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Author Topic: <$20 Y-cable build  (Read 1487 times)

LiveandLetDrive

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<$20 Y-cable build
« on: March 27, 2016, 07:30:11 AM »

Having already bought Zero's Y-cable for fast-charging back in 2013, spending another $250 when I lost it was just unpalatable!  Now that I'm building my two Quiq chargers and J1772 adapter into my FX's Givi top box, it was time to go the DIY route.  Turns out, the parts from Anderson added up to a mere ~$15!  Roughly $3 per housing (x3) and a bit over $1 per pin (x6).  I bought both 6AWG and smaller 10AWG pins and ended up using 12AWG speaker wire which I already had around.  I would've gone large but there was no pin that could hold large wire doubled-up (maybe 10AWG in the 6AWG pin but no larger).  Using the two-component speaker wire also negated any need for a wire loom/wrap.  I also used one cable clamp but with the zip ties and heatshrink I think it's not strictly necessary.  Lastly, I already had the anvil-crimper from making welding cable battery cables for a car.  I highly recommend it, but soldering's also an option.  My ratchet crimper could barely dent the pins!  I'll post about the charging top box when there's something to show.  Still figuring out how I want to pass the cable out, waterproof or otherwise.

One problem before I can test it, they seem to be keyed differently, see last image.  What's that about?!  I'll just dremel it off if there's not some reason not to.







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Burton

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Re: <$20 Y-cable build
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2016, 07:59:05 AM »

LOL you did the same thing I did and got the BLACK connector vs the BROWN one ... You could order two more brown ones and use them if you wanted.

All of them I think are keyed differently. I simply shaved off the black connector keys with a razor when I built out my custom charging solution and wires. (see link in description for details)

I am not sure how many amps you plan to put through your 12awg wire but I went with two 10awg wires from my anderson connector to each terminal which connects to the controller in my case since I have a MY13 DSR(kinda) and the stock fuse can only handle 30 amps whereas the controller can do 90 if I recall correctly.  [ I also soldered them instead of crimping ]

Let us know how well they work!

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BrianTRice

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Re: <$20 Y-cable build
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2016, 10:25:29 AM »

Thanks for the detailed instructions. I think this has been supply-side limited: how many man-hours a specific person or two can put these together at the Zero plant or Harlan's precious attention span. Maybe they price the part that way, in fact.
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LiveandLetDrive

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Re: <$20 Y-cable build
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2016, 05:47:06 AM »

The sharp-eyed may notice I neglected to include the small-gauge "PowerMod" wire initially, which I've added now.  Everything fits fine after dremeling off the keys.  (Figured I was just ordering a color of housing, no mention on the Anderson site that different housings are keyed differently!)

However I'm still having trouble, with either or both chargers connected through the Y, it blinks the red error light twice, which means "low battery voltage."   Any ideas?  Is the PowerMod wire sending the full voltage back and perhaps the small (18AWG) wire is excessively resistive?  As far as I can tell everything is wired perfectly and from the charger's perspective it should just be as if I'd added an extension.  The batteries are nearly full but it does successfully start charging when I hook one charger up without the Y-cable...
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Burton

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Re: <$20 Y-cable build
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2016, 07:03:49 AM »

by "PowerMod" do you mean the black / white or brown / white small AWG wires coming from pins 3 & 4 on the SBS75X's ?

Are you sure they are in the right pins? (are you building this off an existing Y connector or from memory?)

I never made one of these so idk what other advice to give you but to check the pinouts. Maybe someone who has one of these can help deconstruct it for you or send Harlan an inquire as to the proper pinout ;)
« Last Edit: March 28, 2016, 09:11:09 AM by Burton »
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LiveandLetDrive

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Re: <$20 Y-cable build
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2016, 07:54:18 AM »

Yes, those are the ones I mean.  I'm building it based on the pinout of the Quiq's cable, which only has one of these PowerMod pins connected (P2).  So in each branch of the Y that goes to the chargers I have a socket in S2, which go to the P2 pin in the "trunk" of the Y which goes to the bike.  I think I've discovered my problem:  no socket-to-pin contact.  I bought the "standard length 7.7mm" parts but it seems like the "Pre-mate" 8.5mm or 9.3mm must be what I need.  Here goes another multi-week wait for an order from Anderson!

Also, the different keyings are due to the brown housings being intended for 96V use, vs. 80V use for the black ones.  Don't think there's any actual difference between them, just to prevent accidents in a situation where both standards are in use.
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Doug S

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Re: <$20 Y-cable build
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2016, 08:16:38 AM »

Here goes another multi-week wait for an order from Anderson!

Have you checked stock at Mouser (www.mouser.com)? They don't carry the whole Anderson line but they do stock some parts. I ordered some parts from them just before Brandon announced the DigiNow charger; not sure they're what you're looking for but they look very familiar...and I remember the 80V/96V dichotomy as well.
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Burton

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Re: <$20 Y-cable build
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2016, 09:08:46 AM »

Mouser does indeed carry the pins you need as I have bought them there myself before along with a lot of other pins / connectors / etc.

LiveandLetDrive

Remove the pins on both connectors and manually connect them to see if it works ... if you can that is. They shouldn't be hard to remove though.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2016, 09:10:21 AM by Burton »
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BrianTRice

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Re: &lt;$20 Y-cable build
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2016, 10:33:04 AM »

I realized that you should mentioned the cost of tools used to build this, which would considerably exceed $20. Like the crimper.
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MrDude_1

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Re: &lt;$20 Y-cable build
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2016, 07:08:57 PM »

I realized that you should mentioned the cost of tools used to build this, which would considerably exceed $20. Like the crimper.
You can get the crimper for $20... and its a tool for life.
Build two cables, sell one for $20 and get a free tool. lol
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BrianTRice

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Re: &lt;$20 Y-cable build
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2016, 11:04:02 PM »

I realized that you should mentioned the cost of tools used to build this, which would considerably exceed $20. Like the crimper.
You can get the crimper for $20... and its a tool for life.
Build two cables, sell one for $20 and get a free tool. lol

I am pretty sure for power cables that a $20 crimper is not safe.
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BrianTRice

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Re: &lt;$20 Y-cable build
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2016, 11:07:03 PM »

For what it's worth, I've had cables come loose from Anderson plugs I acquired on this forum and can attest that a senior EE did not approve of the crimp job and suggested using a proper tool. The risk of arcing at power is too high to leave to chance.
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Say10 15FX 16FXS

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Re: <$20 Y-cable build
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2016, 11:43:38 PM »

Mouser does indeed carry the pins you need as I have bought them there myself before along with a lot of other pins / connectors / etc.

I'm having trouble finding them. Do you know the part number or what they are called? Do I only need 1 per Anderson connector? I'm trying to build a y cable even though I can't seem to get my QiuQ 96v chargers to work. Tried everything, in the bike, out of the bike (with adapter), with on board charger, batteries charged, half charged, etc,etc. The charger(s) cycle and charge for about 3 seconds, then the error starts flashing. Am l doing something wrong? Any help is greatly appreciated.
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grindz145

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Re: <$20 Y-cable build
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2016, 11:47:00 PM »

When in doubt, solder it out. You'll need a big tip and a lot of heat, but it's the safest way to do this DIY.

Don't mess with big power contacts if you aren't absolutely sure you know what you're doing. I2R on 100A can get real.

(just a PSA, I'm sure you guys know what's up)

Doug S

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Re: <$20 Y-cable build
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2016, 01:02:34 AM »

When in doubt, solder it out.

Not to get too pedantic, but a (properly!) crimped joint is actually better than a soldered, or even a crimped AND soldered joint. Crimp connectors are carefully designed to allow just enough movement to prevent strand breakage due to fatigue; this is part of the "strain relief" design that every connector needs. Soldered connections constrain the wire too much, it will flex only at one point and will eventually break just where the strand emerges from the solder. Additionally, crimping a connector causes several small cold welded connections, and the resistance of the connection is actually lower than a soldered joint. NASA and the military do not allow soldering crimp connectors.

Realistically, we aren't building for NASA or even making our own airplanes, so soldering them is probably perfectly adequate. Just be aware that a quality crimping tool might be a good investment, and might prevent a breakdown on the road someday.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2016, 01:04:23 AM by Doug S »
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