Tamiya plugs, both large-sized and mini, are ubiquitous in the airsoft world as the most commonly used battery connector in AEGs. However, just because they are everywhere doesn’t mean they are the best option for your airsoft gun. Due to a low amperage rating and high resistance, Tamiya plugs can be a hindrance to peak performance and their bulky size means they can cut down on space in compact AEG battery compartments. A great alternative to the Tamiya type plug is the Deans Ultra plug, and thankfully, you can easily swap it out by following this how-to guide.
You’ll need a few things to convert your gun, battery and charger to Deans plugs. Your parts list will include at least one female-end Deans plug and two male-end plugs. The female plug is for your battery and the male plugs are for your gun and charger. Using the female plug on the battery is crucially important to prevent short circuiting when in storage.
MISSION: Replace power plugs
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: (1-5): 2
WORK TIME: 15 minutes
TOOLS NEEDED: Soldering Iron, Solder, Heat Shrink Tubing
REPLACEMENT PARTS NEEDED: High current connectors of your choice
Goodbye old friend. Start by cutting off the old Tamiya connector on your AEG; cut one wire at a time. Be sure to mark the wires as positive and negative if the wires aren’t already color coded.
Now lop off the male Tamiya connector on your AEG. This is a great opportunity to adjust your wire length as desired to better fit with your battery.
Next, strip a few millimeters of insulation off the wire to expose the strands underneath. Twist the strands to pack them closely together so they will be easy to work with. You can then proceed to “tin” the wire end using your soldering iron and some solder.
Apply some solder to the tip of your hot soldering iron, place the exposed wire end on the iron, and apply a liberal amount of solder while moving the wire on the iron to ensure sufficient coverage. This is called tinning the wires. Repeat this for both wires on your gun.
Repeat the tinning process for your battery wires. Take extra special care to not allow the battery wires to touch each other and do not accidentally bridge the wires with the soldering iron.
Now you can do the same thing to the solder tabs of the plugs, ensuring that you are applying the solder to the outer surface of the positive terminal. This keeps the wires as far apart on the connector as possible. Remember; apply the solder to the side without the retention spring.
Now it’s time to slip your heat shrink tubing onto the wires before soldering the wires to the plug. Heat shrink tubing prevents possible shorts between the two wires. With the heat shrink far away on the wire from the soldering point, you can now solder the wires on the female Deans connector to the battery. Start by placing both the wire and the connector on the soldering iron, ensuring the solder you applied earlier on both the wire and the plug melt evenly to make a secure connection. Make sure that your polarity is correct, with the top of the “T” being positive, and the vertical leg being negative. Take your time and reapply solder as needed, but ensure that you don’t have any sloppy solder that might cause a short circuit.
Repeat the wire soldering process again for the gun wires using the male plug.
Now you can slide the heat shrink tubing over the soldered connections, ensuring that it fully covers the connection to prevent short circuiting. When it’s in place, heat it up either with a heat gun or a lighter held underneath, allowing it to shrink over the connections.
This is how your connectors should look when you are finished—nice and clean with just enough wire to position the pack where it needs to be. Don’t forget that you’ll need to repeat the plug swap procedure with your charger, too.
Now your AEG is ready to make the most efficient use of your battery and motor. The Deans plug will allow more juice to flow from your battery to the gun, increasing your rate of fire, reducing heat buildup at the plug and fitting into your gun better due to its smaller physical size.
Words By: Jeremy Hendricks
Photos: Greg Vogel
Partner Credit: BooliganAirsoft.com