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#62873 - 03/02/06 06:34 AM 50A 3phase connector recommendations
winnie Offline
Registered: 09/15/03
Posts: 652
Loc: boston, ma

On a project we are using the 'California Style' twist lock connectors, eg the CS83-65C (similar part numbers across several manufacturers). These are rated at 50A, three phase, and there are various connector styles for different voltages. They are available as both male and female cord caps and as panel mounted inlets and outlets.

We are about to add several new pieces of equipment, and I am trying to decide if we should stick with these connectors, or change over to a different type.

These connectors are somewhat difficult to get, but not too bad (read: my local supply house can order them, I can find them online, but McMaster doesn't carry the range.) The price seems a touch high, but not too bad ($40 - $100 depending upon supplier). The biggest downside is that the connectors are three pole plus ground; no neutral. This isn't so much a problem with our current apparatus, but is a flexibility issue.

Does anyone have any suggestions for connectors that I should look at as alternatives to the CS connectors?


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#62874 - 03/02/06 07:10 AM Re: 50A 3phase connector recommendations
JBD Offline
Registered: 07/12/01
Posts: 599
Loc: WI, USA
Have you looked at 60A pin and sleeve devices? You can get some styles that are interchangeable between manufactures and others that are not.
#62875 - 03/02/06 07:16 AM Re: 50A 3phase connector recommendations
Radar Offline
Registered: 04/30/04
Posts: 349
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
You could try to go with a 5 wire connector, for the sake of versatility, but that would be a little more rare and a little more expensive.
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#62876 - 03/02/06 10:28 AM Re: 50A 3phase connector recommendations
John Crighton Offline
Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 172
Loc: Southern California
You haven't said what the mechanical requirements are, but if they're not severe, maybe the Anderson PowerPole types would work for you.

The single-contact housings are available up to 180 amps, and they can be ganged into multi-contact plugs (they are "hermaphroditic," or genderless) and they can be panel-mounted also:

McMaster sells these in five colors, see e.g. 8026K2.

Anderson also offer multi-contact latching housings up to 10 circuits at 45 amps:

I believe these are all rated to 600 V.
#62877 - 03/02/06 11:53 AM Re: 50A 3phase connector recommendations
winnie Offline
Registered: 09/15/03
Posts: 652
Loc: boston, ma

JBD, Radar

I guess if I really want the neutral, then I'll have to go to the pin and sleeve connectors. My experience is that these are nice but quite a bit more expensive than the CS type twist lock connectors.


I'll have to give the Anderson connectors another review. I _like_ these connectors, but was only familiar with the loose 'power pole' connectors and the twin terminal connectors for battery charging.

While the mechanical constraints are not particularly severe (cords laying on a surface between components under test or being used for testing), I would really like to have an enclosure with a clamp that grabs the outer cable housing. The idea of having an SO cord with the outer housing removed, and individual conductors going into the single pole housings, simply feels wrong to me. But perhaps I could use the Anderson connectors, and use their 'mounting staples' to attach the connectors to a support, and then clamp the cable housing.

Basically, if I could get the 'Powerpole PAK' devices that you identified, but for the 75A PowerPoles, that would be ideal for my application.

#62878 - 03/02/06 01:03 PM Re: 50A 3phase connector recommendations
John Crighton Offline
Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 172
Loc: Southern California
Jon, you and I suffer from the same problem: We can visualize exactly what we want, then we're surprised when nobody makes it!


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