Power connector

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For most of my projects I've used a barrel jack like this one: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/119 The PCB I'm currently working is going to require more power than those are rated for (12V/16A).

What do you like to use in your projects that require this kind of power? Terminal Blocks? Terminal Strips?

Any part recommendations are appreciated. Thanks!

I have too many hobbies.
s-conductor.com

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And what rating do you need? I mean, what is the point in suggesting something without knowing what you need?

Stealing Proteus doesn't make you an engineer.

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Here are some suggestions:

http://www.tycoelectronics.com/c...

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Second the power poles. They are genderless but if you snap two or more together you can't get the wrong polarity. The same housing can take 15,30, or 45 amp contacts; the 45 will last longer if the connection arcs each time (large electrolytics) but is a bit harder to unsnap. Solder only and you can reuse them many times.

You can usually get some cheaply at a local ham meeting. Radio amateurs have adopted them as a standard and buy in bulk.

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ArnoldB wrote:
And what rating do you need? I mean, what is the point in suggesting something without knowing what you need?
I guess I wasn't very clear. The 12V/16A I had in parenthesis is the power I'm going to run.

The Tyco link really gives me a better idea of what is available and the power poles look promising.

Thanks for the recommendations!

I have too many hobbies.
s-conductor.com

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Powerpoles are very large connectors. But they are very simple to use, and are pretty flexible. How space constrained are you?

I just can't seem to find any high current board mount connectors that I really like. WS Deans Ultra Plugs can be board mounted but they require a ton of force to remove, so you risk damaging your PCB.

My favorite right now are banana jacks. They can handle plenty of current and aren't too large.

Some of the bullet connectors made for RC look nice but I've never seen any that looked good for soldering directly to a PCB.

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While a pair of powerpoles is bigger than a barrel jack, they about the same size as a banana jack or plug. These, small size powerpoles, are specified up to 45Amp, Banana jacks are usually specified for 10-15 amps.

There are big and huge powerpoles, but at 75 and 180 amps they are overkill for this application.

There are PCB-mount (through-hole) powerpoles too.

Markus

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markus_b wrote:
While a pair of powerpoles is bigger than a barrel jack, they about the same size as a banana jack or plug. These, small size powerpoles, are specified up to 45Amp, Banana jacks are usually specified for 10-15 amps.

There are big and huge powerpoles, but at 75 and 180 amps they are overkill for this application.

There are PCB-mount (through-hole) powerpoles too.


Interesting - I had always assumed banana jacks were much high current than that. Browsing through Digi-Key it looks like the plug is the limiting reagent. Highest current plug I'm seeing is 36A. With such a large connector it seems to me that only poor design (or really, really conservative ratings) could be to blame for such a low rating. I mean, bullet connectors for the RC industry are a fraction of the size and a much higher current rating.

Current ratings on connectors always do seem a bit silly to me. They seldom actually give full details of the test. I remember when working with Lemo on some high current connectors the rating on the pins seemed very small, so I pushed back on them about it. Turns out that rating was for when you are operating at, I believe, 125 C. At that point the additional heat from the connector would melt the PEEK contact positioner. At room temperature the current rating was many times the high temperature rating. The bigger limiter for current with those contacts was that you couldn't get thick enough wire in the pins. A problem you won't suffer as much from with bananas or powerpoles.

What I'm getting at is, I want to try testing a banana jack now. I'd like to see just how much those suckers can actually handle!

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I have some of all the sizes of the 15-45 amp powerpoles and the main difference is the size of wire you can to it. The 45amp contacts are a bit fatter than the 15amp contacts, but not that much. The contacts surface and shape itself are the same.

Also, the plastic housing is identical for all of them, the difference is the crimp contact. You buy them separately, so you can have different sizes in stock easily.

About the current rating: I looked some of them bananas up and found the 10-15 amp rating. There might well be others with higher rating. If I compare the banana plugs I have with the powerpoles then I trust the power poles more than the bananas.

One more thing: Powerpoles are fully closed, greatly reducing accidental short-circuits. Also, when you clips two together they become polarity-proof too. Simple an well thought out, a great way to protect me from myself :-).

Markus

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Electric Gates that are used on farms and ranches have main boards with connectors for 12 volts and probably some high current ratings. They are subject to harsh exposure as well. So it may be useful to find some board photos on the web and observe what they are using.