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WTB: snipped off MC cable connectors?

Discussion in 'Home Power and Microgeneration' started by Scott Willing, Jun 23, 2003.

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  1. Hi folks,

    One of the readers of this group kindly offered to sell me some MC
    connectors that he had snipped off the flying leads of some panels.

    Unfortunately he only has an odd number, so I'll still need at least
    one more. If anyone has some they would part with, or would even sell
    me a short MC cable or two without charging a fortune for shipping,
    please name your price. All I need is enough wire remaining on the
    connector to make a decent splice.

    I'd have been happy to buy a few cables from one of several US
    suppliers but they either (a) don't respond to inquiries about
    piss-ante purchases from Canucks or (b) charge more than the cables
    are worth to ship them up here to Soviet Canuckistan.

    Thanks in advance for any help,
    Scott Willing
     
  2. sageroot

    sageroot Guest

    What is an MC connector? I have lots of connectors, not sure of the MC
    designator..
     
  3. Thanks for asking. Here's way more than you wanted to know.

    It's a new single-conductor weatherproof connector that at least some
    vendors claim is going to become the standard for solar panels. The
    new Sharps I bought and some BP panels have these things on the end of
    two flying leads (about 4' long) instead of the good old junction box
    approach.

    I can see the appeal for systems installers, especially when putting
    in mega-panel installations. You just plug these puppies in; no
    messing around with stripping wire, and with junction boxes that
    become inaccessible if the panels are mounted parallel to a roof. And,
    the connectors are sexed, so it's harder to mess up, e.g. when
    building up series strings they just naturally chain together.

    For me they're a bit of a pain. In a lifetime of playing with
    electronics, I've regretted cutting off molded connectors more often
    than not, so I'd rather not do that. Therefore I need some MC connex
    to splice onto the end of my feeder lines to mate with the ones
    tethered to the panels, and if other people have snipped their
    connectors, that would be fine. In theory, one fellow is sending me
    three in the mail; he ripped open the fourth to have a look at the
    construction. (Damn!)

    Short cables that I could split and graft on aren't outrageously
    expensive in the US, but shipping charges can exceed the value of the
    cables, winding up costing me about CDN$100 for the privilege of
    connecting two panels(!) The only Canadian source I've found stocks
    only the longer sizes and charges a fortune for them, so that I would
    actually end up spending even more to connect my two panels.

    This problem won't go away either, since I plan to standardize on this
    particular panel and add a pair at a time while I slowly sell off my
    collection of weird unmatched stuff. Once I have an array of identical
    panels, I'll rewire to 24V and switch to an MPPT controller. That will
    be the day I'll be most happy that I didn't cut the [email protected]#$ things off.

    Of course there's no such thing, AFAIK, as an MC connector designed
    for self-installation on an arbitrary piece of wire; all these things
    are molded. Makes sense from a weatherproofing standard etc., but...
    urg.

    I wish they'd supply the panels with conventional junction boxes,
    prewired with the flying MC cables. Then you'd have the best of both
    worlds.

    But that would probably add $5 to the price of a panel. Horrors!
    -=s
     
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