|Anderson Powerpoles||JST-SM||HiGo motor||HiGo sensor|
|PP15 = 15 amp||–||–||–|
|PP30 = 30 amp||–||–||–|
|PP45 = 45 amp||–||–||–|
solarxopen Laddkontakt A
42VDC, 2A, 2 pol Kraft
solarXopen Laddkontakt B
33,6 -42 VDC, 2A, 4 pol Data + Kraft
solarXopen Laddkontakt C
Data och laddning 4 pol 54.6V
SM series from JST is a fairly compact (0.1″” pitch) wire to wire connector that has a latch and works excellent for small signals and accessory power up to about 2 amps. This connector is available from 2 pin to 8 pin, making it very versatile for all of the hall sensor, throttle, ebrake, thermistor, PAS, and other multi-pin plugs present in an ebike system.
The connector has the further advantage that you can probe the voltage on the pins while the connectors is plugged in, making it invaluable during troubleshooting (eg identifying a damaged hall signal), and unknown to many people both the female and male pins can be extracted from their housing with a suitable tool (like a bent paperclip). This allows you to remove the pins from the housing if you want to change a wiring pinout or pass the cable through a smaller orifice before reattaching.
On the downsides, this connector is not waterproof, and extensive exposure to water can cause the pins to corrode somewhat, especially any pin with a positive DC voltage on it. Our experience is that even after years of use riding in rainy skåne, the connection still remains largely reliable even if the metal pins may look a little weathered.
Pinouts: There are any number of pinout configurations that can be used, so just because two parts from different suppliers have a JST connector with the same number of pins that does not mean that they can safely plug in together. The image below shows the pinout standard that we have currently adopted for all of our components.
The Higo signal connector series is an overmolded plug that has been adopted by Bafang and other large volume OEM and turn key ebike manufacturers for various throttle, ebrake, PAS sensor, and light plugs. These connectors look and feel great when they come mating in a complete system, but they are not available as a solderable inline plug that anyone can install. The connectors are supplied as premade cable harnesses in the OEM supply line which limits their usage in DIY builds, or as panel mount / PC mount plugs which require custom circuit boards or enclosures.
While the waterproofing makes the contact reliable, there is no way to measure voltage at the pins when the system is hooked up for diagnostic purposes, and if a pin gets broken from forcing the plugs together incorrectly then there is no avenue for repair either. So while they have reliability and environmental exposure benefits over say JST-SM plugs, they are also more of a pain to deal with during troubleshooting and repair.
Higo also has an extensive line of overmolded motor connectors that have both the 3 power leads and the hall and other signal wires in a single plug. The Z910 plug is a popular one to find in lower power hub motors systems.
It has 3 phase wire terminals good for about 30-40 amps of max current, the 5 hall sensor wires, and a 6th wire that is normally used as a wheel speed sensor in geared motors, or as a motor temperature sensor.
Usually this is just called a “9 pin motor” or “waterproof motor” plug, which isn’t all that precise. One of the challenges with a single motor plugs that contains all the phase and hall pins is that the motor hall and phase pin mapping needs to be correct, and as anyone who has mixed and matched different brushless motors and controllers knows this is not always a simple colour to colour matching.
Fortunately, since Bafang largely standardized on this connector they have established the meaining of each phase and hall wire so that controllers and motors using this plug from different vendors are largely compatible.
The Rosenberger connector was one of the standards adopted by energybus as a battery plug. It’s got internal magnets to force the correct orientation and hold the connector together, and features two power lines and 4 signal lines, nominally for CANbus. The concept behind this connector to have a universal battery and charger plug that was interchangeable between ebike systems, and a communication scheme that would ensure compatibility.
The Anderson SB connectors are popular in larger electric vehicles like golf carts and such but we often see them used with ebike battery packs as well. These connectors are a bit like a larger version of the Powerpole plugs and have the same genderless pin features, but unlike Anderson Powerpoles they lack the modular dovetail jointing system. Instead the Anderson SB connectors are a fixed 2 conductor plug explicitly intended for DC bus cables. In our opinion they are just a little too bulky for use on electric bicycles.
The XT60 is a gold plated 2 conductor 3.5mm bullet connector from Amass designed for the RC market. It has excellent retention force, can handle very high currents without melting (upwards of 100 amps with heavy gauge wire), and is both compact and inexpensive. On the downside, it doesn’t handle arcing connections as well as Andersons and the connector must be soldered, which is much more time consuming and tedious than crimping. It is generally used exclusively as a battery plug, both on the discharge leads and on the charge leads too.
The XT90 connector is a larger version of the XT60 from Amass, with 4.5mm bullet pins for higher currents, conservatively rated at 90A but capable of much more. This connector is uniquely available with a built-in precharge resistor (XT90-S) that eliminates the spark which occurs when plugging in a battery to a capacitive load. That’s a nice touch, although the connector is overkill for most ebike applications that rarely have more than 20-30A sustained battery currents.
The MT60 is a 3-pin version of the XT60 connector designed for the 3 phase wires of a brushless motor. This plug is more compact than 3 Andersons and can handle the ~100 amp peak phase current of a powerful ebike hub motor without melting. On the downside, you don’t have the flexibility of swapping around the phases to experiment with different pinouts when trying to map a controller to a given motor. And, like the XT60 connectors, it is only available with solder lugs, there are no crimpable pins available so it is much slower to instal. We’ve adopted the MT60 connector as a molded panel mount plug in the updated 2017 Phaserunner devices because the compact size and high current specs allowed us to fit it inside the molding. And when we have customers who run into problems melting anderson plugs on higher power motor phase leads, we usually suggest a switch to the MT60.
The XLR plug has been used in audio equipment for decades and is available in various pin configurations. In the ebike scene it’s been used on battery chargers since as long as we’ve been doing this (2003). Back then we were mostly dealing with NiMH and NiCad batteries which require a temperature sensor for charging, and so a 3-pin XLR plug was used, with Pin 1 = V+, Pin 2 = Gnd, and Pin 3 = Thermistor. This same 3-pin configuration is also used with lithium and lead acid batteries that don’t require a temperature sensor, and in that case the 3rd pin is either not connected or used as an interlock pin.
Generic quality XLR plugs don’t have very good current handling for their size, and will often melt and distort when used above 4 amps or so. Higher quality XLR plugs like the Neutrik XX brand that we use on the Satiator are rated for 16 amps, which makes it an excellent choice for high current charging.
The DC barrel connector has been a standard for powering electronic devices with low voltage DC in consumer electronics, and has found its way as a commonly used plug for the charging port of frame mounted ebike batteries. We have also been using it for many years as the DC power port on the Cycle Analyst for running ebike lights, DC-DC converters, and other accessories.
These DC jack plugs are not usually rated for very high currents, and their design makes it easy to accidentally short the pin and ground tabs with a piece of metal. There are some models that have a multi-prong ground connection and are rated for up to 7 amps, but most of the models are only good for 2-4 amps. This is especially true if the mating contact to the ground sheath is just a single bent metal tab.
The low current rating and vulnerability to shorts make them far from ideal for use as the charge port in an ebike battery pack, but for better or for worse this is a common connector that is in many battery enclosures. Be aware that polarity can vary from device to device and DC plugs are specified by both the diameter of the barrel (OD) and pin (ID). The standard size used in ebikes has a 5.5mm barrel, but the pin can be either 2.5mm (most common) or a smaller 2.1mm (less common).
This like the XLR connector is another example of the Chinese ebike battery industry finding an inexpensive connector standard from the audio industry and repurposing it as a charging plug. It is familiar to anyone who has hooked up audio and speaker systems. It has a downside that the pin and sheath are both exposed and easy to short together.
At one point a decade ago Crystalyte switched from using the JST-SM connector for their hall signals to a metalic round 5-pin plug that was erroneously referred to as a “mini XLR”. There actually is such thing as a mini XLR plug, but this particular connector seems to be a knockoff of a Japanese made Tajima connector. At first glance it seemed to be a high quality contact, but in practice had no practical advantage over JST connectors, tended to corrode with exposure, and was a pain to solder. We stopped dealing with these plugs a long time ago, but many other Crystalyte vendors continue to use them.
GX 16 2 pol
The battery management circuit in a lithium pack needs to connect to all the individual cell tap points, and this is normally done with a single row 10 – 15 pin header connector, which can vary in pitch from 1.5mm to 2.54mm. It’s usually possible to find compatible pins and plugs from digikey or other electronic parts tendors, manufactured by the likes of JST, Molex, Tyco, etc.
Molex / Spade
Most Chinese ebikes, scooters, and kits come with large white connectors that have multiple flat spade contacts in them. Basically the cheapest possible connector that is available. They look terrible, but generally work just fine, and in most of these vehicles the connectors are tucked in the chassis and out of sight. Often these get lumped in the general term of Molex connector, but Molex makes all kinds of great connectors and probably not the ones here.