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Anderson Power Pole Connectors (APP)

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  • Anderson Power Pole Connectors (APP)

    I mentioned this in a reply to another post but I thought that it is important enough for its own place. Anderson Power Pole connectors have been recommended as a replacement for the Tamiya power connectors in FTC for several years. The change to new technology is making these connectors the standard power connection technology for FTC robots. The information that I am going to share is based on the Anderson Power Pole catalog pages 18 to 29, which is available at,

    First and most important is that the Anderson Power Pole(APP) connectors are general use connectors that have a variety of configurations and contacts. Purchasing the correct ones is important. I would hope that FIRST will publish a list of compatible part numbers and other information to guide teams from purchasing incompatible products. In an ideal world the FIRST kit will include premade cables that will fit any configuration. In reality there will be a need to make custom cables.

    The APP connectors that are used in FTC are called PP15 to PP45 these connectors are rated at up to 55 Amps. A common shell is used for contacts that are listed for 15, 30 or 45 amps. The only difference in these contacts is the wire that the contact can accommodate. PP 15 contacts are rated for 20 to 16 gage wire. PP 30 contacts are rated for 16 to 12 gage wire. PP 45 contacts are rated for 14 to 10 gage wire. My experience has been that FTC uses the silver plated power contacts, with catalog numbers 1332-BK (20-16), 1331-BK (16-12) and 261G2 (14-10). Please note that the 261G2 contact is tin plated and not silver. To crimp these terminals properly you need a crimp tool for open barrel type lugs. The Anderson tool costs about $240.00. There are at least two suppliers that offer an acceptable tool for these contacts with contact positioner for under $50.00.

    My experience has been that FTC uses the "Standard" shell. Anderson produces shells that are "fingersafe" and some that will premate a ground contact. The shells are available as separate red and black pieces that slide together and can be pinned together with a standard roll pin. Some suppliers provide the two shells ultrasonically welded together. A problem can arise if the FIRST configuration has the red shell on the left and those that you purchase have the red on the right. They are available both ways.

    We need direction from FIRST concerning what the specifics of the configuration is for the new technology.

    Questions are:

    What contacts are recommended to mate with the new technology equipment?

    What configuration of shells is compatible with the new equipment?