continuous currents is that even the 160A rated Castle 160HV ESC with the 8AWG wires only has a tiny part of the wire surface in contact with the mother board.

Image

The APP connectors seem so have more overall surface area contact than that.

Unless you tell me otherwise, maybe the APP's deserve a try on my high current helis. :?:

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 Post subject: Re: Anderson Power Poles for high current helicopter applica
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:22 pm 
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Give them a try, but be sure to properly crimp and assemble them so you get the right tension and contact area. I recently went back to APP after giving EC5 a try....

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 Post subject: Re: Anderson Power Poles for high current helicopter applica
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 5:10 am 
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How about rotational orientation with the APP? I use the same LiPos on different helicopters, but LiPos seat differently each heli. The EC5's allow rotation within the plastic housing to obtain the correct orientation without putting too much tension on the wires.

Considering that the APPs are fixed and do not allow for rotation once crimped, is this considered to be an issue when sharing LiPos with different helicopters?

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 Post subject: Re: Anderson Power Poles for high current helicopter applica
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:11 am 
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I guess that would be something to take into consideration. None of my installations require any significant twisting of the wires to connect (no more than 1/4 to 1/2 turn, which is not a problem).

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 Post subject: Re: Anderson Power Poles for high current helicopter applica
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:56 am 
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I am about 65% sure that I'll end up trying the APP. It will be around a $220 experiment when accounting for connectors, crimper, charging harnesses, shipping, taxes, etc.

Ideally, there would be crimp style bullet shaped connectors. No solder mess, and no issues with twisting of wires. Maybe in a few years. :thumbup:

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 Post subject: Re: Anderson Power Poles for high current helicopter applica
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:11 am 
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johnahamelv wrote:
Ideally, there would be crimp style bullet shaped connectors. No solder mess, and no issues with twisting of wires. Maybe in a few years. :thumbup:
Yes, that's what I'd love to see as well! There already are crimp-style bullets, but they are the cheezy stamped sheet metal automotive style.

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 Post subject: Re: Anderson Power Poles for high current helicopter applica
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:14 am 
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I talked to Brad at Power Werx. He discouraged me from using the PP45 APP, and strongly advised me to go with PP75's. Of course, those PP75's are huge; they would be a total of 3.8 inches long when connected.

I used block slightly bigger than the connectors to test if it would fit on all 4 of my bigger helicopters with the batteries in place and the canopy on. To my surprise, the block fit in all four helicopters without stressing either the ESC or battery wires.

Now, I understand that you are often referred to as the "enabler" of the show. Do you think I should give the PP75's a try? Will you be my enabler? Just say the word, and I'll press the "Order Now" button. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Anderson Power Poles for high current helicopter applica
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:54 am 
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Location: Caldwell, TX
I originally used the PP75 in my 700 when I first built it. They worked just fine, just big. Not as easy to plug and unplug as the 45 amps are. Not sure how well they would do under many cycles. Also the crimping tool did not work as well as the smaller one. They REALLY need a size in the middle.

I changed over to the PP45 amp in it and probably put over 50 flights on it without any issue. I ended up changing them all over to EC5 connectors because I just didn't like how bad the spark from the 12s system would erode the tips of the APPs.

I didn't have any melting or heating issues in them although I have had it happen before on other aircraft and a surface vehicle. I think it was happening due to a bad connection though. A quick inspection likely would have prevented that.

I'm still using EC5s although they are by no means my favorite connector. I would love to design a new connector or help someone to do it right. No time for that in my foreseeable future though. :(

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Bobby Barr
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