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Old 08-10-2019, 05:42 PM   #1
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Solar panel connection

Hi Pros,
I am planning to buy a potable solar panel but I am not quite sure which way would be the best to connect it to battery system. I have not pre-install port. Wondering if I can plug into wall charging socket directly, of course after controller? Any suggestions? Thanks a lot.
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Old 08-10-2019, 06:20 PM   #2
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Not recommended to plug into the Charger port. Install a Zamp connector and charge controller and connect it to battery via a fuse. Do it right the first time.
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Old 08-10-2019, 06:36 PM   #3
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You could also just clamp it to the battery posts.
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Old 08-10-2019, 07:00 PM   #4
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You could also just clamp it to the battery posts.

You have a 17 with the battery on the rear bumper so alligator clips on the battery terminals.
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Old 08-10-2019, 11:51 PM   #5
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Not recommended to plug into the Charger port. Install a Zamp connector and charge controller and connect it to battery via a fuse. Do it right the first time.
Thank you, my problem is I didn't install a Zamp port.
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Old 08-10-2019, 11:58 PM   #6
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You have a 17 with the battery on the rear bumper so alligator clips on the battery terminals.
Thank you, that's a good idea though a little inconvenient. Another question is the batteries are 2 6V batteries on each end of the bumper, it seems hard to clamp the12V port end on different battery.
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Old 08-11-2019, 12:01 AM   #7
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You could also just clamp it to the battery posts.
thank you
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Old 08-11-2019, 07:28 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by mirage99 View Post
Thank you, that's a good idea though a little inconvenient. Another question is the batteries are 2 6V batteries on each end of the bumper, it seems hard to clamp the12V port end on different battery.
You could wire in an adapter like a Zamp to the batteries finding a place to mount the plug, and then when you are using the panel just plug into it.
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:25 AM   #9
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Another easy way to connect a panel is to use a male 7 pin connector (like the one on your truck or tow vehicle) wired to the panel's controller, and plug it into the trailer's 7 pin connector. Not as efficient as a ZAMP connector because you have a longer wire run, but I did it for 6 months before installing a ZAMP, and it worked.
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:44 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
Another easy way to connect a panel is to use a male 7 pin connector (like the one on your truck or tow vehicle) wired to the panel's controller, and plug it into the trailer's 7 pin connector. Not as efficient as a ZAMP connector because you have a longer wire run, but I did it for 6 months before installing a ZAMP, and it worked.
Is saying Zamp to describe a SAE connector become the same as saying "Coke" when you mean a soft drink?

An actual Zamp port is a non standard connection that violates international safety standards unless the wiring polarity is reversed.

I guess I'm being irritating in constantly calling this out but we should be recommending using SAE plugs - not Zamp.
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:08 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post
Is saying Zamp to describe a SAE connector become the same as saying "Coke" when you mean a soft drink?

An actual Zamp port is a non standard connection that violates international safety standards unless the wiring polarity is reversed.

I guess I'm being irritating in constantly calling this out but we should be recommending using SAE plugs - not Zamp.
Yea, I know I should call it an SAE connector, but when I do many have no idea what I'm describing. ZAMP has become the generic name as far as the solar panel industry.
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:24 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
Yea, I know I should call it an SAE connector, but when I do many have no idea what I'm describing. ZAMP has become the generic name as far as the solar panel industry.
Thanks Jon.

I bought a Zamp connector when I installed my solar system as that was all anyone referred to. Then I found out that I had to connect the red to black / black to red to be able to connect my non Zamp solar panel.

I thought to myself - what the heck? Why an I having to do this and maybe getting the polarity wrong when I should have just bought a SAE connector?

How could we reference the correct connector and still use the generic term Zamp to describe it? Maybe SAE connector(Zamp) or Zamp(SAE connector)? Those don't sound right either but I'm out of ideas.
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:36 AM   #13
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I actually did use a Zamp brand connector.
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:50 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post

I guess I'm being irritating in constantly calling this out but we should be recommending using SAE plugs - not Zamp.
With a steady amount of new folks it's a message worth repeating. When I encountered that situation previously I wasn't impressed.

Unfortunately the term "Zamp port" has become almost a catch phrase.

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Old 08-11-2019, 01:17 PM   #15
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I bought a 3 foot, double ended, 10 AWG SAE cord to create a pigtail on my battery. Worked great. By having two SAE connectors, I was able to leave the red wire on the female end of the plug where it attaches to a battery. This greatly reduces or eliminates the chance of the pigtail shorting out. And is common practice for electrical pros when installing battery pigtails.

Watch the gauge of wire used on these connectors. Many are light weight (16AWG).

Easy enough to find SAE cables on Amazon.
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Old 08-11-2019, 06:16 PM   #16
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if I'm installing my own connectors, I prefer to use Anderson PowerPole connectors.. the PP45 is for AWG 10 wire, the PP30 for 12-14 AWG, and the PP15 for 16-18.... Powerpoles can not be plugged in wrong (although you could assemble them the wrong way). Also, PP15, PP30, PP45 can be plugged into each other.

this is a 12 gauge PP 'pigtail' I made for a Casita, which just has a single group 27 thats installed behind an outside access door. The PP connector can bne slipped out through the ventilation slots on this access door.



a couple more PP patches I made...
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Old 08-11-2019, 06:46 PM   #17
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Thank you so much for your responses, I always learn a lot from you guys.
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Old 08-11-2019, 06:52 PM   #18
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Nicely done, John!
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Old 09-07-2019, 09:38 PM   #19
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Okay.... so I just had a 190 Watt roof panel with the Go Power controller installed at ETI along with a Zamp connector through the outside wall for my 100 Watt portable panel.

Irregardless of the plug receptacle polarity, is it safe to say that the red wire from the controller through the wall via the plug receptacle to the positive wire of the portable panel is the correct connection?

Also, would it be better to disregard the Zamp connector and continue to use the controller for my portable connected directly to the battery?? It seems that when the roof panel is in partial shade it affects the portable's output.
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Old 09-07-2019, 10:40 PM   #20
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You may have a way to see how the wires are connected to verify polarity, otherwise you will need a voltmeter.

If you use the Escape provided external connector the portable panel is connected in parallel to the roof one, shade on one should not have an effect on the other, thatís the advantage of connecting panels in parallel. There could be another issue however, unless they both have the same voltage you are not getting the max power from your panels, but if the voltage is close your power losses may be small enough to ignore. One way to find out is to compare power with both panels on the Go-power controller vs. each on its own. Note that to see the maximum power the panels can produce (depending on current sun exposure) you need to load your battery with around 300 watt, (unless the battery is drained) otherwise the controllers will just provide low trickle charge.
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