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Outdoor DC power connector 50V/10A, 2-contact

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Joerg, Sep 13, 2012.

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  1. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Everyone,

    Looking for a DC connector that can take up to 50V and up to 10A. Two
    contacts, water- and weather-proof. One male bulkhead in the unit and
    then one female plug for the two wires. Should be <$10 for the pair, so
    the fancy military ones from companies like Deutsch are out. So are the
    single-contact solar MC4 connectors. Seems every time something gets
    called solar the price goes up 3-4x.

    It is to connect a small solar panel in the 50-100W category. The issue
    is that the connector must point towards the outside of the unit and is
    exposed to the elements. So they both can get rain when it's unplugged
    but also when plugged in. The plug on the cable could worst case even be
    laying in a puddle for hours.

    I remember an example from Europe but way too big here: Their standard
    trailer connectors from the 70's. it could literally drag through the
    mud for half a day, you'd hose it off, plug in, bingo.

    Does anyone know about such a connector?
  2. Here are MC4's retail for your asking price ($9.98 for two pairs)
    That could lead to some nasty electrolytic corrosion if there is
    voltage on it from other panels.
    10A is not very much.. maybe something automotive with a boot?

    No idea if these can be purchased in non-OEM quantities.
    There's also Tyco, Delphi and some Japanese suppliers.

    One nice thing is that Mouser carries (and stocks) some of the Delphi

    It would be nice to find an application for these hefty 120A single
    pole guys: Amphe-SP3.pdf

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
  3. OK a crazy idea... how about auto/truck trailer hitch connectors..
    Four pins in a rubber sheath, the 50V part is 'out of spec.' but it
    might work just fine. You could wire up two in parallel.

    George H.
  4. Yeah that's what I thought!
    I can go buy a trailer hook up pair for ~$10
    (I need to go buy some soon.)

    George H.
  5. miso

    miso Guest

    My concern is getting sued. The idea behind making money is to keep it.
    You can write all the legalize in a contract to keep liabilities at bay,
    but a contract won't stop a lawsuit.

    I'd go with the Molex connectors used in cars. They have a waterproof
    series. If it doesn't meet your project price target, lose the contract.
    If you're not walking away from some contracts, you are doing something

    Isn't 48VDC the magic limit for doing what you want with DC outdoors? At
    some point, everything needs to be to code.

    I was going to suggest 4 pin canon connectors. These are used often for
    batteries. You get 5A a pin and you parallel them. These 4 pin canons
    are used on TV ENG trucks since the connectors won't just fall out.
    However, I never saw a waterproof canon connector.
  6. Guest

    If you are running any reasonable volumes. ask for gray IEC 60309 :)
  7. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    Look at the Mini-Con-X (13 A, 600 V) or Multi-Con-X (23 A, 600 V) series
    from Conxall (carried at Digikey et al.). A quick pass through Digikey,
    it looks like a two conductor plug/receptacle pair can be had for less
    than $10 for the set. I do see them used in a fair number of commercial
    grade marine installations. Reasonably rugged and weatherproof and they
    "look good." They are solder cup, though.
  8. Guest

    neutrik speakon or powercon maybe?

  9. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Thanks, Spehro. I'll have to contact them because (so far) I have never
    seen anything like this panel mount for the male part. We would have to,
    no dangling wires allowed on the unit.

  10. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Not crazy at all, that what I looked at. But ... the American ones are
    nice and small and cheap but cannot be panel-mounted. The European ones
    can be neatly mounted into a bumper (or panel) but are huge, unwieldy
    and expensive.
  11. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    So what are we going to do? Crawl into a cave and never design any
    products? :)

    Haven't seen anything at Molex yet, maybe I should look again.

    Yes, the panel isn't going above that voltage. It is designed to be used
    outdoors. But the connectors for those are ugly, expensive and can be
    mixed up.

    I didn't either, hence my post :)
  12. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Perilex? Those are a tad big and not waterproof :)
  13. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Aha, thanks! Now we are getting somewhere.

    Seems we'll need Maxi-Con and Digikey only carries 7-pin and up, but I
    am sure I'll find these elsewhere. The one downside is a fairly low
    mate/unmate cycle number (only 300).
  14. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

  15. Hmm I've seen pickup trucks that look to have a panel mount trailer
    plug on or near the back bumper. I've not looked at any of them
    George H.
  16. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    That's usually just a bracket which holds the connector and is bolted
    down to something. Pretty crude but at least the thing doesn't drag
    through the mud if you are on unpaved roads.
  17. miso

    miso Guest

    Basically if something looks dicey, you don't do it. On par with getting
    your ass sued is a device failing in the field. It generates ill will
    with the customer, and they don't come back.

    For example, I heard of some company that had a component manufacturer
    fail to deliver parts on time, and said company has been dissing' the
    manufacturer on usenet for years. Even though the manufacturer has sales
    exceeding two billion dollars, said company claims the manufacturer
    never delivers parts. ;-)

    I didn't mention this, but I use canons for home brew power connections
    all the time. It is a solid connection. I use the 3 pin connectors since
    I know what I am doing. That of course would be a disaster in the field
    since many low level signals go over 3 pin canons, hence the use of 4
    pin canons for power.
  18. miso

    miso Guest

    Mariners are a paranoid type. (And for good reasons, since "dead in the
    water" is not just an expression for them.) If they use the connector,
    it must be good.
  19. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

  20. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    If I and people I worked with would have followed that philosophy during
    our engineering life a lot of medical equipment would not exist. Or to
    say it more bluntly, many people would die that don't have to.

    This is also why I do not subscribe to the philosophy that progress can
    only occur incrementally and following a rigid plan. That's been tried
    in far away and not so free countries. It didn't work.

    Dissing on Usenet is, if at all, only warranted if meant as a warning
    for others not to fall into a trap. But one has to be sure that the
    facts presented are in fact true and can be backed up if it ever came
    down to the mat. That's the case pretty much everywhere in life.

    Or just use connectors dedicated for power connections. Plenty of those,
    just not too many that are weather-proof.
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