Use this Anderson guide to select the ideal Anderson plug for your application.
WHAT IS AN ANDERSON PLUG’S MOST COMMON SIZE?
The 50 Amp Anderson plug is used most commonly. It is 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 Anderson Multi-Pole PowerPole size for your application?
In this Anderson plug size guide, we will look at current rating, wire size, plug/connector 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
Before considering Anderson Connector dimensions, the first decision to be made 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 Anderson PowerPole Connector and SB series housing, there are at least three contact sizes to suit a range of wire sizes for plug sockets. Anderson contacts are designed around the American Wire Gauge standard as opposed to a specific Australian wire gauge chart. In the case of the SB50 and PP75, there are three sizes ranging from 10/12AWG (5.3mm2) up to 6AWG (13.2mm2).
In this housing size it is the 10/12 AWG (7mm Auto Cable) that is most common but as a specialist Anderson Power Products supplier Connector-Tech ALS keeps all sizes in stock. If you are searching for a 30 Amp cable size to fit a 30 Amp socket then we are likely to stock it.
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, including the most favourable 30A Anderson plug SBS mini and 50 Amp Anderson plug dimensions. Anderson connector contacts on our size chart below reflect options from 20AWG to 300MCM, all 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|
ANDERSON CONNECTOR COLOUR CODING 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.
Need advice? Our technical experts are ready to assist you. Get in touch here.
When ordering a connector it is not always as simple matter of determining between 'male' and 'female' because this can refer to both the housing gender and the contact gender. Many manufacturers offer a given housing gender with both pin and socket. A common example of such confusion occurs in the Deutsch Industrial DT range, where the plug (or male connector) actually contains socket (or female) contacts. For this reason please specify both the contact and housing gender at the time of order.
The IP Rating of a connector or accessory relates to the degree of ingress protection provided by that component. The first digit of the code relates to the degree of protection against access to hazardous parts (conductors etc) and against solid foreign objects. The second digit refers to the degree of protection against the ingress of water. For two examples of this system, consider the most commonly seen IP ratings in our products: IP44 and IP67. IP44 4: Protection from solid objects ≤1mm | 4: Protection against splashing water IP67 6: Protection from dust-sized objects | 7: Protection against immersion in water at depth of 1m for 30mins A complete guide to all IP Ratings is available here.
These terms are used by Phase 3 and ITT Veam on their high-current connectors.The source is considered the half of the connection from which the power is sourced; or the half supplying the electrical power. In an emergency power application, the generator is the source and would be fitted with Panel Source (panel-mount) connectors, a Panel Source Powersafe Box, or Line Source (inline) connectors on pigtails. The drain is the half of the connection which drains the power from the source. In the same emergency power application described above, the network receiving the emergency power supply is the drain and would be fitted with Line Drain connectors, Panel Drain connectors or a Panel Drain Powersafe Box.
We commonly deal with both American Wire Gauge (AWG) and square millimetre (mm2) dimensions as the units used by manufacturers can vary. To convert between measurements please refer this conversion chart.
Genderless Multi-Pole SB Series and PowerPole Anderson plugs do not have a male and female sides. For wire-to-wire applications the exact same housings and contacts are used on both sides of the mated pair.
Nothing, they represent the same concept. AWG stands for American Wire Gauge which is also commonly known as a B&S or Brown & Sharp. Both are American Standard Wire Gauge Standards, commonly used in Australian standards.