Anderson Connectors Without Crimping Tools




Introduction: Anderson Connectors Without Crimping Tools

About: I like to make stuff for the garden, house, shed & out and about. Occasionally some of it works :)

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:

  1. Clamp up the connector in a vice (as it'll get very hot) with the cut facing up
  2. Insert your chosen cable into the connector
  3. 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

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    5 Discussions


    1 year ago

    A simpler approach and creates $100 ratchet grade crimp. Using just the regular cheapo plier like powerpole crimper, I tape the wires to the lug to insure it doesn't move then lock the lug in place on the crimper by squeezing it by hand as best I can, you can also use a rubber band to hold the plier handles together. Grip the crimper to steady it on your bench with the bottom handle resting on the bench, and wack the top crimp handle down on it far end with a rubber mallet until you get the desired result, the jaws will narrow to about 1/4 inch and won't budge further. It more laborious and time consuming than a ratchet crimper, but its worth doing if you don't do this often to justify a $100 tool. The simple plier tool can be used on smaller sized lugs up to 10 AWG and is more versatile, and so long as tool steel is steel, it won't break, and there is no mechanism to damage since its just a lever. I use the $10 GS plier crimper that powerex used to sell 10 years ago. Good luck!

    POWERPOLE - Copy.jpg

    4 years ago

    I have previously drilled a small hole near the bottom of the cup to allow the trapped air to escape and also when a bit of solder escapes from the hole when soldering the wire in place, you know it will be secure.


    4 years ago

    excellent job, but I need to ask why cut the terminal? I have done hundreds of these, without crimpers, and without cutting a channel; if you leave the the terminal end intact, and orient it vertically, you can use the cup as a solder pot and heat with a torch, Flux your wire, and stuff it into the pool. just make sure that the wire gets hot enough to bond with the solder and you're golden.


    Reply 4 years ago

    The honest answer was that I had no end of trouble trying to get the solder to run "into" the bottom of the cup section of the terminal - especially with thcker wires. The solder had a habit of filling up the top of the terminal at the top, and forming what looked like a nice little seal, but then you'd flex the wire and it'd come loose.

    This way ensures you get solder all the way to the bottom and fully plugs up the entire of the cup, especially if you're a bit leaden handed like I am :o)

    Don't get me wrong, I've no doubt your way works as well, and I can see the logic of it; but my blowtorch is a bit brutal for the size of the terminals and would end up burning the vice :o( The other downside is if the wire got too hot the sleeving would probably melt on some cables - but again it's different strokes for different folks and different applications mean different methods.