Anyone who's done much involving using large batteries will probably have come across Anderson Powerpole Connectors in their various guises and colours. They're safe, virtually idiot proof in that you can't cross-connect positive & negative, and pretty solid.
But - if you haven't got all the right tools, they can be a real sod to work with and assemble initially. The main problem is that the big terminal lugs are heavy duty (they have to be to carry up to 50 amps at low voltage), so it's really difficult to crimp them so that a wire will stay in place without buying a decent, strong ratchet crimper beefy enough to crimp the terminals good and tight (and believe me, it's impossible to crimp them with pliers, or small crimpers - I've tried)
I've pulled together a quick guide to my not-so-cunning way of securing cables into the terminals without crimpers. It's pretty low tech and is nothing special, but it works without the need for specialist tools; and has never failed me so far
To summarise, it involves soldering the cable into the connector, however I've found over the years that just trying to force solder down to the bottom of the connector is very hit & miss in terms of success, and have come up with a bodge-tastic workaround to give a 100% secure soldered joint
All you'll need for this are standard workshop / shed tools:
- angle grinder or rotary cutting tool
- Soldering iron & solder
- small vice
In addition to the things like your chosen cable & connectors (what you use here are entirely up to you)
Step 1: A Little Bit of Cutting....
First thing you'll need to do is to do a bit of fine cutting, the aim here is to slice out a section of the connector almost to the bottom.
If you're a lunatic like me an angle grinder works fine for this, or if you're a bit more risk-adverse, use something more refined like a rotary tool with a disk cutter on the end. The result will be the same and should be illustrated in the pictures
Step 2: Clamp It Up and Get Soldering
From here it's pretty straightforward:
- Clamp up the connector in a vice (as it'll get very hot) with the cut facing up
- Insert your chosen cable into the connector
- With a nice hot soldering iron, start letting molten solder flow into the connector.
Don't be shy about how much solder to use - the whole connector needs to be brimming with solder to hold the cable solidly in place and needs to get to the "bottom" of the terminal and fully surround the cable
Once the connector is full to the brim with solder, let it cool off, and it's done! You cable is now solidly in place and there's virtually no possibility of it coming loose