connectors?

Hi - I'm just curious - what do you all use for connectors? This is something I've never been able to find a good solution for. First of
all - for general purpose connections I've been fairly happy with the standard .1" pitch crimp housings and pin headers. They're easy to crimp and there's a huge selection of them. I like the ones that clip in, though I haven't been able to find a good, cheap source for those just yet.
For battery connectors I've always wanted something heftier than a .1" connector, but I never can find anything that I like. I want something that can handle a fair amount of current, but is also board mountable and easy to remove. I have yet to find anything that meets these criterion. Right now my batteries are outputting about 2-3A at 11.1V - so I need something that can easily handle that.
Anybody ever find any solutions to this problem? I know alot of people just have wires attached to their PCBs and then have connectors on those wires, but I really want to stick with board mount connectors.
Thanks!
-Mike
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"Michael J. Noone"

I'm using the same: 2, 3 or 4 pin molex .1" connectors with crimp housing. I buy them from mouser, I don't know if they're the cheapest around, but cheap enough.

I've had some bad experiences with the .156" connectors and reverse polarity, so I don't like them. For my array of 48 NiMH cells I'm using Deans ultra connectors, they can withstand with plenty of current and they are reverse polarity protected. Sometimes they are hard to connect, which I think it is a good thing in my environment (lots of vibration).

I've done that too, and that's a very bad solution. In one circunstance one of the wires broke off at the solder point and it took me a while to find out where the problem was.
Cheers
Padu
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Padu wrote:

What footprint did you use for Deans Ultra connectors? Are you able to board mount them even when using round holes? My board fab charges quite a premium for non-round holes. I'm also a bit worried about the stress they would put on a circuit board when attaching and detaching them - I mean I have used Deans for things in the past - and those bastards are hard to detach. I remember last summer when I was trying to disconnect the battery from a model airplane who's motor was still spinning though it was stuck in the ground. That was NOT fun.

I just think it looks ugly, and takes up excess space.

Thanks!
-Mike
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Michael J. Noone wrote:

I use heavy-duty molex nylon housed connectors for cabling, and to the board I use screw in terminals blocks, the blue kind -- you can get them from lot's of places (including radio shack).
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Michael J. Noone wrote:

RJ-12 and RJ-45 make very good connectors for robotics sensors and other components. They cannot be connected backwards. It's extremely easy to make your own cables to any length using a cheap cabling tool, and connectors are inexpensive. The one drawback is that most RJ jacks for PCB mounts use offset pins. It's no problem if you're designing your own board where you can allow for the offset. If you're using solderless breadboards or standard 0.100" perf boards you'll want to look for RJ jacks with wires attached to them.
For power, you need to consider amperage, but for the typical desktop robot 16-18 gauge wire is fine for 2-3 amps. I'd advise a connector with a key to prevent attaching backwards and possibly burning things out. You can make your own with any four-pin header and socket. Break off one of the middle pins of the header, and stick it into one of the middle sockets. Solder the power leads to the outside pins. The connector cannot now be inserted backwards.
When you need a three-pin solutions, carrying V+, ground, and signal, a 4PC RJ-12 is ideal if the current is under an amp. Or, if you prefer flat cable and standard pin headers, be sure to put V+ in the center, and signal/ground on the outsides. This helps prevent (but does not eliminate) the possibility of component damage should you plug in the connector backwards.
For ready-made power connectors the local hobby store selling R/C racing stuff is a good start. They sell quick-disconnects that will survice repeated use, and will handle some pretty high currents.
-- Gordon
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Hi!
May I suggest this Kind of Plugs:
https://www.flugmodellbau.de/oscommerce/catalog/default.php/cPath/34_140?osCsid=d8b42a94eb367a77cc81c0a077d7b100
The're good for 20 Amps+ (the red kind) 2-Conductor or 8+Amps (the green kind) with 6 conductors.
They are not clipped, thou very rigid and have a sufficient Pull-force.
Their primary use is in Model Airplanes, so they have to deal with Vibrations as well. I have never heard of a disconnected Plug inflight...
The shop above ist my employer, but i think the plugs are aviable in USA also, just look for MPX plug at Modeling stores.
Michael.
P.S.: I just asked my boss: we (flugmodellbau.de) are delivering worldwide.
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Michael J. Noone wrote:

Take a look at the AMP MTA-100 IDC .1 inch connectors. It's trivial to make cables now. I use the polarized version with the friction-fit headers.

I have used either Anderson Powerpoles or just straght terminal blocks.
For my current robot I'm looking at Deans Ultra Plug. -- D. Jay Nemwan Author of _Linux Robotics_ http://enerd.ws/robots /
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--snip--

Mike,
Another place to check is automotive parts stores. You probably don't need 80-Amp battery cables (yet! <grin>), but you should be able to find several types of 10-Amp-rated quick-disconnects there, starting with the traditional Spade Lugs.
Good luck!
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Try model car type battery connectors - they're designed to have pretty hefty power handling for use with race motors which will typically draw 9 volts at between 5 - 15 amps. They are male-female connectors with one pin being square in profile, the other round - stopping any reverse polarity connection. They are super cheap and can be bought from any decent model shop. See http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo 455&C=SEO (Maplin Electronics, UK)
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