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Solved Soldered vs Connectors

#1
I'm piecing together my first quad and watching some guides.

I remember watching the flite test naze32 set up vid way back and I'm seeing almost exclusive connections with soldering on guides now.

I figure with crashes being an inevitably and wanting to upgrade/swap components a connector would be preferred to a hard solder.

Is there any reason I wouldn't want to use connectors? (Dupont pins, 2mm bullets, etc.)
 

LitterBug

Troll Spammer
#5
I've had my share of problems with connectors failing at the most inconvenient times. I solder as much as possible. Things like camera connectors have failed, which really stinks when your FPV goes out mid-flight!

Cheers!
LitterBug
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#7
I'm building up a 3" Japalura frame I got on the holiday sales, so nothing that extreme.

But it sounds like I'd want to switch to solder on a 5" frame or if I get more aggressive with my flying.
The smaller you go the MORE important the added weight of bullet connectors become. Remember there is zero lift on quads so no wings to help carry any weight added. That extra mass will also translate in a higher chance for damage in a crash
 

LitterBug

Troll Spammer
#9
Didn't realize just how light these frames were until i did the math just now.

Japalura frame weight is 1.8 oz
12 pairs of 2mm bullet connectors are .2 oz roughly based on amazon

So the bullet connectors alone would add about 10% frame weight.

Not an insignificant amount.
There is quite a bit of bulk added by using connectors. The smaller the build, the less room you have for excess bulk....

Cheers!
LitterBug
 

Bricks

Well-known member
#10
Didn't realize just how light these frames were until i did the math just now.

Japalura frame weight is 1.8 oz
12 pairs of 2mm bullet connectors are .2 oz roughly based on amazon

So the bullet connectors alone would add about 10% frame weight.

Not an insignificant amount.
And then you are adding 2 solder joints instead just the one directly to the board. If you are going to stay in this hobby you might as well learn to solder and collect the tools to do it.

Here is the one I have been using for the last 3 years, only had to buy a few new tips for it. It is not for soldering bigger jobs but circuit boards it is the cats meow with it`s very small tip and it is temperature adjustable.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/328...chweb0_0,searchweb201602_3,searchweb201603_53
 
#11
I'm good on soldering, I was really just trying to make the argument of convienence of replacing damaged parts or upgrading with connectors over de-soldering under the assumption that the performance loss from weight would be minimal.

PsyBorg made a good argument that the smaller a quad is, the more of an impact even the smallest of weight differences makes.

My current take away is that for mini/micros, weight is one of the greater concerns. Larger quads can get away with the relatively insignificant weight increase of connectors.

As for connection failures, I'm already doing preflight checks, and I am especially looking for damage after crashes. A loose connection being plugged back in over a torn out solder pad is preferable in my mind.

So my little Japalura will be getting mostly soldered connections, but I think I'll probably look at connectors on a 5" if I get one.
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#12
Torn out solder pads are extremely rare. The wires get cut or stretched inside the jackets more in frame breaking crashes more so then pads ripping off. The lighter and smaller you build the less violent the crashes will be no matter what speeds they fly as they will bounce more then plant themselves like a car crash does.

Youll be more apt to pulling pads off rewiring motors after prop strikes cut the wires then ripping one off in a crash. Soldering is ALWAYS the best solution it makes one less fail point for every other connection point eliminated. That in turn ensures not only reliability in your gear but repeatable flight every time you put the craft in the air. You wont have degradation in a physical connection from corrosion, weakening contact points, added resistances in the electrical path for the high currents getting pushed thru the wires. Hard wiring everything is just better all around. Specially if you can solder well.
 

quorneng

Well-known member
#13
From an electrical point of view a soldered joint is better than the point contacts between the two parts of a bullet or any other type of connector. Even a soldered joint has a slight resistance penalty compared to wire and as stated there are two soldered joints in any connector. ;)
A connector is used for convenience not for the ultimate performance.