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Charles_Graham

12v electric for wifi

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I decided to use as much 12V dc as possible from the start.

 

Thats why I laid out my wiring mostly 12v for lighting along the boat, then a 240V along the mid point, (Laptop), maybe an appliance or 2.

 

And an area for 240V at rear/stern for power tools etc..

 

 

I have a decent inverter being installed, but to me seems like a bit of waste, so will try to reduce using it as much as possible.

 

Im off batteries.

 

So tricks like using 12v for small appliances, I think would work out best..

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32 minutes ago, Charles_Graham said:

So tricks like using 12v for small appliances, I think would work out best..

If you have an old 12V (or even 14.4V) nicad drill where the batteries are shot, wire it up with a lead and a 12V plug on the end. No charging up of nicads required and instant drilling when you want it. 

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On 31/12/2018 at 10:02, Dr Bob said:

A question for you 12V only peeps. How do you manage with soldering irons, dremmels, charging cordless drill batteries, charging cordless vacuum cleaner batteries, charging.......?

I'm on shoreline most of the time, but haven't used my 240V soldering iron since I moved aboard and have a 12V supply available to plug the otherwise identical 12V version into (nothing flash, but a reliable standard 25W Antex). When I need to use something which needs 240V and I'm away from the shoreline I turn the inverter on, but most of the time I don't need it (don't have a cordless drill or vacuum cleaner, but do have wired 240V ones and a 240V dremel - I actually have a 12V vacuum but it's tiny and would be a pain for cleaning the boat). I guess if I was using such things a lot I might get 12V versions, but then it's a bit of a strawman question, because I'm not sure anybody here is 12V only, simply that some of us choose to use predominantly 12V devices when away from shoreline. A lot of things are readily available in 12V versions, the ones I guess I wouldn't survive without are phone and laptop chargers and I have 12V versions of those so I don't need to turn the inverter on most of the time (so far I've only used it very rarely when out cruising).

 

The point isn't that you have to run everything from 12V - we all have inverters - but to run the obvious easy things which get used the most that way. It all depends what choices you make - as you say we're all different - I decided against a 12V TV because to get the same spec as the 240V one I picked up on ebay would have cost a lot more money and I'm happy enough to read a book instead if bothered about power consumption. However when putting in new "infrastructure" (such as the RPi which provides a Wifi hub amongst other things to come back to the OP) I'll make it 12V powered if I can.

Edited by aracer
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On 30/12/2018 at 21:08, Charles_Graham said:

For small electrical equipment like a wifi box which uses a step down transformer, would I be able to somehow wire into the 12v system on the boat?

 

thanks

graham

Back to the question,can anyone recommend a decent reliable  12v to 12v regulator please?.

I have assorted chinese converters left over from my travel-truck days but ideally I'd like a neat box with the necessary certificate of conformity etc etc

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5 hours ago, Clodi said:

Back to the question,can anyone recommend a decent reliable  12v to 12v regulator please?.

I have assorted chinese converters left over from my travel-truck days but ideally I'd like a neat box with the necessary certificate of conformity etc etc

Clodi I remember a very expensive, upmarket battery manufacturer that sold other "stuff" but  my age has dictated that I cannot remember the name of said company.  The name began with something like BAR . .... and they did sell kit such as you seek.

Phil

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Yes, yes, yes, no. Not unless you actually have some 5V USB outlets. 

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9 hours ago, Charles_Graham said:

If I were to wire in this wifi box to 12v, what connection should I make..

 

12v socket?

directly wired with inline switch?

cigarette lighter?

or use the USB lead..

Personally either of the first two, depending on how permanent you want it (I'm doing a mix of those when installing stuff myself). I do have quite a few things with lighter plugs which I'm not going to change, but I wouldn't put one on if doing a new install - not unless I wanted to also be able to use it in my car (which applies to most of the things I already have wired like that, but wouldn't to a wifi box!) Lighter sockets are good at supplying fairly high currents for portable kit, but they're a fairly rubbish design for semi-permanent installs, eventually with vibration your box will probably disconnect.

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Most 12v sockets are rubbish, suitable only for temporary connections.

I replaced all of mine except one with USB sockets as in post #33.

Mifi, radio, tablet, phone chargers all run off USB only thing that doesn't is the GPS hence leaving one. High current non movable items such as VHF are hardwired to  switches. IMO the only way to do it.

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It strikes me that the way to go depends on boat use (liveaboard/leisure) and cruising range (wide or relatively local). Different solutions are appropriate for each permutation.

We have a 12v/240v TV and a 12v lighter socket with a car-type plug-in thingy for phone charging. I've never used a laptop on board, but then, I don't live on my boat. 

 

Personally I don't feel the need to be 'connected' other than at home or in the office, and mobile data has always been more than sufficient for my needs on the boat, but others see things differently.

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14 hours ago, Loddon said:

Most 12v sockets are rubbish, suitable only for temporary connections.

I replaced all of mine except one with USB sockets as in post #33.

Mifi, radio, tablet, phone chargers all run off USB only thing that doesn't is the GPS hence leaving one. High current non movable items such as VHF are hardwired to  switches. IMO the only way to do it.

Quite a sweeping statement - mine are old fashioned round pin mains sockets, which seem to be the standard for use on boats, nothing at all wrong with those for connection just as permanent as with a 13A socket. What do you think the problem with them is? I can think of various alternative 12V sockets which I might choose instead if doing a new install, some of which are far superior to anything mentioned on here. Meanwhile you're suggesting USB sockets as the gold standard? 😲

 

Admittedly having been prompted to do an audit since my last reply, almost everything 12V I have does have a cigarette lighter plug on and will be staying that way at least in the short term as I would like to be able to use them in the car - that's unless I decide it makes more sense to have a cigarette to 3 pin converter in the car! Though a couple are just cables which I might as well make up duplicates with a 3 pin plug on. I also have plenty of 5V charging or powered stuff, so plan to fit some dedicated adapters and sockets - though I'll probably hard wire the fixed things to a dedicated 5V supply rather than use USB sockets (it occurs to me that maybe I should investigate just getting a high power 5V supply and run a 5V circuit...)

 

edit: https://www.4-max.co.uk/ubec-20a.htm looks like it would provide sufficient 5V power for anything I might want to run. I'm guessing nobody else has installed a 5V circuit in their boat so I would be a pioneer?

Edited by aracer

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8 minutes ago, aracer said:

Quite a sweeping statement - mine are old fashioned round pin mains sockets, which seem to be the standard for use on boats, nothing at all wrong with those for connection just as permanent as with a 13A socket. What do you think the problem with them is? I can think of various alternative 12V sockets which I might choose instead if doing a new install, some of which are far superior to anything mentioned on here. Meanwhile you're suggesting USB sockets as the gold standard? 😲

 

But a 2, 5 and 15 amp round pin sockets are not 12 volt

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29 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

But a 2, 5 and 15 amp round pin sockets are not 12 volt

I've always understood that the argument for not using 230 v fittings for 12 v applications is the switch element of the fitting. The 2 a round pin fittings I've successfully and uneventfully used for the last 20 years don't have switches. ( I THINK the same hold true for 5a round pin sockets). I've never had any issue with the plug getting warm, something I can't say about cigarette lighter type plugs I've used.

 

 

Frank

Edited by Slim

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7 minutes ago, Slim said:

I've always understood that the argument for not using 230 v fittings for 12 v applications is the switch element of the fitting. The 2 a round pin fittings I've successfully and uneventfully used for the last 20 years don't have switches. ( I THINK the same hold true for 5a round pin sockets). I've never had any issue with the plug getting warm, something I can't say about cigarette lighter type plugs I've used.

 

 

Frank

I would go along with that, 15 amp were also available unswitched, but they are not 12 volt which is what Loddons comment was about.  The argument against using them is the danger of plugging a 12 volt  DC appliance into a 230 volt AC outlet. Did I ever tell you about Mother in Laws gardners

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1 hour ago, aracer said:

I also have plenty of 5V charging or powered stuff,

Its not for the boat, but I have now got all of my Hiking / Camping 'stuff' onto 5v USB for 'running' or re-charging.

 

7W solar panel (5v USB Outlet)

5v 'Solar Power Bank' (4Ah battery with built in solar charger)

Garmin GPS Watch (USB recharging)

VHF Radio Transceiver (USB Recharging)

HeadLight (USB Recharging)

Tent Light (Plugs into PowerBank)

Torch (USB recharging)

GPS & OS Mapping (USB Recharging)

Phone (USB Recharging)

 

The Solar panel puts out about 1A on a good summers day, and even now is putting out enough (0.1-0.2A so over 5 hours I can get up to 1Ah) to trickle charge the powerbank which can then be used for topping up the 'toys'.

 

 

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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53 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

But a 2, 5 and 15 amp round pin sockets are not 12 volt

They are on my boat! Like a lot of electrical stuff which is rated for much higher voltages they don't care that the voltage of the stuff in them is lower - all that matters is the current rating and I can think of various other things rated at 240V which are routinely used in lower voltage applications. Neither can I see how a switch is an issue, again current rating dependent - some of my 2A ones are switched. I'd prefer to have 5A ones for a couple of applications, but then I'd need to uprate the wiring for that to be useful and having made an attempt at removing panelling to get access I've decided to leave that for now (though I might just try pulling new runs through the existing space).

 

I get the theoretical issue about plugging into 240V AC, but I can't recall ever seeing such a socket anywhere and I can't imagine why any of my 3 pin 12V plugs would leave the boat.

 

Anyway, if those aren't 12V sockets, what was Loddon referring to?

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7 hours ago, aracer said:

Neither can I see how a switch is an issue, again current rating dependent

But when you understand the difference between AC and DC, you will see why it is not just 'current rating' that is the deciding factor.

 

Q) Would a 2amp 230v AC switch be suitable for 2amp 12v DC ?

 

A) It might work for a while but the internal mechanics of a AC switch will cause the contacts to pit and develop high resistance causing heating if there is a large on-rush current. A true DC switch is designed to wipe while quickly snapping from a contact landing zone to a contact parking zone to keep the internal resistance low. A regular AC switch just does a slow make or break on one spot.

 

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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9 hours ago, aracer said:

I'm guessing nobody else has installed a 5V circuit in their boat so I would be a pioneer?

I think many of us have USB sockets around our boats - I certainly do.  Not as a "5v circuit" however - the volts drop would be too much of an issue over the distances involved. Mine are supplied with 12v dc, although I do also have a 230v ac 2 gang socket with twin USB outlets by the TV.

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9 hours ago, ditchcrawler said:

But a 2, 5 and 15 amp round pin sockets are not 12 volt

They are if 12v is connected to them.

Amps must not exceed the amp rating of the fitting, regardless of voltage.

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My 12v outlets are 13A double sockets suitably modified so that the mains 13A plugs will not go in and vice versa.

Works fine, every outlet is fused, proper plugs that don't get hot and polarity correct. The switches work fine though I have increased the break gap on 2 of them that spot welded together when a heavy inductive load was switched.

Edited by Boater Sam

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10 minutes ago, Boater Sam said:

The switches work fine though I have increased the break gap on 2 of them that spot welded together when a heavy load was switched off.

You therefore agree that 'as standard' 240v AC switches are not ideal for 12v DC applications as you never know what someone will use the switch/plug for.

 

Even without considering the arcing problems, On-Solar remind us :

 

The first thing to find out when considering using AC switches and such in a low voltage 12v or 24v system is the ‘amp rating’ of the particular item. Most AC lighting components are either rated 3A or 5A. Now here’s the thing: 3 amps at 240v AC power is equal to around 750 watts and that’s a lot of lighting power right there! However, the same 3 amps on a 24V DC system is just 72 watts, that is a tenth of the power. For 12V this drops to just to 1/20th or 36 watts, and one must remember these are maximums.

 

http://www.onsolar.co.uk/blog/560/using-ac-switches-and-sockets-for-dc-12v-or-24v-systems/

 

A recent thread on the subject suggests using a 2:1 allowance (use a 5a AC switch for 2.5a DC etc etc) :

 

 

 

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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8 hours ago, aracer said:

Anyway, if those aren't 12V sockets, what was Loddon referring to?

The standard 12v cigarette lighter sockets, 99% of which are rubbish.

Don't start me on the idiocy of using 230v sockets for 12v .

 

Edited by Loddon
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14 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

You therefore agree that 'as standard' 240v AC switches are not ideal for 12v DC applications as you never know what someone will use the switch/plug for.

 

Even without considering the arcing problems, On-Solar remind us :

 

The first thing to find out when considering using AC switches and such in a low voltage 12v or 24v system is the ‘amp rating’ of the particular item. Most AC lighting components are either rated 3A or 5A. Now here’s the thing: 3 amps at 240v AC power is equal to around 750 watts and that’s a lot of lighting power right there! However, the same 3 amps on a 24V DC system is just 72 watts, that is a tenth of the power. For 12V this drops to just to 1/20th or 36 watts, and one must remember these are maximums.

 

http://www.onsolar.co.uk/blog/560/using-ac-switches-and-sockets-for-dc-12v-or-24v-systems/

Correct, DC warrants a derating of a switch designed for AC  due to the sustained arc on break but in normal use the current drawn from the socket is less than 8A , 100W and poses no problem.

They are mostly for phone chargers, USB and computer chargers, LED table lamps so minimal loads. The TV is probably the heaviest load at 66W into the regulator box.

There is no idiocy in using modified dedicated plugs and sockets for DC, many factories used 13A plugs with an alignment pin for alternative currents, AC and DC, also to prevent theft!

My plugs never get hot, unlike the crap car plugs and the horrible 2 pin caravan TV plugs that most seem to favour.

Edited by Boater Sam
added more

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