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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there light-users and fixers,

most of, if not all of the lights discussed here come with their own cables and snap connectors. The connectors do a pretty good job, but all the ones I've seen (my system is a twin Dinotte Ultra-5) have proprietary plugs (male or female) moulded on to the wiring.

Which is fine, until you want to upgrade to an aftermarket battery (from BatterySpace, for instance, which can be supplied with a lead and it's own moulded plug). Then you either have to butcher an existing lead to join it to the battery (remove/replace all the heat shrink, remove the existing lead, solder the new one), or do a shoddy cable splicing job which (no matter how neat & strong), will not be as strong, water-resistant, or neat as the original.

So, apologies for all the words so far: I'm looking for a modular set of connectors that I can solder to any 2 core cable. I'd like them to be: as waterproof as possible (pref. to IP68), physically tough in case I tread on them (I'm a stumbling fool and the chargers are always on the floor...), have a locking collar of some kind so they cannot disconnect accidentally, have cable strain relief against pulling and flexing, and be pretty neat (10mm diameter or less?). Not too much too ask? :)

Then I can use the same battery to power my 7.2V headtorch and whatever else: common plugs throughout the system - even on the chargers!

Anyone seen anything like this?

Thanks y'all for reading,

JohnnyM.
 

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Alternative connectors

Try http://www.powerwerx.com . Their Powerpole connectors are self cleaning and polarized. They are small, easy to solder or crimp to the wire, quick connect/disconnect and seem to be work for me.:D They are becoming the standard for amateur radio operators. Does not fulfill all your requirements but covers most of them!

Mike
 

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That Powerpoles looks like over-kill to me. You don't need a plug that can handle 15A for a simple bikelight. I would use normal 2.1 DC plugs, they are easy to get so when you need one fast you can get it fast. And for me the most important, they are small.
 

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brum said:
Tamiya or mini Tamiya plugs also work really well.
I'll second that. I actually use Molex connectors which look similar but are slightly bigger. Not actually at all sealed, but the two conducting parts are well separated so that doesn't matter. Despite popular belief, water is actually a poor conductor, and with the separation the connector gives between the conductors you'll only get a very high resistance short even if you totally immerse it, which will make absolutely no difference to your run times given how high the normal currents are with bike lights. It's actually only signal cables where a high resistance short matters.
 

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From my interpretation IP68 is a fairly stringent standard and perhaps a little overkill for an application like a bike light? It's going to be hard to find a plug that fits that standard but is still physically neat and small. It would be worth having a look at Bulgin and Duraline products to start with. A simple Google search will bring up many other manufacturers.

Personally I use the connectors I have shown below in my lighting systems. I don't actually know their manufacturer or product names, but I could find out for you. When I first tried them I was impressed enough to convert all of my lights / batteries / chargers over to these.

While they will not be waterproof to a standard like IP68 and don't feature any cable strain relief, I have come back from rides absolutely drenched without any issues, and they're extremely robust. They're not going to fall apart like most standard "barrel" type connectors either as they do have a friction fit locking system. My gear gets abused, and I haven't had any issues with these. They may be worth a look.

Cheers, Dave.

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks to everyone...

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions: the connectors that Dave uses look like the Molex type or something very similar. I'll have a look round for some. The Bulgin ones I've seen on the net, but even the smallest ones seems pretty large.

I take the points about the waterproofing requirements for bike lights: part of the reason I quoted IP68 (which is overkill...) was to try to avoid 1000 posts suggesting really shonky connectors that aren't even dirt-proof.

That said, I'd also like to use the connectors (and the same batteries) on an LED caving lamp, and they get a lot more physical abuse. It would be nice to find something that would survive a good dunking underwater and being crushed or dragged against jagged bits of rock. My "peace of mind" approach was (ideally) to have a connector that was at least as tough as the cable.

Safe biking

JohnnyM :)
 

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In my opinion the best Bulgin solution would be the 400 Series Buccaneer. They're still 19mm diameter, but they're the smallest IP68 rated connectors that I have seen. 19mm isn't too bad, and I would imagine it would be very difficult to make a connector any smaller that would pass the standard. If I needed an IP68 rated connector for caving or similar then these would be it. :thumbsup:

Dave.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Bulgin connectors

Hey LowRider,

I have actually managed to find a much neater connector than the Bulgin ones, made by ODU, a German company. They do an inline solder-terminal cable connector with an O/D of 9mm to IP68, able to cope with any cable thickness up to 5mm.

And the construction is modular, so they get the parts off the shelf and bag them. And they're beautifully made, with a locking collar, so they won't come apart unless you want them to. And they're metal, so they'll last almost forever.

But (you guessed it...) there's a catch - they're brutally expensive. Between £9.00 and £10.50 per single connector (£20.00 to join two cables...).. :eek:

Hence my posting: I'm keeping an eye out for something similar but cheaper, maybe not made to IP68 but decently water resistant and dustproof.

Thanks again for the advice anyhoo.

Best regards,

JohnnyM.
 
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