Do you find Dean's Connector's flukey? - RC Groups
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Nov 30, 2001, 10:18 AM
Balsa Flies Better!

Do you find Dean's Connector's flukey?

I've been having some troubles with Dean's connectors and I wonder if its only me, or am I missing something. Quite often, when I plug in the connector, nothing powers up or I'll have a chirp or two from the speed control followed by silence. Generally, if I unplug/replug the connector all seems well, but there have been times that when I power up, I get a short blast of air, followed by deadness- both motor and radio. Replugging seems to fix this. So far this has only happened on the ground, but I'm worried if this would happen in the air. Obviously, it would be catastrophic.

I'm not the greatest soldering whizz going, but there is a fair amount of strain that these wires get when being plugged/unplugged, and so far none of them seem loose. Furthermore, if things are going to work, I get a solid connection even when I tug on the wires, so it really seems like there are issues with these connectors. I use a fair amount of flux when I solder these connectors on, but it's electronic flux, so I'm assuming there's no problem. A thought occurs- could this flux residue cause these problems?

Could the problem be that when the flat plates are pushed together, the contact is made intermittently which sends the speed control into spasms? Am I the only one having these fits? Has anybody lost an airplane due to a connector failure?

I'm thinking about replugging everything with AFI Zero Loss stuff but it's

a) Expensive
b) Heavier
c) Major pain

so I'd like to hear what other people have found before I head down this road.

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Nov 30, 2001, 10:49 AM
Stress Be Gone
GBR2's Avatar


I've never had a problem with them doing what you said but how did you solder the wires on to the connectors? If you had the connectors mated when you did this, it is possible that as the plastic heated up, the spring action of the male connector pushed the contact plate in the female connector away and when it cooled you might then get intermittant contact.

If you didn't do this, I'd still look at the solder joints. Just because there might be a lot of solder there, does not mean that you have not created a cold solder joint.

Outside of those 2 possiblities with the connectors, there is not a heck of a lot that can go wrong with them.
Nov 30, 2001, 11:18 AM
Tacoma, WA, USA
William A's Avatar
Never had a problem with them as long as they were 'clean and tight'.
Nov 30, 2001, 11:43 AM
Almost a Pilot
Mauilvr's Avatar
I've never had any problems with them but any connector can give you grief.
Carefully inspect ALL connection points, preferably with a magnifying glass. Verify that all the solder connections are solid.

I'd attach a DVM (Digital Voltmeter) to each one with clip leads, put the meter in a resistance (ohms) mode and then "abuse" each connection lightly to see if you can induce the incontinuity.

Have you removed the speed control from the circuit and tried to induce the problem? Perhaps the speed control or a connection on the board itself is flakey.

Also, clean each connector mating surface with alcohol. Maybe you have a thin, invisible coating of flux that's causing what you're seeing.

The quality of the connectors is good so something is wrong and you're smart to find it while on the ground.
Good Luck!
Last edited by Mauilvr; Nov 30, 2001 at 12:02 PM.
Nov 30, 2001, 11:47 AM
Registered User
It also sounds like it could be a speed control problem, I had one do the same thing.
Last edited by Cue; Nov 30, 2001 at 05:21 PM.
Nov 30, 2001, 12:00 PM
iankraus's Avatar
whats the max amps you guys find can go through a deans ultra???
Are they still ok for 05 car motors up to about 40 amps?
Nov 30, 2001, 12:42 PM
Caution:Makes sharp left turns
Troy's Avatar
Yep, sounds like a speed control issue. I have a CC Pixie-14 that sometimes takes a couple tries to turn on.
Nov 30, 2001, 01:13 PM
Registered User
I've only had two problems with them.

The first problem (only on one battery pack and probably my fault somehow) is when I plug it in all the way - no power. but if I leave it partially seated, it works fine.

The second problem is getting them apart. I was wondering if some kind of grease, or graphite or something would help this issue. They can be so hard to get apart that I have pulled off my solder joint when my hands slip off the connector. (Once again, could be me and my poor soldering skills).

But, for the most part, I really like them, very convient and reliable ways to hook up stuff and the polarity protection is just what I need!
Nov 30, 2001, 01:29 PM
Registered User
E-Challenged's Avatar

Broken wire inside insulation?

With all that tugging, pushing and flexing and maybe vibration, wire strands may be broken and you may be relying on a couple of strands or an intermittant make/brake between broken ends.
People also cut strands when stripping wires during soldering. I think I may have a broken wire on a Hitec type connector on one of my small packs, same symptoms on my Litestik.
Nov 30, 2001, 01:39 PM
Registered User
Rotten Robbie's Avatar
There are <b>TWO</b> types of Dean's connectors.

The small ones are only good to a maximum of about 5 amps and that is streching it.

The car people use the larger Dean's <b>ULTRA</b>. But I have never used that connector because I think it is <b>UGLY</b>

Which kind are you having trouble with?

Nov 30, 2001, 01:39 PM
E-Scale & Sailplane Guy
Bruce DeVisser's Avatar
Couple of things - I have been using the Deans for all my small stuff for years with no problems.

Another point about soldering is - how do you hold the connector during the soldering stage? As GBR2 said they should not be mated. However, you also should not grip the connector blade on the spring plate surface.

What I do is use a pair of needle nose pliers with a strong rubber band across the handles to provide tension, and grip the plastic body. I use a second pair to hold the wire in position. Now I have both hands free to solder, and no worries about holding the joint still while the solder cools, which may take several seconds.

You should not use extra flux - if you are using Rosin core ('radio')solder that is enough. Start with clean wire, clean connectors, and a clean tip. Lightly tin the connector and heavily tin the wire, heat the joint well and apply enough solder to flow into the joint and provide a smooth joint. Let cool for at least 10 seconds.

As to plugging them together, most speed controls require you to connect in one single motion to properly initialize. If you make-break-make the connection it will cause improper ESC operation, same as when connecting your battery charger to the car battery. I have found with the Deans it is best to quickly make contact with medium pressure and then shove the connection together the rest of the way. When the connector is difficult to reach, I slightly tilt the connectors so the horizontal blade contacts first and rotate the vertical blade into position.

Hope this helps.

Nov 30, 2001, 02:38 PM
Registered User
Andy W's Avatar
The wires should be under NO stress when you disconnect them! You should be pulling the connector apart, NOT the wires!
The connectors are reliable and durable, and have the next lowest resistance to 4mm gold pin plugs. I use Deans exclusively, even on 100A F5B models.
Nov 30, 2001, 05:04 PM
Registered User

gold and gold and gold

When I asked my LHS 5 years ago what connector he used for s400 etc he used and advised 4mm gold and boy I am glad I did that!!!!
never looked back in five years troble free connections

There gold in them mountains


David in Ireland