PSA: Make sure your Power Pole connectors are assembled correctly

I’ve seen multiple cases of teams this season having intermittent electrical issues with motors because their power poles weren’t assembled correctly.

Symptoms include

• Increased resistance and current draw from connected loads
• intermittent motor performance
• (related to resistance) increased heat generation at the faulty connector, resulting in a melted powerpole housing
• various error codes in NEOs due to one or more phases not being connected properly.

When wiring, just make sure you’re following the assembly instructions here:
https://powerwerx.com/help/powerpole-assembly-instructions

tl;dr
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Thank you for making this, I was about to make a similar thread due to our power poles beginning to cause us issues, after doing so many of them we have found at least three on our drivetrain neos that were barely held in and when bumped they would pull out of the housing and cause our drivetrain to noticeably drift.

Speaking from experience: 0/10 do not recommend.

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In particular when working with the silicon insulated wires, realize that the insulation is very soft. While you want to make sure that all wire strands are captured in the crimp termination, it is possible to compress the insulation behind the crimp. If the insulation is compressed, it will be difficult to properly insert the contact into the housing. Hope this makes sense.

When seating the contact in the housing, you should hear a “click” as the contact passes the retaining spring. If you don’t get the click, you may not have seated the contact in the illustrated position.

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And as with most crimp connectors, strip the right amount of insulation before crimping. The insulation should contact the terminal, but not enter. Leaving a gap becomes a point of enhanced metal fatigue.

And most of all - PULL on the connectors after you assemble them! Students on our team used to be shy and “didn’t want to break them”. Now is exactly when you want to know if they are robust enough.

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good suggestion. The tug test is a must for electrical connections.

Always remember to visually inspect connectors as well. I’ve seen a few bad crimps pass the tug test but fail a visual inspection.

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Definitely, I put quite a bit of force on ours when pulling them. On another note make sure they aren’t upside down in the housing, I’ve done this more then once in my two years doing electrical.

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Make sure that the contact is sitting “horizontally” in the crimper before beginning to crimp. If it is at an angle, the crimp can end up being deformed and might not fit inside the housing.

This is another of those things that the tri-crimp makes super easy. As long as you put the contact all the way in, it’s going to be close enough.

The only problem I’ve had with the powerpole tri-crimp is inserting 30A/15A connectors too far into the crimper, in which case the front of the barrel (nearest the tang) doesn’t get crimped and can interfere with getting full insertion in the connector housing. Pulling it back a bit (so the uncrimped part is in the jaws) and crimping again is a quick way to fix the problem. This issue doesn’t happen with the 45A connectors, as they don’t have a barrel.

Thanks for the heads up! I have crimped mostly 45s and haven’t encountered the problem.