The Ultimate Battery Cable Connector
Our company founder, being an engineer and an automotive and performance boating enthusiast, was not satisfied with the state of the art of battery cable connectors. Observing the setups for everything from triple engined, fire breathing offshore powerboats costing upwards of $500k, to fifties and sixties hot rods undergoing body-off-frame restorations running up to $100k, the use of $5 lead battery cable connectors just seemed out of place.
This dissatisfaction led him to commission the development of what is arguably the most unique, expensive, and striking battery cable connector ever produced. Its uniqueness even resulted in the award of a U.S. patent. This was a cost-is-no-object design project with the features and benefits of this beautiful piece of engineering found in three key areas:
1. Design uniqueness
2. Materials of construction
3. Pure esthetics
The basic design combines the benefits of both a cable connector and a master cutoff switch. Additionally, the design allows disconnection of the cables without the need for tools.
- First, the requirement was for an effective way to completely isolate the battery power from the vehicle’s or craft’s electrical system. Most battery switches use point contact resulting in high resistance and limited current- carrying capacity. This new design uses surface contact by utilizing a cone and socket configuration similar to that of the classic self-locking Morse Taper used on machine tools. Once the two mating parts are pushed together, there is no movement and complete surface contact assures minimum resistance and maximum current carrying capabilities. The switch connection is broken by a simple turn of the machined polymer ferrule.
- The second requirement was that the switch contacts would be contained such that any sparking caused during the make or break of the switch could not trigger an explosion of either battery-generated hydrogen gases or surrounding fuel vapors.
- The third requirement was for a configuration that would allow complete disconnection of the cables from the battery without the use of tools thus allowing a battery swap-out to be quick and easy. Those of you who have accidentally grounded out your wrench when loosening or tightening a clamp screw on the positive terminal will see this as another real safety feature.
- The fourth requirement was for the complete assembly to be constructed of materials that would not corrode in the presence of battery acid. Most battery cable connectors will display a white crystalline growth around the terminal connection over time. If left unattended to, this growth can ultimately result in the lead or zinc connectors literally dissolving.
- The fifth requirement was that this connector and switch had to work reliably even if immersed in salt water. Unlike most battery switches with copper contacts that corrode on contact with moisture, the conducting surfaces of this switch are impervious to salt water.
Materials of Construction:
With no regard to cost, only the best possible materials were selected:
- The core of the two mating parts is full hard yellow brass to maximize conductivity without sacrificing structural strength. The core material is then precision CNC machined and laser engraved with the product name.
- Machining is followed with a layer of nickel plating to maximize adhesion and to act as a barrier layer, followed by 24-Karat, Grade A gold plating for maximum corrosion resistance and conductivity.
- The screw-on ferrule that pulls the tapered contact pin into the mating tapered female socket is machined from Torlon®, a high temperature-resistant engineering polymer that can tolerate under-hood or bilge temperatures with ease, is self-lubricating, and has exceptional strength and dimensional stability. It is also one of the most expensive engineering plastics available.
- The fasteners that clamp the socket housing to the battery terminal and those that clamp the battery cable to the pin housing are stainless steel. But here again, aerospace quality alloy A-286 stainless steel was selected for its high strength in place of the more common, low strength, and significantly less expensive, 18-8 stainless steel.
- Then, to assure proper tension pre-load in the threaded connection of the ferrule holding the pin into the socket, the ferrule loads the pin with two stainless steel Belville washers.
This is where a picture is worth the proverbial thousand words.
These connectors are sold as a pair.