pic: Anderson motor disconnects

Close up of gold fans and Anderson disconnects to motors.

Where do you get the small Anderson connectors? we wants them!

The Robot Marketplace has them… we bought a bunch in 2006, but ended up not using them. Reportedly, the Poofs have had problems with the little Andersons; however, I haven’t heard of anyone else having major issues. Personally I’d rather just use standard barrel disconnects. Easier to find, and there isn’t any real functionality loss (well, you lose the ability to slide them together into blocks, but that is pretty much useless unless your make your electronics board removable like 842, 118, 116, and whoever else does it).

With the smaller andersons, they suffer from a few easily fixed problems-

Crimping the wire into the contact may not work. I’ve had a few pull out, including one right before a match. I ended up jamming the wire back in and taping it in place for that match. Fixed it for the next fight by crimping and soldering. A lighter crimp and a decent solder joint works better for them, anyway, as it won’t warp the contact as much.

If you have problems with them coming apart, there are either these-
Blok-Lok PowerPole Clamp’s for the 15, 30 and 45 amp powerpoles

The other, cheaper, easier solution is to wrap the connection between the two connectors in electrical tape. Not sure exactly how legal that is, but I don’t see a reason it should be illegal.

I used them on our electronics board last year and I really liked them. They were really useful to separate different systems and to trace my wiring. The only hard part we had was trying to figure out how to hook them up at first, but we figured it out pretty quickly.

I absolutely love the smaller Anderson powerpoles! Just remember the convention if you’re looking into the connector: “Tongue down, hood up, red on left, black on right!”

And the gold fans? Did you guys take out the blades and paint them? Is that within the rules, or would that be modification of an electrical component? Either way, they do look cool:yikes:

We had major issues with these in 2006. We had all our motors using Anderson quick disconnects, all properly installed, crimped, soldered, etc. We had intermittent contact issues on numerous occasions, even after totally replacing the crimps. Eventually we decided it wasn’t worth the hassle, and went back to using standard connectors.

It sounds like a silly question, but were the contacts fully inserted into the housing? If not, that could cause the contact issues you had as the contacts will not be in the right position and even able to pull out completely.

West Mountain Radio sells an excellent crimper for the PowerPole 15/30/45 amp series, worth it’s weight in gold.


Yes, they were.

The powerpoles are a bit pricey for my liking. I think you’re better off with the usual spade connectors.

I’ve had to use pliers to many time to get the spade connectors apart. i use these when ever i can. and mcmaster has them.

I am not sure why you had problems with these. We have been using them for years. Provided we assemble them with some care, we have never had problems with them and they have been very reliable.



We aren’t sure either. We never took the time after the season to pursue why they weren’t working correctly for us. I’m sure if we did, they’d be fine.

I didn’t mean to put anyone off to using them. Clearly others have had good experiences. Just to be very, very careful with how you assemble them.

Something about my life experiences with vehicular electrical systems makes me think that putting a ring terminal on the end of the motor wires, crimped and soldered, would be the most reliable way to go. This requires designing the robot around this concept, though! like putting the Victors next to the motors, and fully accessible.

My team has used Anderson Power Pole quick disconnects since I joined and we use the 45 AMP ones. You can get those at Allied Electronics if you don’t like the sites listed by the people that posted above me. These are very reliable but you have to be careful with two things. One is that IF you solder, you make sure that you don’t get past the crimp. If you get even a little bit of solder past the crimp than it has a possibility of causing problems snapping in. The second is that you have to make sure you hear the “click” noise. If you didn’t I’d a) make sure that I inserted the pin correctly and b) grab a pair of needle nose pliers and try to push the wire forth. If you still can’t get it in I would recommend crimping on new leads.

Also I recommend to ANYONE who is doing something like this to use ring connectors. It may be a bit painful to unscrew and then tighten the screws back in but overall it will be worth it when it comes down to troubleshooting a problem because that eliminates one important variable: a bad connection.


thank you for all the responses we printed them out and are now haveing an intense debate.

Being able to remove the boad makes it much more versatle and helps if there’s a need to break it down in the pits.

Cory et al,
There are few things that can get you into trouble with these connectors. 1. You don’t use the prescribed crimper and the barrel becomes oblong. The wires can then turn the contact inside the housing preventing full contact with the mating connector. 2. Rough handling has caused the contact to become deformed so that it cannot mate with opposite connector. 3. Any of the above in combination with a poor solder job will make you think the contact is fully inserted (since it won’t pull out of the block) when it is not. 4. A deformed block will prevent full contact alignment.
The only fully inserted contact is one in which the end of the contact has slipped over the spring steel that is captive in the block. A very distinct “click” will be heard when the contact is fully seated. Although there are several manufacturers of a look alike connector, they are not compatable. Do not mix!
We have used these for many years. You will find them on our crab drive modules of past years (i.e. 2003 and 2005). Since they have the ability to snap together to build multipin connectors, we have used them for arm attachments in the past as well. Last year’s arm used a block of 10 contacts as I remember.


We made very sure that we paid attention to all these issues you mention. As far as we could tell, we installed them 100% correctly. We’ve never gone back to try again, and see if maybe we just had a bad batch, or some real bad luck, or something.