Electric Stunt > Gettin all AMP'ed up!

Wiring a Power System

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Mike Palko:
     The tools necessary to solder a power system are as follows:
1) Rosin core solder
2) Low wattage soldering iron (I use a 45 watt iron) with a small tip
3) Misc. sizes of heat shrink tubing
4) Heat sinks
5) Wire strippers
6) Helping hands (holds wire while you solder the joint)
7) Heat gun

     The first step in wiring any power system is to lay out your components to get an idea how long the wires need to be. For some applications you may need to extend the wires, while other applications may require you to shorten them. In any case, prep the wires to the desired length ahead of time to make sure your installation is not only nicely done, but successful.

   Before any joints are soldered be sure to slide the heat shrink tubing onto each wire as shown in the first picture. I prefer to tin the wire that is going to be soldered ahead of time. This helps the solder flow through the joint evenly giving you a "hot" complete joint quickly rather than applying to much heat (causing damage) or not enough heat and getting a cold brittle or partial joint.

     The connections being made in the second picture are the motor to ESC. There are three connections to be made if you are using a brushless setup. After each joint is soldered center the heat shrink tubing over the joint and use a heat gun to shrink it (third picture).

     The next two pictures (four & five) show the ESC to battery connector joint. There are two solder joints and again, I tin both the wire and the connector ahead of time. Remember to slide the heat shrink tubing onto the wire. When complete slide the heat shrink tubing over the joint and shrink it.

     The next step is to solder the connector onto the battery. Follow the same steps as the ESC to battery connector. (picture six)

     If your power system requires and On/Off switch you need to put it in the red wire of the ESC to timer lead (see the arrow shown in picture seven). Spread the three wires apart and give yourself a few inches to work with. Cut the red wire only and strip about 1/16" - 1/8" of insulation off. Tin the wire and switch terminals, slide the heat shrink tubing onto the wire, solder the joint and shrink the tubing. Be sure to mark which way is On and Off.

     Since I used a Z-Tron timer for the pictures I will explain where to plug the ESC lead into the timer. The black or brown wire faces the edge of the timer board. The connector is plugged into the second pin location nearest the center of the timer. (picture eight)     

     That's all there is to soldering a power system. It's really very simple. Here are a few important notes I would like to mention to make the job even easier.

     First, if you solder the motor to ESC and the motor spins backwards you have two choices. The ESC programming may allow you to reverse the motor rotation, but if that doesn't work switch any two wires from the motor to ESC.

     If you use a Deans style connector be sure you put the female side on the battery and the male side on the ESC. Leaving an exposed male connector on the battery will lead to shorts during handling/storing which can cause severe damage.

     Use heat sinks when ever possible. In some of the pictures you can see them (red clips). This will stop the heat from traveling up the wire and damaging the motor, ESC or battery.

     Never shorten the motor leads more than you need to. Once the motor leads are gone, they are gone. Both the ESC and battery can have the leads replaced if needed. More than likely the leads from the motor are the actual windings that go around the stator. To make the leads longer you would have to rewind the motor.

     If you need to extend the wires on your application extend the battery to ESC leads rather than the ESC to motor leads. Extending the motor to ESC leads can damage the ESC.

     I hope this helps you get in the air quicker!!!  H^^



Igor Burger:
MIke, do you have good experience with those power connectors? I used them but found that the only one segment can sometime fail. Now I use much smaller connectors from MPJet, they have more segments and also smaller resistance:


that 2.5mm (1/10") connector is enough for us.

Kim Doherty:
Hi Igor!

If you are talking about the "Deans" style connectors, I have used them exclusively and have had no real problems with them. The weak point in the design of these connectors is the little spring steel piece. After many many uses, the spring strip flattens out and needs to be bent just a bit to ensure proper contact. Not a big deal, only takes 10 seconds to do.

IMHO the primary reason you should use a connector of this type is to ensure that you do not hook up your battery with the wrong polarity to the ESC. I agree that in all other aspects the "bullet" connector is just as good.

Mike Palko:
Hi Igor,
   Just as Kim said the only real benefit to the Deans style is the polarity. I have used Sermo's and bullet connectors with good results. The price, weight and performance between them all are very close.


Igor Burger:
I use one male and one female connector on battery, no problem with polarity  ;)


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