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Got my new 12V DC connectors - well ahead of the cigar lighter options


Puffling
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Surprised by my eBay purchase, but this time positively. I've never liked the "cigar lighter socket" type connector for 12V - the best you can say about it is that the connector locks and they are widely available. So I have been spending some time seeking out affordable alternatives, including searching tips on the forum.

The LP20 IP67 Aviation Power Cable Connector I received is rated at 20 amps, is waterproof and (what seems to be neoprene) has a sealing cap on the socket. Its locking action seems firm and reliable and the gold-plated pins look as if they can withstand a few insertions and withdrawals (unlike many of us on here). Even better, there's a rubber sealing boot on the plug's cable exit, with a nice sleeve compression locking ring. The two items are solidly made in what seem to be quality materials.

What I'm less happy about: The plug pokes out a long way (65mm from the surface edge of the socket) perhaps making it prone to being caught unless mounted vertically (under the gunwale, maybe?). While the plug's insert is secured with a proper screw thread, the socket insert is held in place with a simple circlip. I'll bung some silicone over that to deter it from rusting and popping off.

Additionally, all connections to the pins are soldered. That's less of a problem for me installing from new, but it might dissuade someone wanting to switch from the infernal cigar lighter connection. You'd need to add some decent heatshrink sleeving over the socket's connections to provide support as it has no further housing at the rear.

Like them so much I just put in a repeat order for more. Only hope the new ones are compatible ?
The price? Currently less than seven pounds a pair.

IP67.JPG.102e13e9df0d4312f2301172d43e4337.JPG
https://imgur.com/a/GCkoZjo
 

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But why is there no plug and socket capable of taking a reasonable current at 12/24 V dc, with screw terminals, compact plugs and sockets (sockets suitable for flush or surface mounting) and with an appearance appropriate for one's living space, rather than a factory or laboratory bench?

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You may like to consider the boat version of those - as you say far better (and higher rated) than cigarette lighter plugs and sockets.

 

Loads of sizes from 5 amp upwards, loads of prices depending on quality. Waterproof so you can have them externally to plug in your spotlight, phone charger, VHF radio etc etc

 

 

Deck Connector Waterproof Boat Plug & Socket 2 Pin With Plastic Cap By MiDMarine

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1 minute ago, David Mack said:

But why is there no plug and socket capable of taking a reasonable current at 12/24 V dc, with screw terminals, compact plugs and sockets (sockets suitable for flush or surface mounting) and with an appearance appropriate for one's living space, rather than a factory or laboratory bench?

I know, it's not an ideal state of affairs. Fortunately I'm geeky enough to be happy with waterproof aircraft connectors in my living space, but I accept others might want something more cuddly.

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6 minutes ago, David Mack said:

But why is there no plug and socket capable of taking a reasonable current at 12/24 V dc, with screw terminals, compact plugs and sockets (sockets suitable for flush or surface mounting) and with an appearance appropriate for one's living space, rather than a factory or laboratory bench?

 

More expensive but up to 40 amps.

 

Surface mount a 'proper' plug version of a cigarette lighter with screwed terminals.

 

Marinco Connect Pro Plug & Socket - 40Amp | Force 4 Chandlery

 

 

Connect Pro 12V Plug & Socket - 40Amp

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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3 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

You may like to consider the boat version of those - as you say far better (and higher rated) than cigarette lighter plugs and sockets.

 

Loads of sizes from 5 amp upwards, loads of prices depending on quality. Waterproof so you can have them externally to plug in your spotlight, phone charger, VHF radio etc etc

 

 

Deck Connector Waterproof Boat Plug & Socket 2 Pin With Plastic Cap By MiDMarine

I'd go for click to lock rather than screwing a ring down any day. Advantage of yours would be lower protrusion on the plug side.

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But that Marinco fitting is still a really clunky appearance, and a hell of a price. I know the market is a lot smaller, but surely there is scope for something with an appearance more like the standard white plastic mains plugs and sockets used in houses.

I suppose we have to carry on bodging 5A mains sockets using the neutral and earth pins... (sigh)

Edited by David Mack
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18 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

You may like to consider the boat version of those - as you say far better (and higher rated) than cigarette lighter plugs and sockets.

 

Loads of sizes from 5 amp upwards, loads of prices depending on quality. Waterproof so you can have them externally to plug in your spotlight, phone charger, VHF radio etc etc

 

 

Deck Connector Waterproof Boat Plug & Socket 2 Pin With Plastic Cap By MiDMarine

Noooo. The worst connector design in history.  The sockets don't have springs on the contacts and rely on the springiness of the brass, which isn't. The waterproofing is crap too, if used outside.

 

MP.

 

ETA. I use the "Hella" 12v connectors. Not perfect, but a lot better than cigarette lighter. Originally used in WW2 german military vehicles, I understand.

Edited by MoominPapa
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21 minutes ago, MoominPapa said:

The waterproofing is crap too, if used outside.

It is always surprising that there can be such divergence of experiences on the same products - I wonder if it is the installation differences that determine the experience.

 

Our experience of them is as for 'external use' (But we also have a couple at the helm and in the Fwd cabin) The cap, with its seal, has always kept the connector dry and, in use, they have been faultless - we have them on the foredeck for plugging the searchlight into for use when approaching moorings in the dark.

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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21 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

You may like to consider the boat version of those - as you say far better (and higher rated) than cigarette lighter plugs and sockets.

 

Loads of sizes from 5 amp upwards, loads of prices depending on quality. Waterproof so you can have them externally to plug in your spotlight, phone charger, VHF radio etc etc

 

 

Deck Connector Waterproof Boat Plug & Socket 2 Pin With Plastic Cap By MiDMarine

 

I have one of these outside on the headlamp. It sometimes gets a bit of water in and the pins tarnish and need a clean every couple of years.

 

We had one big laptop that could draw 8 amps from time to time and this melted the cigar lighter things. I used a "speakon" connector which is an XLR variant. It works very well, good current handling and locks in place with a twist. The big advantage of the cigar lighter plugs is that they can contain a fuse.

 

...............Dave

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Have you looked at the Bulgin "Buccaneer" range of connectors? Available in a range of sizes, Bureau Veritas approved for total immersion to at least a metre, and available in bulkhead mounting options. I used a compact,  light current,  multipin model on my brother--in-law's yacht a few years ago the allow a hard wired external navigation instrument to be removed for repair and re-fitted without having to disturb the cable run back to the interior cockpit. They are available in large sizes with screw terminals for the wires. 

Edited by Ronaldo47
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4 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

It is always surprising that there can be such divergence of experiences on the same products - I wonder if it is the installation differences that determine the experience.

 

Our experience of them is as for 'external use' (But we also have a couple at the helm and in the Fwd cabin) The cap, with its seal, has always kept the connector dry and, in use, they have been faultless - we have them on the foredeck for plugging the searchlight into for use when approaching moorings in the dark.

Installation and use may be it. Ours is for the tunnel light, so it has a plug in it all the time, rather than the cap. I suspect some of the water ingress is from behind the socket, which is in a condensation-prone area. Whenever we arrive at a tunnel after a reasonable time tunnel free, I have to test, and jalf the time end up disassembling and fiddling to get it to work.

 

MP.

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1 minute ago, MoominPapa said:

Installation and use may be it. Ours is for the tunnel light, so it has a plug in it all the time, rather than the cap. I suspect some of the water ingress is from behind the socket, which is in a condensation-prone area. Whenever we arrive at a tunnel after a reasonable time tunnel free, I have to test, and jalf the time end up disassembling and fiddling to get it to work.

 

MP.

 

Maybe try a 'polo' shaped piece of rubber between the socket and bulkhead.

Wires go thru the centre but the trapped rubber keeps moisture out.

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On 18/06/2021 at 15:04, Puffling said:


Like them so much I just put in a repeat order for more. Only hope the new ones are compatible ?
The price? Currently less than seven pounds a pair.

IP67.JPG.102e13e9df0d4312f2301172d43e4337.JPG
https://imgur.com/a/GCkoZjo
 

 

I think that looks neat and robust. Have you go a link? Cigarette lighter plug sockets are the pits. 

 

LP20 Power Connector Male Plug and Socket IP67 Waterproof Cable Connector AC/DC | eBay

 

 

 

Edited by Higgs
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5 hours ago, Higgs said:

 

I think that looks neat and robust. Have you go a link? Cigarette lighter plug sockets are the pits. 

 

My seller is cheaper than the one you found - free postage, and I can verify pretty speedy delivery. I agree, cigar lighter connectors are best avoided.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/272828633524

Spent this afternoon soldering tails onto a couple of these, coincidentally. The plastic used in the dielectric is not thermoplastic, which removes another lurking doubt I had about about them. I've had more than a few cheapie items - switches, mainly - which when exposed to the heat from the soldering iron, turn to putty with terminals collapsing sideways out of alignment. (Before you ask, I worked in the electronic industry so a soldering iron feels as natural in my hand as a screwdriver!). But with these, both the plug and socket spills tinned nicely and remained rock solid.

 

The waterproof boot on the socket scrunched up perfectly around the cable exit and with a rubber O-ring included around the front of the insert, I'd reckon it will be pretty reliable for connecting outside.

A couple of tips for newbies soldering plugs and sockets - always mate them before you apply any heat. That way, the pins are more likely to stay in alignment, even if the material they are set in melts slightly. Also, keep a pair of needle-nosed pliers nearby, and once you are sure the joint is nice and "wet", remove the tip of the iron and briefly clamp your pliers to the metal of the pin to sink any heat away.

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5 minutes ago, Puffling said:

My seller is cheaper than the one you found - free postage, and I can verify pretty speedy delivery. I agree, cigar lighter connectors are best avoided.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/272828633524
 

 

Thanks, but it's in Dollars. How does that work, with credit card? How does the exchange work, and who does it. 

 

 

Edited by Higgs
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Posted (edited)

When you pay through PayPal the cost is automatically converted into your own currency. I've bought stuff priced in Aussie, Canadian and Yankee dollars, converted to pounds in the bill I see.

 

Currency converter

(you'll pay more through PayPal, who are thieving scoundrels)

 

Added: your CC company will convert currencies on the fly as well

Edited by Puffling
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3 minutes ago, Puffling said:

When you pay through PayPal the cost is automatically converted into your own currency. I've bought stuff priced in Aussie, Canadian and Yankee dollars, converted to pounds in the bill I see.

 

Currency converter

(you'll pay more through PayPal, who are thieving scoundrels)

 

Added: your CC company will convert currencies on the fly as well

 

OK. I set up a PayPal account years ago, decided not use it. Paid £75.00 into it, to cover incidental charges. Now they're charging for unused accounts, so I'd be better of closing it soon. But glad the CC will handle currency conversions. Thanks. 

 

 

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