Huh. Large format Anderson PowerPole connectors diff. colors, differently keyed?

rayra

Expedition Leader
So I was shopping around for connector bargains, looking to gather parts to complete my front- and rear-mounted power connections to facilitate a receiver-hitch-mounted winch setup. I've already started using gray SB175 connectors inside the vehicle for my heavy duty electrical bus, to connect my homebrew 'power conversion module'. I've run 1/0 cables from my under-hood Aux battery, thru PVC flex conduit along the passenger side frame rail and across the cargo floor and up thru some j-box bulkhead fittings in that floor, terminating in an SB175 in the cargo area sidewall. The rear power module plugs into that. The plug in the box terminates at a common negative lug and rotary cutoff for the positive.
The long-range plan was to pass power back out the box and thru the floor and to a back bumper penetration alongside my relocated 7-pin, left of my license plate. With the rotary switch in the module cutting power to the external plug unless it is needed.
And likewise, mounting a similar plug setup inset in the bottom passenger corner of my front grill.
The carrier-mounted winch's leads would be long enough to plug into either location when in a receiver on either end of the vehicle. ~4' ish. So I was loking at various colors of plugs and weather boots and I don't want these plugs to really stand out. So I was looking to get some black plugs and boots, for mounting on my black Suburban.

And as I was looking at the color options, I noticed this at the bottom of the page -


SB Powerpole connectors are Color Keyed
A unique feature of the SB Series Powerpole housings are that they are keyed to only mate with the same color housing. For example, a gray color will only connect with the same gray color SB housing. The Red color will only connect to a red colored connector, etc. For SB350 there are no color mating exceptions.

This feature can be used to color code different voltages or systems and prevent accidental connection.

SB Color Keyed Right Wrong



I'd always thought it was the SIZE/CLASS of the Anderson connectors that was a safety determinant re electrical load connections, that you couldn't connect say an SB50 connector to a SB175 connector. But now I realize that the different colors are not just color coding but physically different. That you can't mix colors randomly or for 'style'.

You can see the physical variations in this picture, too -

 

rayra

Expedition Leader
I guess my next obvious question is whether there's a published 'standard' already out there? I haven't stumbled across one. I initially picked the gray connectors for my inside bus connections because they were the cheapest of the bunch. And now as I look at the black connectors I find them priced 30% higher.

Another idea / expansion / literal extension I've had in mind for years was taking a long set of heavy duty jumper cables I've had for years and splicing in a set of Anderson SB175 couplings near one end of them. So I could just pull off the short end and jack them into the bumper-mounted connectors. So those will have to color/key match my bumper connectors too.



 

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john61ct

Adventurer
Yes many high-end connector manufacturers feature keying.

I've seen it used to ensure a too-high current load is not plugged into a too-low supply, especially when the latter's OCP is not robust, preventing outright damage.

Could also be for different voltages, grey for 12V, blue for 24V, orange for 48V etc
 

aardvarcus

Adventurer
Yes, they are keyed differently for using different voltages, so you don't plug a 36v forklift into a 48v charger. I just use grey, they are usually the cheapest. I made a jumper cable extension cord with SB350s on both ends that I use with my winch in the rear or to jump start other vehicles. I made myself an adapter from a SB350 to a smaller size, so that I can plug my air compressor into the same plug, without putting the SB350 sized plug on the smaller devices.
 

spressomon

Expedition Leader
For whatever reason, Anderson made grey and black mate-able in the SB50. And AFAIK Anderson Powerpoles are for DC only.

I use SB175 mounted under the bumper using a smartly designed and manufactured bracket by WitsEnd (http://absolute-wits-end.com/air-coupler-and-sb175-bracket/) to carry big current to the LFP on the trailer using the Anderson Environmental Boot on each side to keep the connection clean & mostly water-proof. Joey, who is Wits End, also makes the adapter for SB50 now too.
 
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DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
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john61ct

Adventurer
AFAIK Anderson Powerpoles are for DC only
What a crock.

"UL 1977 approval for a 600V rating, we test our connectors for dielectric withstanding voltage. The connectoris tested at 2 times the rated voltage of 600V plus 1000V or 2200VAC for 1 minute."

Their catalogs show many configurations for use with AC, including premade housings and connectors, both single and 3-phase.

Hot-plugging AC is a piece of cake for A C once you've designed for DC.
 

4S50

Member
Does anyone have any experience/knowledge of what color Anderson SB175 will mate with the version that Warn uses? (I would guess Red, but that is kind of Warn’s factory color as well).
 

dreadlocks

Well-known member
this is all because they are one piece, the smaller <45A powerpole's can be keyed differently depending on how you hook em up.. like instead of side by side, you can stack em ontop of eachother.. or have one up, and one side facing, or both, could also use nulls.. so those are inherently easy to design a multi-voltage, multi-conductor system and prevent accidental connections..

The big powerpoles dont have that feature built into its design, so they had to make color keyed connections.
 
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DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
Hot-plugging AC is a piece of cake for A C once you've designed for DC.
To whit, zero voltage crossing and thus self extinguishing arcs.

I was thinking that Powerpoles aren't typical for mains-connected appliances. Sticking with IEC/NEMA/UL types might prevent mistakenly putting 120 VAC on the 13.8 VDC supply of one's ham radio. Especially for those who might be color blind...
 
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