Creation date: June 28, 2012
Thanks to Dale at EPBuddy for sending me these handy little helpers to review and use.
There are many things in life that are just harder than they need to be. One of these things concerns balance connectors, more specifically plugging and unplugging them. The worst are the JST-XH connectors, as they have nothing to hold on to and the hobbyist must pull on the wires to unplug it. Sure some people can catch the edge with a finger nail and other may use a screw driver to remove them them but that is far from a "good" solution. Well EPBuddy is now selling these little devices named AB Clips and they are a useful solution to the problem.
AB Clips, what they are and how they work
AB Clips are simple little plastic, snap together devices that are very well made and are simple to use. The quality of the molded pieces are very nigh and the fit is almost perfect. They come in packs of 5 and are specific to the cell count of the JST-XH connector, from 2s to 6s. There is a variety pack if you want to try them out.
To use them you simply lay the balance lead the right way in an opened AB Clip, line up the balance wires in the groves and click it shut. You can easily open the clips to reuse them as needed. The AB Clip holds the balance connector by the shoulder all the way around and feels very secure.
Line up the connector, spread out the wires and clip it. Left image is mine
and right is a much nicer one from EPBuddy.
Plugging and unplugging the balance connector is now trivial, with no stress to the wires.
I do have two small complaints with these little clips. First they are a little larger than I think they need to be. This may cause problems on packs with very short balance leads (a problem that pack assemblers need to remedy imo, min 3in leads please). This may also be a problem when fitting packs in a heli. Secondly the outside edge of the balance wire channels is fairly sharp. It would have been nice to see it rounded to remove the chance of cutting the wires and to generally be nicer to the wires. These are not huge problems by any means but they are something I noticed. Most hobbyists will easily accept them in favor of easier to use balance connectors.
AB Clips are one of those products that just makes life easier. Such a simple device but one that does exactly what was meant to. Even with my small complaints, I think these are such a cool idea. I can't wait to show these little guys to a plane flyer friend, he will be amazed!