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Old 08-21-2018, 07:39 PM   #1
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Zamp connector and intalled solar

Sport came with portable solar zamp plug and I had go power panel intalled on roof (go power controller). Can I just buy a zamp or similar suitcase solar and pug in, thatís all?
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Old 08-21-2018, 07:57 PM   #2
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I believe so. The Zamp portable panels have their own controller and I've been told (I have a similar system as yours) that to just plug it in. Your battery bank can support more than one controller.

Your zamp connector on the trailer just goes to the batteries.
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Old 08-21-2018, 08:39 PM   #3
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Yes indeed. If you have a pre-wired Zamp Solar plug (typically located near your battery); then any portable Zamp unit will plug directly in and start charging your batteries. Zamp portable units come with their own controllers. Recommend ordering a Zamp 50' extension cable to allow even more room to move that portable unit to sunny areas around your campsite.

My Flying Cloud 25FB came with a Zamp 160 watt roof unit. However, I store the trailer under an RV port....which prevents sun from reaching my roof top solar unit. I purchased a 160 watt Zamp portable and so my batteries show full charge every day.
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Old 08-21-2018, 08:51 PM   #4
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I donít think you need a zamp? Another make will work?
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Old 08-21-2018, 09:52 PM   #5
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I donít think you need a zamp? Another make will work?
Yep!
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Old 08-21-2018, 10:41 PM   #6
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The ďZAMP connectorĒ is just a SAE connector (perhaps with reversed polarity). Save yourself a bunch and buy a Renogy solar suitcase from their eBay store and get an SAE adapter. ZAMP charges a premium because they market to RVs and pay to be in RV focused stores.
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Old 08-22-2018, 10:07 AM   #7
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How do I know if it is reversed?
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Old 08-22-2018, 11:03 AM   #8
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How do I know if it is reversed?
The 2 pin SAE connector "normally" has the exposed pin be the ground, so accidentally touching it with something doesn't lead to a short.
A simple test light, or better, a volt/ohm meter will tell you quickly which is which.
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Old 08-22-2018, 12:09 PM   #9
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Sport came with portable solar zamp plug and I had go power panel intalled on roof (go power controller). Can I just buy a zamp or similar suitcase solar and pug in, thatís all?
Our 2017 International Serenity 27B was built with 160 watts of factory solar. It also has the Zamp portable connector on the A-frame. Unfortunately, as configured by the factory, our portable 160 watt Amp unit will not work in conjunction with the roof mounted solar.

The two units' controllers detect each other and they both shut down. After extensive research through Zamp, Airstream, and the dealership, it was concluded that the only way to make the roof and portable units work together was to add a second plug for the portable unit. This plug has been fished through the external refrigeration side vent for connection to the portable unit. Wiring then runs up through the roof vent and then connects to the roof mounted 3-connector solar plug, which is also where the 2 roof mounted solar panels are also connected. You will then have to bypass the portable Zamp controller. In this case, I've simply used a Zamp extension cable, which will plug directly into the 160 watt portable unit wiring. (I purchased 2 Zamp extension cables, which allows for more ease in positioning the portable unit to hit sunlight in shady campsites. Zamp only recommends use of a 1 extension cable, but you will not be using the portable units' own cable when you bypass the controller. This results in total cable length being the same as specified by Zamp with a single extension cable.

This configuration does work. While it makes no sense that the A-frame plug will not support a portable unit with factory installed roof solar, Airstream corporate services confirmed that this was their recommended solution.
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Old 08-22-2018, 01:50 PM   #10
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Wow, that’s kinda nuts. My roof solar was dealer installed and is Go Power. Hopefully the Renogy portable will work with ASE zamp outlet and not detect the other controller. We will see
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Old 08-22-2018, 01:52 PM   #11
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If the exposed pin is the ground then that is considered reversed and an adapter is needed?
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Old 08-22-2018, 02:06 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
The 2 pin SAE connector "normally" has the exposed pin be the ground, so accidentally touching it with something doesn't lead to a short.
A simple test light, or better, a volt/ohm meter will tell you quickly which is which.
My 2015 Flying Cloud 25FB was not originally equipped with solar. I had previously installed the 2 pin SAE connector on my battery box to plug in an external battery maintainer for use while in storage (before I wised up and upgraded my converter/charger...) When I bought a Zamp portable solar package I had to reverse the polarity on the Zamp wiring so that it matched the polarity of the connection for the battery maintainer. This was easy to do, just reversed the + and - connections inside the Zamp controller. I did not test to see if the exposed pin from the battery maintainer or the Zamp controller was hot or ground, I just wanted to use the same connection for either type of battery charger so the polarity of the connectors had to match.

The panel-mount SAE connector that I mounted to the battery box, which I assume is the same item used when the trailer is pre-wired for external solar, has both pins somewhat shielded, so it would be hard to short the "hot" pin on that connector to come into contact with ground. Main concern should be the exposed pin coming from the portable solar controller (or external battery charger).

Since I am no longer using the battery maintainer, this thread is making me think I should check which pin is hot and possibly reverse the polarity of the wiring on my Zamp and the connector on my battery box to make sure there is no exposed 12V positive on the connector from the Zamp.
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Old 08-22-2018, 07:33 PM   #13
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I checked my zamp connector and the exposed pin is the hot one. I tested it but also followed the actual wires and the exposed was connected to hot on battery. I don’t know if this is reversed as I don’t know yet which on the ASE cord will be hot. However, simple to fix if wrong pole with an adapter or easiest just move on battery
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Old 08-22-2018, 08:25 PM   #14
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Wow, that’s kinda nuts. My roof solar was dealer installed and is Go Power. Hopefully the Renogy portable will work with ASE zamp outlet and not detect the other controller. We will see
Hi

It's not so much that the controllers detect each other ... it's that the *don't* detect each other. Rather than chatting with each other about sharing the load, one or the other does the whole job. The same thing would be true of any secondary controller you put on the system. In order to get them both to work, they need to be networked in some fashion. ( = $$$$$).

Yes, that's the short / quick version. There's a bit more to it if you really want to do a deep dive. The good news is that the one that's getting more power *usually* will be the one that winds up charging the battery.

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Old 08-22-2018, 11:53 PM   #15
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Hmmmm, well seems that no network still may be fine for what I need then. Thx
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Old 08-23-2018, 02:23 AM   #16
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What I did was reverse the wires from the panels going into the controller this way there is no need to reverse the connections on the battery. They are fine when you want to connect a battery charger.
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Old 08-23-2018, 07:07 AM   #17
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I use the 7 way plug... 👍
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Old 08-23-2018, 08:18 AM   #18
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I use the 7 way plug... 👍
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Hi

... also keeps crud out of the 7 way when you are at a sandy campsite

Bob
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Old 08-23-2018, 09:16 AM   #19
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Been thinking this over and will call Renogy tech today. Believe you are right, Bob, and to get a portable panel to work with rooftop it must connect to inside controller through open plug on roof just like would be done adding another panel on roof. The 7 pin way seems only to have portable panel work and if there is a roof panel as well they don’t team up I want to plug in another 100 panel when roof is in shade or I am drawing more amps and have the power of 200. Two panels and one controller is only way, yes?
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Old 08-23-2018, 09:18 AM   #20
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You do not have roof solar?
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