Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Scampy's electric power

Day 27

Electric Configuration

Today we are planning to clean up the Scampy Team's electric power system.
Up until now, we have left cable lengths deliberately long in order to make sure that a cable does not wind up being short by a change of equipment location.

Now, the locations are determined. Today we will:
➜ Adjust cable lengths to suit.
➜ Install inline fuses into all cables in order to protect equipment.
➜ Install plugs into each cable end so that equipment may be easily disconnected and reconnected.


Battery function
Mighty Max Deep Cycle Battery with a 35 amp-hour rating:
This battery will be used only when Scampy is not hooked up to Tránsito's hitch.  Most of the time, Mighty Max will not be used and will be disconnected from the Scampy Team's power system. The Mighty Max's location is at the front of Tránsito's tongue.

Interstate Deep Cycle Battery with a 96 amp-hour rating:
This is the Scampy Team's main House Battery. This battery will be disconnected when Scampy is unhitched from Tránsito. The Interstate battery is located inside Tránsito's rear storage area.

Home Depot & El Pollo Loco
This Blog post is coming at you from the parking lot of El Pollo Loco [Gotta love their BBQ chicken! 😎]

Before we went to El Pollo Loco, we spent almost 2-hours figuring out which plug/receptacle we want to use in our solar power set-up. If we go cheap, it's likely not going to be good because the wire cables are usually difficult to secure to cheap electric plugs and their mating receptacles.

We had to open up and inspect the plug/receptacles to inspect the wire clamps in order to find out how the clamps work.

Well designed, good quality clamps are easy to use AND do not allow stranded wire to squeeze strands out of the clamp.

This pair, plug & receptacle cost $18
[I believe the price is worth it]

Installing wire
The installation of stranded 10 gauge wire into the devices in the pic above, proved to be a more difficult than I'd anticipated.

Although the wire clamps in these devices appeared to be large enough when I was sizing them up at Home Depot, actually, the clamps proved to be just a tiny bit too small.

I got the cable from the solar panel to the Renogy Rover solar controller installed into one of the receptacles. But it took me an hour to do it! By then, it was getting towards dark. And dark means:
Quitting Time!



  1. George,
    If you're using that connector on the 12v side, keep in mind that the current can easily be many tens of Amps, which will probably overheat the connector. Look into Anderson PowerPoint connectors for this application.


    1. What I meant to get across is that a 5 amp load on the 120v side will draw 50a from the 12v battery. If those connectors are in the 50a path, they could melt.

    2. Joe,

      I don't feel that this is correct.

      When you plug in a device to your electric power in your home that draws 5 amps, you do not get 50 amps into that device.



    3. If that electrical circuit gets its 120V power from an inverter that's powered from a 12V battery system, the current in the 12v side is 10x the current in the 120v side. It's the law of conservation of energy - watts in = watts out (plus losses).

  2. My trick for getting wire onto recalcitrant screws/clamps like in the plug receptacles pictured: I put spade/hook/donut connectors on the end first. It does sometimes make it more difficult due to available room but are not as likely to come out. I do have the crimping tool and sometimes solder also.

  3. On a tow truck they have battery cable connectors which would work as good if not better
    What your using is fine however you're finding it hard to work with here's a Different set up
    And a lot easier to plug-in The Ed state Walmart but you can usually get them at an automotive store or you could order online


    1. Ed,

      The plug/receptacles that I bought from Home Depot yesterday, will work fine for me.

      I really do not need a heavy duty quick disconnect. After all, I am only using this electric power for some LED lights and charging my Mac computer and iPhone.



    2. Ed,

      I just took a 2nd look at your suggested Battery Quick Disconnect. That actually is much better than what I bought at Home Depot!


      PS: Happy Thanksgiving!