Black Friday Solar Panel Deal - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-05-2012, 07:56 PM   #29
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What type of connectors did they come with?

The most common type are MC4 connectors. I bought mine from a North American source on eBay.

MC4 Connector Male Female Pair Solar Panel Cable Wire | eBay
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:58 PM   #30
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It is known as an MC-4 connector.
It is a single conductor waterproof high current connector,evidently standard in the Solar industry now.
They are nice connectors,I just don't have any.
So either I wait and get some or I hack them off and do my own thing,also not a huge deal as I do this sort of thing everyday.

The panels have a little junction box on the back. There are 2 pigtails coming out of it through waterproof gland nuts,one is positive and one is negative from the panel. They look like they are 4 feet long maybe but they are separate conductors not a zip cord or a jacketed multi-conductor cable either.
So I may also just remove the pigtails completely from the junction box and go straight into it with whatever cable I use from the panel to the controller. I also haven't really decided much about how I will configure any part of this system so I need to ponder this and make some choices.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:59 PM   #31
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The most common type are MC4 connectors. I bought mine from a North American source on eBay.

MC4 Connector Male Female Pair Solar Panel Cable Wire | eBay
Funny I guess we posted at the same time?
Like I said I have a local source for them if this is the way I end up going.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:10 PM   #32
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Be sure to read your warranty before removing the cables from your junction box, most manufacturers state that will void the warranty. I bought cables from ebay and cut those to the needed length.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:53 PM   #33
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The most common type are MC4 connectors. I bought mine from a North American source on eBay.

MC4 Connector Male Female Pair Solar Panel Cable Wire | eBay
Not real thrilled with MC4 for portable panel use. Really need to have a tool to take them apart right or cut off the ears.
I had an issue last month where I was not getting any output from my portable panels. turned out that the male pin holder had pushed the female socket back in the connector and was not making contact, had to reset metal in the socket and carefully insert to make it work. could be that I was a little hasty when I assembled it and did not get the barbs on the metal to seat right after I crimped the wires to it. for permanent use they look really good with good water resistance and I used them on my permanent 50W panel on top of the VT but still made all connections inside the trailer.
I ordered some 10 ga. two pin trailer connectors to try on my portable set up. Time will tell if they are a viable option.
My two cents.
Michael j.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:51 AM   #34
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..........
So I may also just remove the pigtails completely from the junction box and go straight into it with whatever cable I use from the panel to the controller. I also haven't really decided much about how I will configure any part of this system so I need to ponder this and make some choices.
You could also create a soldered splice in the short lead wire and cover it with adhesive lined shrink tape.

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Not real thrilled with MC4 for portable panel use. ...............
I ordered some 10 ga. two pin trailer connectors to try on my portable set up. Time will tell if they are a viable option.
My two cents.
Michael j.
If you are taking them apart frequently, the two pin connector is probably the better choice. The MC4 is designed as a robust connection for a permanent installation.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:08 AM   #35
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I will probably use some Speakon connectors on every cable and a bulkhead model on the trailer.

Speakon connector - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mainly because I have a lot of them and a lot of big heavy cables already terminated with them.
I have used these for years with Portable Solar for Ham Radio applications and overall they are just a nice heavy duty, high current,self-cleaning, locking, watertight connection.

I might use a short adapter from the MC4 to Speakon so I don't change the panel in any way to do it,but I might not too,the fewer connectors the better usually.

I think I will likely set things up like Mike did with a panel on the trailer roof and an external input on the trailer for additional panels placed more directly in the suns view.

I already have a few panels I use for this for Radio work and I mount a cheap meter on the back of the panel so I can use the meter to aim the panel for maximum output at the moment I put it up.

I also need to find a spot to mount a couple more batteries on the trailer to make this all worthwhile.

My charge controller is designed to charge and maintain 2 separate battery banks independently and has a remote panel for inside the trailer.

I am usually plugged into shore power but the details and practicality have rarely influenced me before and I don't see that starting now!
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:25 AM   #36
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Speakon connector 4 pole or 2 pole for solar panel? Will 10 Gauge wire fit in these type of connectors?
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:46 AM   #37
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Ed Harris
Speakon connector 4 pole or 2 pole for solar panel? Will 10 Gauge wire fit in these type of connectors?
Yes

I usually use Ancor bonded boat cable for Solar installation in a Mobile environment and I have gotten that in a Speakon before.

Standard Duplex Cable | Marinco

I also have several 12gauge cables with Speakon on both ends and 12g is entirely adequate for short low current runs like I will have here.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:47 AM   #38
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4 pole or 2 pole?
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:23 PM   #39
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4 pole or 2 pole?
Whichever I have at the time?

I first thought I would use just 4 pole and for Solar wire them differently than for speakers so I could not make a smoky mistake someday but then I realized that I will likely not ever do that and no one else will likely ever use my cabling so now I just use what I have on hand and wire to the 1st pair which is the same in both connectors.

I also have a bunch of 8 conductor models in stock but I don't want to show off by using them!
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:52 PM   #40
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Like the meter idea, will have to incorporate into my set up.

Michael J
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:20 PM   #41
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Like the meter idea, will have to incorporate into my set up.

Michael J
Mike

As you know the panels work in a lot of different conditions but it always surprises me just where the panels end up pointing when optimized with the meter.
It is not tough to use at all as the voltage from the panel peaks nicely when "Dialed In".

Also even this task has proven too much for assorted Harbor Freight cheap junk meters so their record remains untarnished in my experience,nothing they sell is worth my money!

Ed
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