We are wondering if we are missing something. Once we put the cables (Battery Connector
SB50-FR (housing) and 5900-BK (contacts) together we cannot get them apart for anything. We have always had an issue (one of our mentors who is not with us anymore always did it). This year is worse than ever we just can’t get them to disconnect to change out the battery. This is not an ideal situation at competition. I feel like there is a trick we are missing that is just going over our head.
We found that on some of the connectors the contacts had a little lip on them that would make it very hard to disconnect. We have removed all connectors with that lip on the contacts and are just using the ones that are more smooth and are easier to pull apart. Nothing is worse than pulling really hard on those and then you injure your hand when it finally gives way.
If you look at how the connectors work and leverage the wires so it helps separates the contacts a little they get a bit easier to pull apart. Some contacts are worse than others and take more wiggling and prying to get apart sometimes.
They really can take a lot of force to disconnect, and many of our students have trouble with this.
I recommend rocking the connectors apart, gently but firmly. Put your two palms on top of the large sides of the two housings and grab them firmly. Then, use your shoulder muscles to rock the connectors apart – your elbows should rotate towards and away from the sides of your body. If you need extra friction, gloves with grippy surfaces can help.
I find that most people instinctually try to use their back muscles to pull the connectors directly apart. When the connector finally releases, this usually causes people to slam their hands into things, causing scratches/bruises/punching others. As such, I don’t recommend just pulling the connectors apart.
Anderson makes the contacts in two versions, high and low mating force. See page 58 of this document. Usually for FRC you get the low force version but sometimes they get mixed up somewhere in the process.
We find that bolting down the “robot-side” connector is a big help, then rocking the connector out lengthwise (one contact at a time) to get past the lip before completely disconnecting it is helpful too.
Powerwerx makes bolt-on “connector handles” that we are thinking about using this year. When we get a good 3D printer (ABS/Nylon capable) we plan to start printing our own handles. https://powerwerx.com/anderson-power-sb50-hdl-red-handle
I too have seen the mix ups with the low and high mating force of the andersons. Check that they did not get switched on you guys!
As always double check that the Andersons were properly assembled. Other than that, they can have a break-in period and may just need to be plugged and unplugged until they are smoother.
Yes, Make sure you use the low force contacts… see below:
SB®50 Silver Plated Wire Contacts
Use two silver plated contacts per housing for the best electrical
performance and durability up to 10,000 mating cycles. See redushing
bushings in accessory section for smaller wires.
6 13.3 Low 1307-BK 1307
6 13.3 High 5900-BK 5900
These are for 6 gauge wires.
you want the 1307-BK and not the 5900-BK
the mating/unmating force is 44 N for the 1307 and 67 for the 5900