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View Full Version : PCB mount version of Deans Ultra or XT-60?



jwatte
05-06-2013, 01:11 AM
Does anyone know of a PCB mount version of Deans Ultra or XT-60 connectors, common in RC power?
I'd like the ability to plug a LiPo battery straight into a board, without using stripped wires and screw terminals.
Right now, I have the mating Deans on a pigtail, which is screwed to a terminal on the board, but a direct connection would be more robust.

tician
05-06-2013, 01:59 AM
The DARwn-OP has two Deans connectors mounted to pcbs (one on the CM-730 and one on the 'power board'), but they are just plated through-hole cutouts (think they are rounded rectangles instead of really large circles, but not sure many fab houses accept that). I am not aware of any that are purely SMD (one-sided), but since the XT-60 solder cups are in-line and symmetrical, they could probably be mounted to the side of a board without too much trouble. Just put two large pads near the edge of the board and add a lot of solder to make sure it is a secure connection. Probably would not hurt to add a small cutout in the side of the board to help align and protect the connector (could add some epoxy if you are really paranoid). I soldered an XT-60 directly to a Deans after rotating one of the barrel pins and flattening both solder cups a bit; very solid so far. The adhesive bonding the copper plating to the fiberglass substrate would probably be the weakest point.

jwatte
05-06-2013, 12:48 PM
Interesting! From what I understand, the good-quality houses make "plated slots" for you, but all the cheap China stuff don't, as it requires a routing step before plating, in addition to the cutout routing, so it's more work. Although if they have a good drill/mill for the drilling step, it wouldn't be any extra work. Such a machine costs more money, though, and thus not available at the cheap places.

Doing some more research online, it seems like "Anderson PowerPole" connectors are used by ham radio operators and come in wire, board, and bus bar mount. It's the same housing for all the versions, and the same flat "spade" connector on both ends; known as a "hermaphrodite" connector, which I find cute :-) Looking at them, I remember using some a looong time ago, and actually really liking them. Sadly, it seems Digi-Key doesn't carry them, but Mouser does.

jwatte
05-06-2013, 05:14 PM
And Mouser is out of stock on one of the five parts needed to actually make a connection.

An alternative, PowerWerx, has almost all I need, but not the shorter version of the PCB mount pins. And those connections are long -- an inch and a half, front to back! That's as big as my entire PCB...

Soldering a Deans to a PCB starts sounding better already.

behic
11-15-2013, 05:05 PM
I don’t think so there is any PCB mount version of Deans Ultra or XT-60 connectors is present. The only way is that you have to solder the connector to a PCB and if you are looking for the parts then try other vendors also except the mouser like digikey, Newark etc and also you should try Samtec for the connectors.

jwatte
11-16-2013, 12:11 AM
Thanks! I know where to get Deans and compatibles for "inline" mount, and I know how to solder these to PCBs by using plated through slots.

The other problem is that really high currents require 2oz or better copper, which also is hard to get from the cheap board houses. Not even OSHPark supports that. And with only 1 oz plating, the limit runs at about 12 A current (through a 125 mil trace or so on an outer layer) which can be dealt with using screw connectors, so I'm back to not putting the power connectors straight on the board.

If I had infinite budget or friends at board houses, the story would be different ;-)

Th232
11-16-2013, 01:09 AM
The other problem is that really high currents require 2oz or better copper, which also is hard to get from the cheap board houses. Not even OSHPark supports that. And with only 1 oz plating, the limit runs at about 12 A current (through a 125 mil trace or so on an outer layer) which can be dealt with using screw connectors, so I'm back to not putting the power connectors straight on the board.

This is quite ugly (maybe excessively so) but I've had some luck in designing boards where they just leave the copper trace bare (well... ENIG or your usual plating method of choice) then bulking up the tracks manually with solder.

Xevel
11-16-2013, 04:52 AM
While it might not be the most beautiful in terms of aesthetics, this technic is used in the industry sometimes, so I would not call it "overly ugly". However, the problem with it might be that it's hard to put a very consistant layer of solder everywhere, so it might be hard to predict how much current can be passed for a given temperature rise.
If i had to do that necessarily on a board, I think I would solder some copper wire or desoldering braid on the trace. If the requirement to be on a PCB is relaxed, then I would use directly copper wires to make the electrical connections, even though the connector might be soldered on the pcb for mechanical purpose.

jwatte
11-16-2013, 03:52 PM
Right! I have a BMS PCB that has a few "zero ohm" 16 gauge wires in high-current places to that effect.

The real solution is to actually pay for 2 oz or 3 oz copper, though :-) Sadly, you can easily end up paying > $500 for a single board or two :-(