Wires Won't Stay in Charge Controller - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-03-2014, 12:32 PM   #1
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Wires Won't Stay in Charge Controller

I have a 30 amp Renogy charge controller. Along the top of the box are screws and on the front are holes. You put the solar panel cables and battery cables into the holes in the front and tighten down the screws on top.

I have never been able to get the cables to stay connected to the charge controller. The slightest strain will pull the cables out.

Short of buying a different charge controller, does anyone have any ideas?
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Old 08-03-2014, 12:47 PM   #2
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What size wire are you using? I just looked in my 20 amp MPPT Renogy controller and it looks like the screw just bears down on the wire. Better would be a plate that secures the wire that the screw tightens down on. I would suggest doubling the wire back on itself before inserting it in the controller if using a smaller gauge. Maybe even solder the ends of the wires before inserting them.
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Old 08-03-2014, 01:00 PM   #3
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I have never been able to get the cables to stay connected to the charge controller. The slightest strain will pull the cables out.
Secure the wires near the controller so strain cannot happen.
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Old 08-03-2014, 01:01 PM   #4
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Kellum makes SS cord strain reliefs called Kellum grips which would take the strain off the connections. I'm not sure if they would work in your situation without seeing a picture. I am assuming the charge controller is made in China and comes with international / European standard wire lugs / connections. The connections/wire lugs are smaller than NEMA standard wire connections and use small terminal screws which purposely limit wire size and tightening torque. They are a PITA to work with and the problem you are encountering is not unusual. Seldom is there room in a piece of equipment to change out the lugs to ones that actually work. There are many complaints on the internet about charge controllers that are listed to take #10 AWG wire but only a #12 AWG wire will fit or that the wires fall out.
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Old 08-03-2014, 01:22 PM   #5
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The solar panel cables are 12 gauge and battery cables are 10 gauge. I just cut a couple of 8" cables using 12 gauge to use instead of the 10 gauge. They seem to fit better in charge controller. These cables connect to a power monitor which connects to the battery cable.

Mounting any kind of strain relief would be almost impossible. The only other option I see is just to lay every thing on the floor.
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Old 08-03-2014, 01:25 PM   #6
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I used a terminal block with mine and ring connectors - so there is zero strain on the wires going into my charge controller, and nothing can be pulled out of the terminal block.
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Old 08-03-2014, 01:26 PM   #7
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Secure the wires near the controller so strain cannot happen.
1o gauge battery tray cables are stiff and don't have much flexibility. Plus I am at the 8' length of my battery cables.
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Old 08-03-2014, 01:28 PM   #8
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I used a terminal block with mine and ring connectors - so there is zero strain on the wires going into my charge controller, and nothing can be pulled out of the terminal block.
What gauge wire going to terminal block and from block to charge controller?
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Old 08-03-2014, 01:29 PM   #9
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What size wire are you using? I just looked in my 20 amp MPPT Renogy controller and it looks like the screw just bears down on the wire. Better would be a plate that secures the wire that the screw tightens down on. I would suggest doubling the wire back on itself before inserting it in the controller if using a smaller gauge. Maybe even solder the ends of the wires before inserting them.
Problem is wire is too big. Renogy claims 10 gauge fits, but mine keeps pulling out. I guess that's how they sell it for $30.
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Old 08-03-2014, 01:50 PM   #10
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you can get crimp on connectors called pin connectors that look like this:

They fit much better under the terminal screws, the correct colour for your #10 would be Yellow

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Old 08-03-2014, 02:32 PM   #11
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you can get crimp on connectors called pin connectors that look like this:

They fit much better under the terminal screws, the correct colour for your #10 would be Yellow

Joe
Is this it?

50 Yellow Insulated Wire Pin Terminal Connectors 12 10 Wire AWG Molex | eBay
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Old 08-04-2014, 03:39 AM   #12
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I had a similar problem with my charge controller. I soldered the ends of the wire to help it hold together. Another option is to crimp a ferrule on the end if the wire. I would have done that except I didn't have any large gauge ferrules.


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Old 08-04-2014, 09:09 AM   #13
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Spent over 3 hours going store to store trying to find a solution. Went to auto parts, 3 hardware stores, 1 electrical supply house, RV dealer parts department, and radio shack.

The problem is that the terminal pins and ferrules are too big to fit in the holes meant for the wires. Even going with 18-20 gauge pins or ferrules, they won't fit.
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Old 08-04-2014, 10:33 AM   #14
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I would suggest trying to tin (coat with solder) the ends of your wires and see if that helps hold those wires in the charge controller.

Second to that, you can pick up a terminal block at Lowes or Home Depot (like this one) and a bunch of ring or spade connectors, and use that as a go-between as I suggested before. It's what I did with mine because I don't trust the clamp terminals on the charge controller to hold - adding the terminal block makes for a more secure connection since the block itself can be screwed down, so the connections going into the charge controller aren't subjected to any stress or tugging at all.
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