RC Battery Connectors and Wire Gauge

RC Battery Connectors

In the application of electric motors and batteries, connectors play a large role in transfering the battery power to the motor and through the ESC. Not only does it transfer power but it also must be able to break apart quickly for battery or motor replacements. Choosing the right kind of connector for your application is a must.

Factors determining your selection for RC Battery Connectors

There are several connectors to choose from and this is due to the fact that each one serves an entirely different purpose. Amount of current needed to pass through a connector is the most important factor in selecting a connector. Then comes size, weight, ease of use ect. In general a connector should be as large as the maximum amount of average current it will see. This logic will provide the lightest and smallest connector as possible.

Here is a list of Connectors by Amp ratings

Connector Continuous Amperage Rating
Servo/Battery Lead
< 800mA
JST
1-5 A
Mini T Plug
5-18 A
3.5mm Bullet Connector
10-35 A
4mm Bullet / Banana Connector
15-50 A / 0-10 A
Deans T Connector
20-60 A
5.5mm Bullet Connector
55-110 A
6.5mm Bullet Connector
65-150 A

Connector Placement

On the motor to ESC connection it is common and recommended to use the best bullet connector that fits your specific use. On the ESC side, this is where the female plugs go. On the motor side this is where the male plugs should go.

When using bullet connectors on the battery, it is best to follow and remember the phrase “Red Hot Female.” This refers to the battery as being the “hot” source having a “female” plug on the “red” or positive terminal. The negative side of the battery would then get the male connector for polarizing the connection.

The ESC of course would get the opposite connectors to properly mate up to the battery connectors. In order to prevent any shorts a piece of PVC tubing is recommeded to be placed over the male battery connector when the pack is not in use. This is very important to prevent any electrical shorts.

Wire Gauge Chart by Amperage Rating

This chart assumes a short less than 6-8 inch run of wire.

Wire Gauge Continuous Amperage Rating
18 AWG
10-18
16 AWG
18-25 A
14 AWG
25-40 A
12 AWG
40-75 A
10 AWG
75-120 A
Dual 12 AWG
80-150 A
Dual 10 AWG
150-240 A

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