Watch out for those Anderson PowerPoles (Victron charger)

e9999

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So I am checking my Victron power history on my solar maintenance panel for my 80. Oddly I see that there was no power produced yesterday.
That's odd. I check the V Connect app battery voltages and see some odd numbers, like the charger is floating, the battery voltage is at 14.4 or 13.8V depending on when I look, but the power is zero.
Odd. Put a voltmeter on the battery, it's nothing like that, much lower.
Try various things, put the headlights on, the battery voltage drops to 12V but the Victron still shows Float at 13.8V.
Obviously something going on with the Victron. I am thinking the thing is busted. Bad news, that was not cheap. I disconnect various things, try to see if the Victron will reset.
Nothing better, still screwed up numbers. That does not look good at all now.
So start inspecting everything closer.
Finally, I see it. One of the Powerpoles connecting the Victron to the battery has a crack in it. Looks like the little roll pin that I put in to prevent it from separating has started to rust. Unlikely but maybe it may have expanded when rusting and stressed / cracked the plastic housing. Very odd. When I pulled on the housing, it fell apart. (It may have broken when I moved the controller yesterday to check something.)
Anyway, there was a bad contact there. Replaced the housing, kept the blade (gotta love the modularity).
All is well now, working like it's supposed to again. Numbers are good. It's charging.

I love my PPs, but still they are not perfect and may fail. And these were original Andersons, not chinese clones. So check yours every so often for important stuff like Fridges with :beer: and the Wagyu steaks for your Mudder friends (still waiting for my invitation, dang it...) !
 
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I just use cyanoacrylate to join the pp together. A drop and slip the tongue/groove together and done. I don't like the rollpins since they do tend to strain/spread things apart. The glue is much better and I've been using it for many years without any issue. Not like I need to separate the pieces.

cheers,
george.
 

e9999

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yup, of course the advantage of the pin is that it's removable, but I learned my lesson, and it's not like those tongue and grooves are very strong to start with. I've seen several broken apart by now.
 

spressomon

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Agreed, based upon my experiences too, the PP15/30/45 can be troublesome. I wish they had a (physical) size between the SB50 and the PP15/30/45 that utilized pins, again, with in-between size.
 

e9999

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yup, the size jump between the PP45 and the SB50 is just too much, so I stick with PPs whenever possible. They do have larger PP style housings though, but not used those yet and don't know how they would compare in size to the SB50. Should look into that, but for what I do, with the exception of (extremely rare) winching, 45A is ample for me, and I only have a few SB50s around.

added: I looked it up. It turns out that the PP75 is about the same physical size as the SB50. And they use the same connectors. Here is a page that has photos showing the sizes:
Of course, the PP uses single pole housings whereas the SB uses a double pole system. Pros and cons for each.
 
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e9999

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And another one (see DC/DC thread):
I put too much (but much less than the nominal) current on a cheap chinese meter with powerpoles ends. The powerpole melted just a bit and interrupted the circuit. Had to check every connector to finally find this one. Sheesh... Maybe my honeymoon with PPs is now over...?


added:
But:
the housing was melted, could not remove it. Beat it open with a hammer and turns out the metal connector inside was just fine. Did not have to replace it. Put new plastic housing on it, and good as new! So, that's something!
 
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