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Old 11-18-2018, 09:39 PM   #1
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Zamp Port Miswired

I own a 2017 25a Fc. After a year of ownership, I bought a Zamp portable 180 Watt briefcase.

When I plugged the Zamp into the Zamp port I got the reverse polarity warning (602) from the Zamp controller. I then tried the Zamp with the alligator clamps and the Zamp controller went to charging the batteries like it should.
I then swapped the Zamp port wires on the battery and the Zamp Solar charged as it should. Since that arrangement removed the inline fuse on the port, I placed the wires back after my test.

Question: is the Zamp port installed from the factory, or a dealer added accessory?

Now, if I keep the Zamp port wired as is for SAE, I could now plug my battery tender into the Zamp port, is that correct? Are there any concerns about using the Zamp port for Battery Tender charging.

For using the Zamp portable Solar charger, if I bought a polarity-reversing patch, then I would be able to use the current Zamp port miswire when Boondocking, correct?

Any problems or concerns with my approach to this? The above would get rid of using alligator clips altogether, and I can use the Zamp port for both.

I am trying to make lemonade with the lemon I was handed...
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Old 11-18-2018, 09:44 PM   #2
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Zamp and battery tender use reverse polarity at the plug in point. Install and label a second plug in.
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Old 11-19-2018, 12:59 AM   #3
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I see no reason for a second plug, I’d just wire the plug so it works with your panel and pull off the label. If the polarity matches up with the Battery Tender then that’s fine too. All that Zamp plug is a standard plug with a Zamp label going straight to the battery.
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Old 11-19-2018, 03:06 AM   #4
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Zamp uses a SAE connector but does not follow the SAE standard (+ve shielded side) connection. If you think about it they have to chose to either have the +ve shielded from their controller OR back from batteries, you can't have both. They made a choice to protect their side (which means your battery side is unshielded but covered). However a battery tender follows the SAE standard so if you want to use both through the same connector you need to make a gender changer to use with one of them. There are several other threads on the forum that go into it in detail.
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Old 11-19-2018, 05:48 AM   #5
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Thank you all for your thoughts!
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Old 11-19-2018, 08:02 AM   #6
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Normal?

Think of it this way...JC just installed the name, ZAMP, without any regard as to how it was supposed to be done.

Just like us, when we don't read the manual. 😂👎😂

Bob
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Old 11-19-2018, 11:08 AM   #7
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I experienced a similar problem. I had installed an SAE plug on my battery box so that I could easily connect an external battery tender. When I later bought a Zamp solar system I tried to use the same port and found the polarity was wrong. I consulted Zamp and reversed the + and - wires inside the Zamp controller and every thing was copacetic. This was an easy thing to do, only requiring a screwdriver and 5 minutes of time.

Why is Zamp "backwards"? Many, if not most battery tenders are connected to car batteries with a pigtail-mounted in-line SAE connector permanently attached to the battery. When not connected to the tender, the exposed terminal on the pigtail attached to the car battery cannot be hot (+12V) or you run the risk of shorting the battery to ground if the exposed terminal comes into contact with metal under the hood. With the Zamp solar panel, the bulkhead mounted SAE plug does not have an exposed terminal, because both terminals are recessed therefore no risk of shorting the battery connection. But, the lead from the solar panel does have an exposed terminal, and presumably Zamp sees a risk for this terminal to be hot, which it would be if the panel is in the sun. So, they reverse the polarity of the connector relative to the battery tender. This is probably good engineering practice, but I did not see a realistic risk of shorting the solar panel by this exposed contact, so I reversed the polarity in the Zamp controller and went about my business.
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Old 11-19-2018, 12:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martin300662 View Post
Zamp uses a SAE connector but does not follow the SAE standard (+ve shielded side) connection.
Bingo!
I used my Zamp to power the TPMS repeater. I learned it's wired backwards (to me and common sense). I simply reversed the leads on the TPMS, since the Zamp has a fuse on the + side which makes flipping the leads even more confusing.
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Old 11-19-2018, 12:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
Bingo!
I used my Zamp to power the TPMS repeater. I learned it's wired backwards (to me and common sense). I simply reversed the leads on the TPMS, since the Zamp has a fuse on the + side which makes flipping the leads even more confusing.
Just as was explained to us in the Zamp manual. 👍

Bob
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Old 11-19-2018, 06:36 PM   #10
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Yes, the Zamp SAE connector is intentionally "wired backwards". It has something to do with protecting the leads from the solar panels to prevent accidental shorting. The way it is wired is correct for Zamp solar panels.

There is an adapter available which will allow you to plug a battery tender into the Zamp port on the AS. I've attached a link to one here.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 11-20-2018, 02:19 PM   #11
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Thanks all for the information. I have decided to keep the Zamp plug as it is, miswired to SAE, so I can use the battery tender (it is working fine on Zamp plug), and have bought the reverse polarity connector so I can plug in my new Zamp 180 Watt solar briefcase to the miswired Zamp plug.
Oh, the irony!

Hart
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Old 11-20-2018, 05:16 PM   #12
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My 2017 25FB had the same reverse polarity issue. ZAMP had sent Airstream a batch of mis-wired ports.

ZAMP sent me a new port with the correct wiring.
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Old 11-20-2018, 11:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverWind View Post
My 2017 25FB had the same reverse polarity issue. ZAMP had sent Airstream a batch of mis-wired ports.

ZAMP sent me a new port with the correct wiring.
There is a clue in the previous posts. The 'mis-wired' batch work with a battery tender....that's because they are actually correctly wired per the SAE standard, which means they are reversed for the Zamp panels. By changing to the replacement you will now need a gender changer to use a battery tender.
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Old 11-21-2018, 06:23 AM   #14
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SAE standard...for the connector.

It's still + to + & - to -
Test Light.

Bob
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