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Old 02-07-2015, 04:10 PM   #21
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Zardoz, a simple way to incorporate the new 160 watt panel into the existing system is to connect it in parallel to the existing panel connections on your roof. The reason I suggest this is because you can buy a pair of parallel connectors cheap, plug your existing two cables from the existing panel into those and then plug a pair of short cables into them and run them down to one upper awning mount to tie them off as a connection point. Then bring a pair of 25' cables for connecting to your portable panel and just plug them into the cables and panel. All connections will then be the standard MC4 connectors which are high amperage, waterproof and are easily disconnected with a cheap tool...then you are running everything through the GoPower controller.
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Old 02-07-2015, 04:34 PM   #22
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HFT, did you use the existing cable from the original single panel to the controller or replace it with heavier gauge?
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Old 02-07-2015, 04:40 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by hotfishtacos View Post
are high amperage, waterproof and are easily disconnected with a cheap tool...
Thanks for the heads up. I only have one pair of MC4 connectors but I'll be adding others. I didn't know about the disconnect tool. Likely saved me some frustration.

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Old 02-07-2015, 04:41 PM   #24
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HFT, did you use the existing cable from the original single panel to the controller or replace it with heavier gauge?
I used the original 10 gauge cable. My entire system from the 3 panels to the MorningStar controller is all 10 gauge and the 4 parallel connectors and 4 additional cables are all MC4 type 10 gauge. Heavier gauge is not required.
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Old 02-07-2015, 04:48 PM   #25
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I used the original 10 gauge cable. My entire system from the 3 panels to the MorningStar controller is all 10 gauge and the 4 parallel connectors and 4 additional cables are all MC4 type 10 gauge. Heavier gauge is not required.
Thanks, if I can fit another panel I'll be doing so this spring.
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Old 02-07-2015, 05:37 PM   #26
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Bob,
I am using that Marinco marine connector or inlet for my portable panel. It has worked very well, an easy install and I have found it capable of handling up to 8 gauge wire. This may not be critical to some but I can be running 75 feet of cable to reach the sun with my portable panel, I wanted as little loss as possible.
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Old 02-07-2015, 05:40 PM   #27
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Here are some links to the connectors, the tool I mentioned and some short 6 foot MC4 cables:

Amazon.com: RENOGY® Branch Connectors Solar MC4 Connectors Y connector in Pair MMF+FFM: Home Improvement

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Amazon.com : Solar Panel Cable 6 Ft - Mc4 Pv Extension- 10 AWG - 600vdc- Sunlight Resistant : Patio, Lawn & Garden

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Old 02-07-2015, 05:43 PM   #28
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Jon, If you have yet to find a connector, how about one of these? They have them on Amazon as well but the image is not as good.

Marinco 150BBIW.RV White 15 Amp Power Inlet
This is a typical NEMA 5 plug in a housing, which means it connects to ordinary household 15A 120V cords. That means matching connectors are readily available, but it also means there is a danger that someone connects 120V AC power to your low-voltage DC inlet, energizing a circuit at several times the voltage for which it is intended. While many members of forums like this dismiss this hazard, since they are confident they will never mix up connectors on their own trailer, I wouldn't allow the risk on my own trailer.

For significant current at 12V and/or 24V, I think the Marinco ConnectPro series looks good; they are normally used for trolling motors, are sealed by an O-ring when connected, and have a weather cover. Unfortunately, the covered socket is an outlet - not an inlet - so it doesn't suit the purpose of bringing solar panel power into the trailer. If anyone knows of a similar product with a panel-mount inlet, I would be interested.
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Old 02-07-2015, 05:51 PM   #29
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This is a typical NEMA 5 plug in a housing, which means it connects to ordinary household 15A 120V cords. That means matching connectors are readily available, but it also means there is a danger that someone connects 120V AC power to your low-voltage DC inlet, energizing a circuit at several times the voltage for which it is intended. While many members of forums like this dismiss this hazard, since they are confident they will never mix up connectors on their own trailer, I wouldn't allow the risk on my own trailer.

For significant current at 12V and/or 24V, I think the Marinco ConnectPro series looks good; they are normally used for trolling motors, are sealed by an O-ring when connected, and have a weather cover. Unfortunately, the covered socket is an outlet - not an inlet - so it doesn't suit the purpose of bringing solar panel power into the trailer. If anyone knows of a similar product with a panel-mount inlet, I would be interested.
If you have a front box on the trailer why not just buy an MC4 cable, cut it in half and then wire it to the system inside through the bottom of the front storage box and lay the extra cable length inside. When you want solar you open the box, grab the two connector end and plug into your long MC4 cables...no side of trailer connection and no worries about leaks. Keep it all MC4, ...no personally made connections.
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Old 02-07-2015, 06:03 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotfishtacos View Post
If you have a front box on the trailer why not just buy an MC4 cable, cut it in half and then wire it to the system inside through the bottom of the front storage box and lay the extra cable length inside. When you want solar you open the box, grab the two connector end and plug in to you long MC4 cables...no side of trailer connection and no worries about leaks. Keep it all MC4, ...no personally made connections.
This idea makes good sense to me, and can work with other connector styles if you are consistently using a different type and need to solve the inlet/outlet problem.
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