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Old 12-18-2015, 12:12 PM   #61
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Jim, I think I'll just cut a piece of foam or something to use to cover the plug from the panel. It seems there are no perfect fitting for what we want to do.
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Old 12-18-2015, 12:21 PM   #62
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The suitcase solar panels I've seen have a controller fastened to the back of one of the panels. It shouldn't be too hard to bypass this controller and link up with the 'in house' controller.
I've got my portable panel set up that way. If I lend it to someone that wants to connect it directly to their battery, they plug into the portable's controller. I added a connector from the input to the portable panel's controller that I run to the input of my trailer's built in controller.

As to connectors, although they are not rated for as high a current or wire size as the Anderson connector, SAE connector came with my portable panel. It only produces 10 - 12 amps under full sun, so I stuck with what came with the panel. I purchased an inlet from SolarSeller.com (item E)
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Old 12-18-2015, 12:50 PM   #63
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What is a good waterproof DC power inlet? Most of the ones I see are meant as outlets. I would not want the end of the cord from the portable solar panels to be exposed like on devices that plug in.

Jim, we went through this when we were having our 5th built. If you are getting the U lounge seating (unless the install has changed), the battery box is underneath the rear bench with the solar controller on the passenger side bench. We have the rear exterior hatch option, with the hatch open you have direct access to the solar controller. Might be a easier way to plug in a temporary panel. Scott

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Old 12-18-2015, 12:53 PM   #64
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Jim, I think I'll just cut a piece of foam or something to use to cover the plug from the panel. It seems there are no perfect fitting for what we want to do.
This might be a way to go. It certainly would work.
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Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
As to connectors, although they are not rated for as high a current or wire size as the Anderson connector, SAE connector came with my portable panel. It only produces 10 - 12 amps under full sun, so I stuck with what came with the panel. I purchased an inlet from SolarSeller.com (item E)
How tough is that one, Jon. Do you think it will hold up good?

I did some searching, and the only thing I could find I really liked, I could not find for sale anywhere. 20A connectors that look quite solid. You can get male/female on either the inlet or cord end. I did email the manufacturer to see if they could provide a reseller, as the only thing I found was a 100 lot minimum order. Anyone wanna do a group buy.

YP-20 Power Connector | Cnlinko

Or a video

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Old 12-18-2015, 01:04 PM   #65
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Maybe we need to get Reace involved in picking one to be standard since more and more people are looking at this as an option?
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Old 12-18-2015, 01:52 PM   #66
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Interesting discussion. I was uncertain just what the solution was that was being proposed from The Twelve Volt Shop, that link did not take me to a product, only their website. Also on the Anderson products, is the suggestion to use what is commonly called their Power Pole line? They make different sizes and connector styles.

I agree with Jim, it would be nice to have a plug in product. Who wants to stoop over and fish out the other end of the cable. I like the Minnkota socket that Eric is considering because, as I look at the picture, it appears you can only use their plug. This prevents someone from inserting an other type of cord in the outlet. Is this correct? At 8 gauge this would be adequate.

Jon's solution is certainly the most elegant, a modification I would do is quickly splice and/or convert to a heavier gauge wire for the run to the controller.

It appears there are more options than two years ago when I had to select an outlet. I found a marine charger inlet, 120 volt that has the male three prong to the outside. Still possible for someone to plug something in, but it would have to be the female end of an extension cord. Unfortunately, you cannot fix stupid when the label says SOLAR ONLY in red letters.
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Old 12-18-2015, 02:48 PM   #67
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John are you confident in the Anderson connection being good for repeated connection/disconnection cycles?
I just happened to set up my auxiliary solar as John David suggested.

ETI installed a wire "porthole" close to the controller. It has a large enough opening for my fingers and the Anderson connector. I picked the 50 Amp connector because it was easy to grasp and because it accepted 8 gauge wires (and maybe 6?). The connectors are silver plated and well designed for repeated connection cycles as the contacts are spring loaded. Note to prospective buyers: You will have to have some experience using a soldering iron if you purchase the 50 Amp connectors. The smaller ones - 45 Amp and on down, require a special crimp tool, about 30 $USD. There are no exposed pins so an Anderson connector can be either inlet or outlet. They are designed so they can not be hooked up with the wrong polarity. You will need to purchase two 50 Amp plugs or 4 of the 45 Amp plugs to make a connection.

As noted, when I don't need the connection, the flexible wires and the flexible "fingers" on the porthole let me push the assembly into the trailer for total weather protection. Taking a guess, perhaps this is what ETI uses for the permanent power cord. There is enough room to pass multiple wires or perhaps even a garden hose.

Anyone needing more info on Anderson Powerpole stuff is welcome to PM me.

I have attached a screen shot of the missing 12VoltShop link. Note, the same products can be purchased in US and Canada, and even on EBay.

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Old 12-18-2015, 03:44 PM   #68
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What is the power porthole you speak of?
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Old 12-18-2015, 03:56 PM   #69
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What is the power porthole you speak of?
The one they use for the pull out 120V.
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Old 12-18-2015, 03:57 PM   #70
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What is the power porthole you speak of?
This appears to be what ETI installed:
JR Products - 541-2-A; Deluxe Round Electric Cable Hatch

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