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Old 04-22-2014, 09:17 PM   #1
DRONE OP
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Electrical connectors




On my last rig, I had a lot of electrical wires going from the car to the bike--
  • ground to bike
  • turn signals
  • brake lights
  • running lights
  • electric trim up
  • electric trim down
  • switched power socket (2)
  • unswitched power socket
that had to be disconnected every time I separated the rig. This was fairly often because I got my bike serviced at the dealer, and the dealer's service bay door was not wide enough for the rig, so I'd leave the car at home and ride the GS to the dealer.

To provide a quick way to connect and disconnect the wires, I used some connectors I bought from Eastern Beaver. Eastern Beaver carries lots of different types of connectors, so I just picked one, and ended up using the Sumitomo SL like these--




These worked OK, but were a pain to get wired up right, and I always felt they were too delicate when it came to connecting and disconnecting the male and female plugs. Always had to be super careful not to pull out any wires basically because these connectors provide no strain relief.

I'm wondering which connectors other guys use. I'm looking for something robust that I can yank on without worrying about pulling out the individual wires, something relatively easy to set up, relatively waterproof or at least impervious to shorts caused by water (I ride often in wet conditions), a capacity of between 4 and 8 circuits of 16-18 gauge wire, and of course tough enough for backcountry sidecar use. Maybe some of our "world travelers" have some good ideas?

Pics of what you got will be helpful, especially if you can unplug the connectors and take a pics of the male and female terminals inside the connectors.
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Old 04-22-2014, 09:58 PM   #2
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Talking Connector

Sounds like a trip to an auto shop for maybe a pair of trailer plug sets. In Oz we have some neat round 7 pin connectors. But not sure how big yours are that side of the pond.
Different plugs seem set for electric brakes and auxillary power etc. One plug would be neat but 2 would do perhaps.

Cheers.
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Old 04-22-2014, 10:17 PM   #3
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We use Deutsch connectors in off road race cars. Huge choice of different styles available including ones that are "through bulkhead".

http://www.deutsch.net/en/browse-pro...onnectors.html

A Google search will provide retailers.
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Old 04-23-2014, 05:01 AM   #4
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I think I'm going to use a molded trailer connector, you can get them in up to 8 wires.
http://www.wiringproducts.com/molded-connectors
I've used this company for several years, they have always been good to deal with and had quality products.
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Old 04-23-2014, 07:49 AM   #5
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Lights only?

Unless you're running stuff in the car, if it's lights only, I wonder if a separate battery pack and wireless remotes would do? They make all manner of wireless tailight/helmet brake light/whatever for bicycles.

Also, it would be neat to run a fiber optic scheme to just move the light to where you need it on the chair...
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Old 04-23-2014, 01:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brstar View Post
Sounds like a trip to an auto shop for maybe a pair of trailer plug sets. In Oz we have some neat round 7 pin connectors. But not sure how big yours are that side of the pond.
Different plugs seem set for electric brakes and auxillary power etc. One plug would be neat but 2 would do perhaps.

Cheers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ1 View Post
I think I'm going to use a molded trailer connector, you can get them in up to 8 wires.
http://www.wiringproducts.com/molded-connectors
I've used this company for several years, they have always been good to deal with and had quality products.
A 6-circuit molded trailer plug looks like this--



I've always called these "SAE" plugs but thanks for the link. Two problems with these plugs--(1) you have to tape or zip tie the two sides together or they vibrate loose, and (2) with the wires already molded in you need to splice these into your own wires which means, with a 6-circuit plug like the one above, there are 12 splices that can fail. I guess if you are good at soldering that's not a big deal, but I stink at soldering and I sure don't want 12 posi's or 12 crimped butt connectors involved. So, yeah, this is a solution, but I wanna see what else is out there.
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Old 04-23-2014, 01:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strong Bad View Post
We use Deutsch connectors in off road race cars. Huge choice of different styles available including ones that are "through bulkhead".

http://www.deutsch.net/en/browse-pro...onnectors.html

A Google search will provide retailers.
Deutsch connectors. Googling is much more effective if you know what the hell to call the damn things. Thanks, StrongBad! I looked at your link and started Googling around and I can see there are lots and lots of Deutsch connectors out there. I also like your idea about bulkhead connectors. That would be clean. I've noticed that DMC is using bulkhead connectors on their cars now (but not on my old 2007-vintage car) and I really like that idea. But again, I didn't know what they were called, so now that I know I can Google for them. I also see that some of the Deutsch connectors use sturdy-looking barrel-and-round-pin terminals that look a lot nicer than the flat pin connectors I have now.
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Old 04-23-2014, 01:26 PM   #8
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I'll put in another good word for Deutsch. Deutsch connectors (DT series) are great. They are robust, weatherproof and very easy to assemble/disassemble.

You can get them here: http://www.deutschconnector.com/prod...ay_connectors/

Here is what they look like:





They also have models with panel mount flanges.

They are not cheap, but for good reason. They will save you headaches.

(disclaimer: I know nothing of the vendor I listed, I just picked the first one I saw with a good selection. I used to buy them in massive quantities directly from their NA distributer: LADD industries)
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Old 04-23-2014, 05:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BK View Post
I'll put in another good word for Deutsch. Deutsch connectors (DT series) are great. They are robust, weatherproof and very easy to assemble/disassemble.

You can get them here: http://www.deutschconnector.com/prod...ay_connectors/

Here is what they look like:





They also have models with panel mount flanges.

They are not cheap, but for good reason. They will save you headaches.

(disclaimer: I know nothing of the vendor I listed, I just picked the first one I saw with a good selection. I used to buy them in massive quantities directly from their NA distributer: LADD industries)
Get a set of Cannon plugs as used in jetliners. Here in the NW you should be able to find a set easily! You can seal the backs and they come in different sizes that accept all size of wires! Twist turn to separate.
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Old 04-23-2014, 05:30 PM   #10
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Drone

These should work well for you.
PM me if you need any help.

http://www.mcmaster.com/#circular-po...ectors/=ro21iy
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Old 04-23-2014, 09:28 PM   #11
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Thanks for the links, everyone. My newer DMC tub has a bulkhead connector but I want to run a beefier gauge of wire to the tub to feed wife-electrics and whatnot. Some of these links look to be just the ticket!
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:19 PM   #12
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+1 on trailer connectors.

They are inexpensive, robust, waterproof, easy to wire, and easy to pull apart. You can get them in 4 to 9 [or maybe 10] wire configurations. You can even get them pre-wired.

One source:

http://www.etrailer.com/dept-pg-Wiri...onnectors.aspx



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Old 04-24-2014, 02:36 PM   #13
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I used trailer plugs from an RV store. Used one on my last tub and two on my new one. Easy to wire and with two I have extra wires for future accessories.
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Old 04-24-2014, 04:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BK View Post
I'll put in another good word for Deutsch. Deutsch connectors (DT series) are great. They are robust, weatherproof and very easy to assemble/disassemble.

You can get them here: http://www.deutschconnector.com/prod...ay_connectors/

Here is what they look like:





They also have models with panel mount flanges.

They are not cheap, but for good reason. They will save you headaches.

(disclaimer: I know nothing of the vendor I listed, I just picked the first one I saw with a good selection. I used to buy them in massive quantities directly from their NA distributer: LADD industries)
I like the deutch connectors myself, easy to remove and replace wires from connectors. Like if say you originally wire up with 6 conductors and want to add a couple circuits later you can remove the wires from the one housing and just insert them into the new housing. The only problem is the crimpers for them are kind of pricey but with some searching you can find after market ones for about $25-30. One more hint if you know any Caterpillar repair men talk nice to them as Cat uses thes connectors by the hundreds on some machines. Might even be able to borrow his official crimpers on a weekend.
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kshansen View Post
I like the deutch connectors myself, easy to remove and replace wires from connectors. Like if say you originally wire up with 6 conductors and want to add a couple circuits later you can remove the wires from the one housing and just insert them into the new housing. The only problem is the crimpers for them are kind of pricey but with some searching you can find after market ones for about $25-30. One more hint if you know any Caterpillar repair men talk nice to them as Cat uses thes connectors by the hundreds on some machines. Might even be able to borrow his official crimpers on a weekend.


Harleys are riddled with Deutsch connectors and they have the tool, which is cheap.
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