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Old 11-20-2016, 08:20 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by padlin View Post
I'm considering chopping off the MC4's and using SAE's or Anderson Power poles.
I just did the opposite with a couple connections on my Go Power portable panel, as the MC4's are more the industry standard, and are way less bulky.

What I did with my portable panel was to use connectors to bypass the controller if I was using the one on the trailer, and could still use the one that came installed on the panel if connected elsewhere.
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Old 11-20-2016, 08:47 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by padlin View Post
I believe the "Zamp" connector Thoer shows is really an SAE 2 conductor.
Yes; it's special only because it is mounted in a plate, while almost all connectors of this type are just moulded onto the end of two-conductor cable.

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Originally Posted by padlin View Post
I'm considering chopping off the MC4's and using SAE's or Anderson Power poles.
Powerpoles aren't sealed (which can be okay, depending on where the connector is). I've never used MC4 connectors, but they must be better than those "SAE" or "bullet" connectors... just about everything is.
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Old 11-20-2016, 08:51 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
A question on the MC4 connectors related to the above plan? Do you not need a special tool to "open" a MC4 connector? I thought I had read that somewhere and immediately thought to myself, "I will never find that tool when I need it."
I misread your question in my first response. To open the connectors you do need to depress a couple of small tabs but this can even be done by someone with short fingernails like me.
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Old 11-20-2016, 09:05 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
I just did the opposite with a couple connections on my Go Power portable panel, as the MC4's are more the industry standard, and are way less bulky.

What I did with my portable panel was to use connectors to bypass the controller if I was using the one on the trailer, and could still use the one that came installed on the panel if connected elsewhere.
The MC4's that came on the trailer mounted panel look an awful lot bulkier then either SAE or Power Poles, at least the ones that I have. Have you connected/disconnected the MC4's, is it pretty easy? I haven't done so but they look like something I'd break after a few iterations.

Whatever I do I'm running out of time to get parts.
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Old 11-20-2016, 09:48 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by padlin View Post
The MC4's that came on the trailer mounted panel look an awful lot bulkier then either SAE...
Yes, the MC4 has higher current capacity, but more importantly it has housings around the connection which make it weather-resistant... and a lot bulkier. There are also the latches - the SAE has no latching mechanism. The MC4 is designed to be crimped and clamped onto cable, while the SAE type is generally available only factory-moulded onto cable - the MC4 compression nut system takes space. Also, the MC4 connectors are single-conductor; two of them are much bulkier than a single SAE 2-pin.

If the installation, latching, and weatherproofing features are not of value to you, the MC4 is unnecessarily bulky compared to the SAE type.
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Old 11-20-2016, 11:22 PM   #26
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I used the standard MC4's on my Renogy panels used in a portable application. I attached the plastic removal tool to a short tether affixed to the wire so it is always ready to use. the MC4 is weatherproof whereas the Powerpoles are open. I did use the powerpole 75 amp connectors at the trailer end because the connection can be made internal to a weather sealed enclosure that houses the charge controller, circuit breakers and Trimetric shunt. The box is mounted on the tongue A frame. It's not attractive though!
The Powerpole connectors probably would perform well outdoors, likely better than our typical 7 pin trailer plugs. They can be inserted under load too, as the tips of the pins inside touch in a different area than the seated contact patch which maintains contact until inserted fully. (the arcing happens at the tip) The scrubbing action of inserting and removal would likely keep them clean enough to make good contact. (just a guess) You could use a little dielectric grease if used at the panel end connection to ease corrosion.
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Old 11-21-2016, 08:14 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by padlin View Post
The MC4's that came on the trailer mounted panel look an awful lot bulkier then either SAE or Power Poles, at least the ones that I have. Have you connected/disconnected the MC4's, is it pretty easy? I haven't done so but they look like something I'd break after a few iterations.

Whatever I do I'm running out of time to get parts.
No problem connecting and disconnecting the MC4/s. Can't see them wearing any time soon. I would not use them to connect, disconnect some regular like a portable panel though.

I could not find the Anderson's anywhere in town, and even ordering was not quick. My local solar store has the MC4's by the carton.
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Old 11-21-2016, 09:10 AM   #28
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I have no experience with the MC4 connectors, so wont' comment regarding them. However, Anderson connectors are pretty much the unofficial "standard" in ebike technology. My ebike has Anderson's at the connection between the battery and motor and another Anderson connector between the battery and charger. The battery-motor connector does not get detached very often; however, the battery-charger connector is used every day when I recharge the batteries after I ride the bike. The current capacity is high and after 1 year of usage, I have not seen any wear on the connectors. The connections are not highly waterproof, so is best to keep them in an area where they are somewhat protected from the rain.
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Old 11-21-2016, 11:18 AM   #29
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I have not seen the Powerpoles sold locally. I have ordered from Powerwerx online with good fast service. They stock lots of variety in wiring supplies.
Having to use a tool for the MC4 is a bit of a nuisance, but not too bad even in portable usage. We do not move from site to site, so only set up once every 2 days usually. I wonder if you could cut off the lock tangs from the connector to make it every day friendly?
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Old 11-21-2016, 11:39 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by ruscal View Post
I have not seen the Powerpoles sold locally. I have ordered from Powerwerx online with good fast service. They stock lots of variety in wiring supplies.
Having to use a tool for the MC4 is a bit of a nuisance, but not too bad even in portable usage. We do not move from site to site, so only set up once every 2 days usually. I wonder if you could cut off the lock tangs from the connector to make it every day friendly?
Russ
All my connectors are buried in a box in the basement so I can't take any photos to show but yes, clipping off the tangs should work fine. the connection between the 2 halves is secure enough without needing any locking mechanism to keep them together. I recall there being an o-ring on one side that ensured a positive engagement.
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