Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. ReglarGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Eastern Shore, Maryland
    Posts
    4,080

    Making Traxxas & Deans Connectors Even Better

    Story Backdrop

    First let me tell you that for some reason RC boats have this nasty habit of being able to find any weakness in their setup. I don’t know why this is, but one thing I’ve learned over the years is you have to dot every “T” and cross every “I” when it comes to their setup. If you don’t you’ll end up having a boat stuck out in the middle of a lake, and you all know what that means.

    I don’t know why, but for some reason most of the connector plugs we have to use with our RC vehicles rely mainly on surface-to-surface contact for keeping their soldered conductor pins into position with their conductors. The only connector pins in our RC’s (that I’m aware of) that uses a mechanical connection are the servo type connectors we all use.

    The Characters

    Here are a few examples of unsoldered and soldered conductors using either surface-to-surface or mechanical contact.



    Example #1: The top two wires are examples of surface-to-surface contact. The first unsoldered (so you can see the wires clearly) and the second soldered (so you can see what the wires should look like soldered). Traxxas and Dean Connectors use this with their flat pins which have an advantage of breaking up Skin Effect (which offers less resistance, and cooler temps), but doesn’t offer much in the way of soldering contact area for bonding strength.

    Example #2: The next two wires are another example of surface-to-surface contact, but this time the two conductors are twisted together before soldering. The advantage to this is that it increases the contact area, and makes stronger bond than the first example.

    Example #3: Wires #5 and #6 are an example of a mechanical contact. This is done by looping the conductors together to form a chain like link. This this type of contact has less contact area than surface-to-surface, but is a stronger solder joint due to sheer strength of the two soldered conductors.

    Example #4: Wire # 7 is another example of a mechanical contact. Wire #7 is mechanically crimped and will eventually be mechanically attached to another conductor. The only disadvantage here, is the potential corrosion between the conductor and the terminal, and between the terminal and its’ mounting surface.

    This is why #8 has the same mechanical contact advantage as the #7, but has additionally been soldered to ensure a good molecular bond between its conductor and terminal before finally being mechanically attached to its’ second conductor (or mounting surface). If the soldered crimped terminal is then secured to its’ mount properly (by applying a small amount of a bonding compound) it will then have a complete advantage of a mechanical contact without the disadvantage of potential corrosion.

    An example of anti-corrosion compound is: Brisol Silver Compound.

    EC3, EC5, XT60, and XT90 all use Motorola pins which have the disadvantage of passing along Skin Effect, but offers more contact area than that of a flat pin. This intern, makes their soldered (pin to conductor) connections stronger than that of the limited contact area offered by Traxxas and Dean flat pins (as in the difference between the above examples #1 and #2).

    The Plot

    (IMO) What should be offered to us (at least for our battery connectors) is a crimp-able flat pin that can be crimped and soldered before it’s inserted into its’ connector plug, similar to that of example #4, wire #8.

    Until that day arrives, however, here are a couple of things I came up with that has worked very well for me for me and all my Traxxas battery connectors. Also, something like this can be done for Deans or any other flat-pin connector as well.

    The first thing you want to do (and try to do this as much as possible with any soldering project) is to make a jig. Using a soldering jig makes soldering a lot easier and more accurate than trying to free hand solder a critical soldering job. Below, I show you the jig I made and use for my soldering of Traxxas connectors.



    The second thing you want to do (with either a Traxxas or Deans connector) is to modify their flat pins to ensure they can provide either more surface to surface contact, or a mechanical contact…or both.

    The Climax

    I decided to modify my flat pins for them to be able to have both. The following pictures show the techniques on how this can be done with either new, or flat pins that have already been used. However note, that if using a used Traxxas or Deans flat pin connector, it is very important to de-solder everything off of the pins properly before modifying them.

    First drill a 5/16” hole on the top of the pin.



    Flip the pin over and use a distributer cap contact cleaning file to even out any drill spurs.



    Tin (applying a thin layer of solder) the back, sides, bottom, and top of the pin’s contact area.



    Tin and saturate the battery conductor’s exposed end with solder.



    Place everything to be soldered in the jig, and solder into place. A trick: I add a little bit more solder as I’m soldering. Then I use a pop-cycle stick to further hold down the wire (at the silicon insulator next to the wire’s soldered end) as I’m pushing down on the soldered end with my soldering iron. This basically flattens out the soldered wire onto the contact patch of my pin which also helps (in our goal) of increasing our pins’ contact area.



    When the soldering is completed, this is what it should look like. If needed file away any solder that is sharp to the touch.





    The Happy Ending

    What we’ve done here is increased our soldering contact area’s surface-to-surface contact by flatting the wire onto the pin, and having the solder go around the sides, back and on the bottom of the pin. Then we have made a mechanical contact by having formed a column of solder connecting the solder of the wire to the top and bottom of the pin’s soldered contact areas. Now for our wire to break free from its’ soldered position, it would have to sheer and break apart its’ solder joint rather than just simply pulling away.
    Last edited by ReglarGuy; 10-17-2018 at 05:16 PM.
    The ReglarGuy is kid tested and father approved.

  2. #2
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. ReglarGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Eastern Shore, Maryland
    Posts
    4,080
    In closing, I have one more trick to show you all. When finished soldering, you don’t want to have to twist the wire to get it into the plug. It puts an unneeded stress on the solder joint.



    Instead, position the battery and its’ wires, so that when finished soldering, the wires naturally slide into the connector straight and true.



    I know Traxxas doesn’t sell their female connectors anymore, but you can still get them online on Amazon, and you can do this with the Traxxas male connectors (which Traxxas still does sell). Also, the female connectors do come up every so often on Amazon. I know, because I just bought a bag a little while ago. And, keep in mind that (as I said in the beginning) this will also work with Dean Connectors. Good luck.


    P.S. It would of been better if I could of split my Traxxas flat pins’ contact area with a die cutter, but with the limitations of a home work bench, I didn’t have the ability to do that fine of a cut. Sorry.
    The ReglarGuy is kid tested and father approved.

  3. #3
    Traxxas Employee Nitro Chicken's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Chicken coop
    Posts
    6,552
    Thanks for the great soldering tutorial!
    "Fortunately son, I says fortunately I keep my feathers numbered for just such an emergency!"
    Foghorn Leghorn

  4. #4
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. ReglarGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Eastern Shore, Maryland
    Posts
    4,080
    No, thank you. I'm glad that you enjoyed it. It's reads a little rough, because I don't have the advantage of my secretary smoothing out everything I write at home like she does when I'm at work.
    The ReglarGuy is kid tested and father approved.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •