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Old 08-17-2014, 03:57 PM   #1
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Adding 12v outlet - are we missing something???

We thought this would be simple but something is just not working right.
We are trying to add a 12 v outlet to our Escape. We have a Marinco Sealink 12vRC Marine Grade receptacle.

We spliced a length of 14 gauge wire into the wire run for the light fixture just inside the door. Ran the wires through the upper cabinet and on into the cabinet over the bed....total length of the added wire is about 4'.

Checked the voltage coming out of the newly added wires and got a 12 volt reading. Then added the receptacle onto the new length of wire and checked the receptacle and got 12 volts again.

BUT, nothing we plug into the receptacle will run!
We tried a phone charger and we tried the CPAP machine (which is why we're doing this!) And they don't get any power. We tried rotating the plugs in the socket and still no power.
Any ideas??
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:04 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FMLNM View Post
We thought this would be simple but something is just not working right.
We are trying to add a 12 v outlet to our Escape. We have a Marinco Sealink 12vRC Marine Grade receptacle.

We spliced a length of 14 gauge wire into the wire run for the light fixture just inside the door. Ran the wires through the upper cabinet and on into the cabinet over the bed....total length of the added wire is about 4'.

Checked the voltage coming out of the newly added wires and got a 12 volt reading. Then added the receptacle onto the new length of wire and checked the receptacle and got 12 volts again.

BUT, nothing we plug into the receptacle will run!
We tried a phone charger and we tried the CPAP machine (which is why we're doing this!) And they don't get any power. We tried rotating the plugs in the socket and still no power.
Any ideas??
Hi: FMLNM... Sorry to say that not all 12V sockets fit all 12V plugs and vice versa!!! Don't know how to tell them apart except to try them. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:15 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
Would look at your fuses in the WFCO. I remember blowing a 15A when installing mine. Can't remember exactly why, but worked fine thereafter.
We think the fuse is fine because the lights on that line still work and we still get 12v reading on the line.
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:17 PM   #4
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Hi: FMLNM... Sorry to say that not all 12V sockets fit all 12V plugs and vice versa!!! Don't know how to tell them apart except to try them. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
The plugs seemed to fit in the outlet fine and that particular outlet is advertised as working with any standard 12v plug and this is backed up by online comments from other buyers. We know that the 12v outlet that is part of the cable TV connection in the Escape does NOT fit most plugs...actually none that we can find will even fit in the outlet....
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:20 PM   #5
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1) Do you have the polarity correct? Center should be +, outside should be ground (-). Compare it to an ETI installed 12V outlet.

2) Do your CPAP and phone charger work with the ETI installed 12V outlets?
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:24 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jamman View Post
1) Do you have the polarity correct? Center should be +, outside should be ground (-). Compare it to an ETI installed 12V outlet.

2) Do your CPAP and phone charger work with the ETI installed 12V outlets?
We checked the receptacle and are sure we connected positive to positive, etc. Unfortunately we have no other 12v volt ETI outlets to compare it to other than the one that is part of the cable TV plate (Winegard) ... frustrated that that outlet is basically useless to us. Apparently only designed for a 12V TV...
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:43 PM   #7
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We think the fuse is fine because the lights on that line still work and we still get 12v reading on the line.
We double checked the fuses and replaced one that looked a little odd...it still worked. No change...lights still work but nothing that we plug into the 12v receptacle works.
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:46 PM   #8
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We also had tried 2 other receptacles - from Wally World. When they didn't work we figured they were just defective or crummy, so then we tried the Marinco and got the same result.
We plugged a 12 v extension cord into the receptacle and check the voltage at the end of THAT cord and got 12 volts....but nothing we plugged into it would run!
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Old 08-17-2014, 05:09 PM   #9
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Measure the voltage at the battery. What is the voltage at the fuse ?The voltage at the 12V receptacle should be very close. The difference is due to resistance and voltage drop in the circuit. Can you measure the voltage at the receptacle with a 12V device plugged into it? Does the voltage drop even further ? May well be high resistance in the circuit due to wiring or connectors. If the voltage drop is excessive track backwards toward the battery to find the problem.
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Old 08-17-2014, 05:17 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jubal View Post
Measure the voltage at the battery. What is the voltage at the fuse ?The voltage at the 12V receptacle should be very close. The difference is due to resistance and voltage drop in the circuit. Can you measure the voltage at the receptacle with a 12V device plugged into it? Does the voltage drop even further ? May well be high resistance in the circuit due to wiring or connectors. If the voltage drop is excessive track backwards toward the battery to find the problem.
We are on solar and everything looks fully charged. We did not check the reading at the fuse BUT we took a 12 v extension cord and plugged it into the new receptacle and measured 12v at the end of the extension cord. We are reading 12 volts at every point we measure...each of the two wiring connections and in the receptacle and at the end of an extension from the new receptacle. The 12v phone charger cord we tried works fine in our tow vehicle. We just don't understand how we can get a 12v reading everywhere but not have anything run...and have the same result with 3 different receptacles!?!?
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Old 08-17-2014, 05:18 PM   #11
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My 12v tv receptacle can be used for other items, like a fan or charger, in both locations, try again, there is no 12v specific outlet unless it is a locking one.
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Old 08-17-2014, 05:23 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
My 12v tv receptacle can be used for other items, like a fan or charger, in both locations, try again, there is no 12v specific outlet unless it is a locking one.
I haven't been able to find a 12v plug that will even FIT into the 12v TV receptacle...here is what we found when we did some research on it:
Winegard Knowledge Base 12v outlet problems
http://www.winegard.com/kbase/kb_tip_results.php?tip_num=126

RV-0742 - Receptacle issues
Date Modified: 2009-04-21

Question:
We received a complaint that this customer could not plug their cell phone charger into the 12 volt receptacle. Upon hearing that I went out and checked the units that we had in production and found the same thing. A normal 12 volt plug from a TV or charger would not go into the receptacle. We have a different receptacle in the bedroom and there we are able to plug in the charger. Are their 2 different sizes of outlets?


Tech Tip:
First, the plug is designed for a 12VDC Television and nothing else. Other uses can cause damage. The outlet is sized to be snug to avoid arching. The trouble is that the standard for the plugs does not have tight tolerances. This means that if we design it to be snug for the average TV plug, other plugs may not fit at all. We are redesigning the outlet to allow for a wider range of uses and this should make it possible to use a cell phone charger with the outlet. As for the plug working in another socket, these units are made in batches some outlets may have been on the snug side of the tolerance and some on the loose.
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Old 08-17-2014, 05:26 PM   #13
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A) Try the appliances in your car 12V outlet. (I fully expect them to work, just trying to eliminate a variable.)

B) Try a direct wire at the outlet. Connect the wires directly to the plug (bypassing the outlet,) if that doesn't work try wiring straight from the battery (1-2' of wire) to the outlet.

C) Work your way back as Jubal suggested. Try connecting the devices where you are taking the 12V feed.

Possibilities:
1) devices are bad (unlikely) - A above
2) outlet is bad - B above
3) poor connection somewhere ( what Jubal said)
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Old 08-17-2014, 05:27 PM   #14
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We are on solar and everything looks fully charged. We did not check the reading at the fuse BUT we took a 12 v extension cord and plugged it into the new receptacle and measured 12v at the end of the extension cord. We are reading 12 volts at every point we measure...each of the two wiring connections and in the receptacle and at the end of an extension from the new receptacle. The 12v phone charger cord we tried works fine in our tow vehicle. We just don't understand how we can get a 12v reading everywhere but not have anything run...and have the same result with 3 different receptacles!?!?
Puzzling for sure. Might try removing the new receptacle, wiring it directly to the battery, then see if it can power anything. Try more than one. If it provides power, the fault is in the wiring between the receptacle location and the battery. If not, its the receptacle, no? Since it occurred on 3 different receptacles, its probably the wiring.
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Old 08-17-2014, 06:05 PM   #15
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Polarity was mentioned, but without a guide to the correct polarity. The contact down at the bottom in the centre for the plug's pin should be positive, with the shell or plates or collar in the socket around it being negative.
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Old 08-17-2014, 06:06 PM   #16
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Please recheck the splices. It may be that you are not making good contact, especially if you used the squeeze on type.
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Old 08-17-2014, 06:25 PM   #17
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What is the gauge of the wires you are splicing into ? Do not overlook a problem on the negative or battery positive wires. I do not know the amperage draw of the CPAP machine but this probably be a dedicated circuit.
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Old 08-17-2014, 06:27 PM   #18
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You might try taking a test light & using it to check the receptacle. If it lights with the alligator clip on the outside of the receptacle and the point touching the button, the wiring is good, and you have a problem with the receptacle. If it doesn't light, I'd suspect a bad connection, either at the splice or the receptacle.

While unusual, it is possible to have a connection that passes enough current to make a volt meter work, but not a real load. Most volt meters have very high input impedances so a bad connection may still show voltage. The test light puts enough of a load on the connection to check for this kind of fault.
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Old 08-17-2014, 06:44 PM   #19
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Unless ETI changed their set up, can you post a pic of the Winegard outlet?
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:12 PM   #20
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I think Jon is exactly right. I have it happen with a computer all the time --- "connected" but not really connected.
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