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Old 05-15-2011
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12V DC two pin outlets

Emerald has a number of 12V DC two pin outlets inside and outside the boat... most 12V outlets these days are cigarette outlets. Does anyone else have this setup? How have you dealt with this situation?

Thanks!

Bob Dugan
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Old 05-15-2011
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I toyed with the idea for some time of installing more specialized, and more compact 12V outlets and plugs, since the cig lighter plugs are so bulky. but the fact of the matter is that most 12V tools, accessories, toys, etc. all use a cig lighter plug, and in the end it was more convenient and cost effective to just stick with the defacto standard and accept the bulkiness of the plugs.

(though one can get cig lighter plugs that are very low profile, and can be retrofitted to gear that one uses often, to reduce the annoyance of the standard bulky plugs)

For high amperage 12V connections, I use specialized plugs, of course, to handle the current as needed.
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Old 05-15-2011
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We have a two pin 12V connection on our panel at the nav stn. It's kinda handy for testing bulbs and some other equipment, and I've cut off the 120/12V adapter for our handheld VHF charger and wired it in directly to the house bank there so we can charge the radio anytime.

We don't have any others on deck, exterior sources ought to have plugs and caps.
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Old 05-15-2011
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One word of caution. The wiring to these outlets typically are way underwired for anything but a cell phone charger. Using an inverter is / can be very dangerous both to your gear and your boat. If you look at the size of the wiring of the inverter, your source wiring should be as big or bigger depending on the length of the run. I have seen these sockets wired with some really tiny wires (18 ga). If you want a small inverter have it wired in with 12 ga or better depending on the run. Wire it through the boats breaker panel (ideally) and you can then switch it off with out digging into the shelf or cupboard where it is mounted, as these draw power even when doing nothing. Good luck.
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I believe most PSCs were fitted with these two-pin connectors. The ones PSC used were pretty high quality, either Perko or Cole Hersee. Advantages -- they are typically polarized, water-tight, and rated for fairly high amperage (10-15 amps). Disadvantages -- the obvious one already mentioned in your post, that many accessories have cigarette lighter style plugs and, second, the two prongs can sometimes a bit difficult to plug in. To deal with the first disadvantage, it's a fairly simple job to cut off the cigarette plug from your accessory and install a two-prong connector using a couple of water-proof butt connectors. Or, you can go the other way and splice a the female end of a cigarette-style plug to a two-pronged connector and make yourself an adapter.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ralopata View Post
I believe most PSCs were fitted with these two-pin connectors. The ones PSC used were pretty high quality, either Perko or Cole Hersee. Advantages -- they are typically polarized, water-tight, and rated for fairly high amperage (10-15 amps). Disadvantages -- the obvious one already mentioned in your post, that many accessories have cigarette lighter style plugs and, second, the two prongs can sometimes a bit difficult to plug in. To deal with the first disadvantage, it's a fairly simple job to cut off the cigarette plug from your accessory and install a two-prong connector using a couple of water-proof butt connectors. Or, you can go the other way and splice a the female end of a cigarette-style plug to a two-pronged connector and make yourself an adapter.

Roger Lopata
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All of this is very helpful. I was thinking about building several 2 pin to cigarette adapters... so it's nice to hear that others have thought about doing the same thing.

I'm not sure where to find the plugs... is there a part number or type for this plug?

Bob
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Old 05-15-2011
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I'm not on the boat right now, so I can't be certain, but I believe I made mine up with either the Cole Hersee model M-121-BP or a Perko watertight connector, model unknown -- Defender's web site shows a Perko that looks right with model number 1190 DP0 CHR, but it appears you have to purchase the plug and a chromed socket.

Probably if you check West, Jamestown Distributors, or Defender, you'll find what you're looking for.

Best of luck,

Roger Lopata
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Old 05-15-2011
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We've fitted a few of these into Raven and I must say they seem to work better than the cig sockets. As an example we have a cig socket 12v shower that constantly tripped the cig socket breaker. Now with two pin plug we have zero problems. Same goes for 12v vacuum cleaner and inflatable pump. I suspect the two pin socket/plug makes a better connection but as Prairie Rose mentioned adequate wire size is most important.
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Thanks to all of you for the information!

I'm going to stick with the 2 pin sockets and build a couple of adapters.

Bob
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Old 06-01-2011
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Dear Bob et al., On Kenlanu we had just such a plug out in the cockpit intended for the old autopilot. I looked long and hard for a matching male plug and found none so if you find one that matches please let me know. My solution was and is butt ugly but effective. I got a couple of 3/16 brass bolts ( if my memory serves), cut off the heads, ground them (with a file and an electric drill) to a nice taper to seat well in the holes, and drilled holes in the other ends so I could solder the wires in. When all was set I then plugged them in (power off) through a bit of plastic bag and then molded some quick-dry 4200 around the pins to create a plug. Eventually I hit on using a 1" wide strip of yogurt container tightened up with a hose clamp to give a bit better shape to what is still a very ugly plug. But we use it for our cockpit/anchor light so who's looking at the plug in the dark!

Again, if you find a good supply for the male plugs, please let us know!

Jay

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