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Creality makes a pretty good unit in the Ender 3 and Ender 3 Pro. However, every now and again they seem to cut some pretty serious corners. Their XT60 Connectors, commonly used in RC Cars to connect the battery, are poor quality and in many cases they failed to solder the connections and just crimped them.
XT60 connectors are designed to support 60 Amps of continous throughput. The knockoffs provided by Creality’s supplier fall far short of that before failing.
This walk-through will show you how to replace your XT60 connectors if you have not done so already. Many sites and videos show the WHY.. I show the HOW.
Difficulty: Moderate (Easy if you have Soldered before)
Time Required: 10-15 minutes but if you are drinking plan for 30.
Cost: $8.00 (for a 10 pack of XT60 Connectors)
Kester 186 Flux to clean your connections and help the Solder process
60/40 Resin Core Solder – it’s the Solder.
3rd Hand to hold your wires
Solder sucker – Just in case.
Let’s get to it!
I have 8 Ender 3’s. 7 Standard and 1 Pro (I do like the Pro the best). This is a great entry to mid-level 3D Printer and I have been working them hard for months.
I PRINT A LOT.. ALL THE TIME.
But I did notice the connectors start to brown and in some cases melt. I usually heat the bed to 60-65C, I would worry about printing ABS on these machines without some work.
The top one is melted together.. I could have had some real trouble there. Four more to go.
This is your target.. its behind the hot bed. This connector connects the power supply to the control box.
MAKERSTEVE TIP#1: Remove the build surface, if it is removable. You may be able to apply this fix without having to relevel/tram.
Just look at that.
Here is my bag of XT60 connectors complete with Heat-Shrink
Grab on pair of XT60 Connectors and pull out the Heat Shrink
NOTE The MALE and FEMALE Connectors… you can swap them if you like or didn’t pay attention.
MAKERSTEVE TIP #3: The flat edge is Positive (RED) and the rounded edge is Negative (BLACK)
Snip the exiting Connector off where you see the joint.
Snip off a half inch of heat shrink, red and black.
Remove the existing heat shrink and strip the wire back about a quarter inch. Longer is not better.
MAKERSTEVE Tip #2: Put the Heat Shrink on now.
Preheat your Soldering Iron or Station to 285C.
I started with the Positive Cable. Use the 3rd Hand to hold the wire and the connector and align them as shown below.
Apply a few drops of Flux onto the connection to be Soldered.
Peel off about 4 inches of Solder
Here’s where you have to use your imagination… I didn’t have a fourth hand.
Preheat the underside of the connector with the Soldering Iron. You will see the Flux Bubble and Smoke. After 10 or so seconds move the Soldering Tip to the top and run the solder into the wire and the connector. It should fill the inside of the connector and surround the wire making a sealed, strong connection. Ensure you cook off as much flux as possible. When you are done it should look like the Soldier Joint below.
If you have a bubble of Solder or it fills the circle around the connector used canned air or the Solder Sucker to clean it up a bit. Don’t worry, if you make a mistake you bought 10 pairs connectors.
Flip your connection and line the Black wires up with the negative terminal as shown below.
Solder, heating the bottom of the connector first.. 3-4 inches of Solder and some patience.
Slide the heat shrink up, if the connection is still hot it will shrink a little and go in the rings around the terminals. If not, use the soldering iron to tighten up the heat shrink just a touch.
Slide it inside.
Hit it with the Rework Blower or a heat gun
Do the other side the same way and you are back in action.
There you have it..
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