Use this Anderson guide to select the ideal Anderson plug for your application.
What Size Anderson Plug do I Need?
The 50 Amp Anderson plug is now the most commonly used connector in the simple and safe installation of fridges, dual batteries and solar systems in camping, caravan and four-wheel drive applications. But is the 50 Amp SB®50 series the best solution for your application? In this Anderson plug size guide, we will look at current rating, wire size, plug size and colour options to help you select the correct product.
If you already know a 50 Amp Anderson plug is what you need, you can order SB®50 plugs directly from our online catalogue here.
Single-Pole vs Multi-Pole
The first decision is between a single-pole Powerpole® (pictured below, left) or multi-pole SB® series (pictured below, right) Anderson plug.
For most applications using twin core automotive cable (dual battery or portable fridge) the SB® series will be the best option. Both cores of the cable are terminated inside a single, compact housing. Powerpole® plugs are commonly used when it is desirable to have the two cores of the cable in separate housings which are keyed differently, or when a lead has more than two cores. Powerpole® plugs can also be stacked together to create custom block connectors.
Anderson Plug Dimensions
In terms of plug sizing: the higher the current rating, the larger the plug.
In the multi-pole SB® series the plugs range in size from the tiny SBS® Mini (rated at 45 amps) all the way to the SB®350 (350 amps). The 50 Amp SB®50 is by far the most popular size in the Anderson range and is well suited to 12-volt 4x4, caravan, camping and solar applications.
In the single-pole Powerpole® series it is the PP15 (15 amp), PP30 (30 amp) and PP45 (45 amp) that are the most popular. These connectors are used as a cheap, compact solution to recharge drones or UAVs, RC vehicles, electric bicycles, scooters and for supplying power to 3D printers and HAM radios.
Wire and Cable Size
The Anderson Power Products Powerpole® series uses the same contacts as the SB® series, greatly simplifying the ordering process. However, as the single-pole connector only has to thermally and electrically insulate one contact, the current rating for a given size contact is higher. In the example pictured below you can see that the PP75 uses the same contacts as the SB®50.
For a given current rating of Powerpole® and SB® series housing, there are at least three contact sizes to suit a range of wire sizes. Anderson contacts are designed around the American Wire Gauge standard. In the case of the SB®50 and PP75, there are three sizes ranging from 10/12AWG (5.3mm2) up to 6AWG (13.2mm2). In this housing size it is the 6AWG that is most common but as a specialist Anderson Power Products supplier Connector-Tech ALS keeps all sizes in stock. The 10/12AWG size contact (above, right) is perfectly suited to 6mm twin-core automotive cable used in many caravan, 4x4 and solar applications.
The table below is a summary of the main series in the Anderson Power Products SB® range and the contact sizes that they will accept. Every Anderson contact option from 20AWG to 300MCM is available from Connector-Tech ALS.
|SBS®Mini||15 to 45A||20 to 10||0.75 to 5.3||0.9 to 2.9||Order|
|SB®50||50A||12 to 6||5.3 to 13.3||2.9 to 4.7||Order|
|SB®120||120A||6 to 2||13.3 to 33.6||4.7 to 7.4||Order|
|SB®175||175A||6 to 1/0||13.3 to 53.5||7.4 to 9.4||Order|
|SB®350||350A||1/0 to 4/0||53.5 to 152.0||9.4 to 22.6||Order|
Colour and Keying
Anderson Power Products multi-pole SB® connectors are colour-coded to denote their keying. If you look at the magnified area of each housing you will see a different keyway is cast into each variation. While this was originally intended to ID circuit voltage, the use of different housing colours to demarcate separate 12 volt circuits and prevent accidents is now very common. Each of the housing colours in the SB®50 housings pictured above is uniquely keyed and cannot be mated with any other with one exception: black and grey.
Ordering Your Anderson Plugs
Once you have selected the perfect Anderson Power Product for your application, head to our Product Catalogue to place your order.
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