paper: Using 4 AWG with the Anderson SB50

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Using 4 AWG with the Anderson SB50
by: Nate Laverdure

The crimp contacts used with the Anderson SB50 connector are sized for up to 6 AWG cable. Let’s swage them to fit 4 AWG!


4awg into SB50 rev1.pdf (1.52 MB)


Hi Nate,
Do you have a drawing of your swaging tool end?
Is it just a straight cylinder with a rounded end?
I’m not familiar with “standard dimensions” for these types of tools.

Big props to Triple Helix and this paper for getting us to check this out and attempt it ourselves.

Yep! The picture on the bottom of page 3 shows a cylinder with diameter 0.245 in and a 45-deg chamfer about 20% of the size of the diameter. This worked just OK-- the ID of the fitting swaged out a bit too much. Then we turned the chamfer into a radius, and that worked much better.

Thanks for the inspiration. Lessons from this year:
-Making the swage by grinding the head off a fairly long 1/4-20 bolt is way faster & easier than lathing down a piece of steel
-The bolt in the contact fixture is really important, I tried to get away with just a tapered slot without the bolt but I couldn’t get good yield until I added the bolt back in from your design
-Related: Threads in scrap-bin aluminum sketch me out, I might remake the fixture in 7075 or steel later so that I can properly torque down on the contacts.
-Your paper says the swage comes out easy, but I think that’s because your swage is attached to the press. Because mine wasn’t, I needed to grab some pliers to pull it out afterwards maybe 80% of the time.
-The alignment is still finicky and I had to scrap a few contacts where the swage got off-center.
–Thicker fixture block with narrower slot?
–Fix the swage to the press?

Final tools & “oops”:

Also, confirmed this evening that our 4awg flex fits much better now. This makes the upgrade much more doable. We can fit the 4awg to stock terminals with absolutely perfect alignment… But this solution is better.

Note I’m only comfortable doing this because we’ll be using a hydraulic crimper to assemble these afterwards rather than a mechanical hand crimper.