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Old 07-05-2019, 10:38 AM   #1
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Portland , Oregon
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Solar Suitcase to 7-Pin?

For those of you who connect your Solar Suitcase(s) to the 7-pin umbilical cord, what adapter/connector do you use to connect the Solar Suitcase power output plug format into a 7-pin format?

I understand that the Solar Suitcase power output plug format will depend on the brand, e.g. Renogy, Zamp, etc.

Thank you.

Cheers,

Bryan
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Old 07-05-2019, 12:00 PM   #2
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I have a portable system provided by 4thdsolar.com. I've talked with Dave there and asked him to come up with a simple plug and play. He designed and sells a system for Airstreams. I also bought his system because of the Merlin panels, a very light weight and efficient panels. He has an excellent video comparing different panels.

Back to your question, Dave says you want the controller as close to the batteries as possible and connected directly to batteries, not the 7 pin plug. His system comes with a waterproof controller. I attached mine to the side of the battery box. The connectors commonly used are Andersons and can be bought on Amazon.



I also just converted to two 6 volt 260 amp hour Interstate batteries



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Old 07-05-2019, 12:07 PM   #3
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I'm using a Zamp Solar USP1002 140-Watt Folding Portable Solar System on my 68 Caravel. https://www.specialized.net/zamp-sol...solar-kit.html

I bought a GoPower Solar panel 7-way adapter, https://store.airstreamlife.com/coll...-7-way-adapter.

Since Zamp reverses their polarity, I installed a Sunway SAE Polarity Reverse Adapter inline between the Zamp and the GoPower adapter.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The Airstreamlife.com store also sells GoPower solar panels.
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Old 07-05-2019, 01:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blacklab View Post
For those of you who connect your Solar Suitcase(s) to the 7-pin umbilical cord, what adapter/connector do you use to connect the Solar Suitcase power output plug format into a 7-pin format?

I understand that the Solar Suitcase power output plug format will depend on the brand, e.g. Renogy, Zamp, etc.

Thank you.

Cheers,

Bryan
I made my own.

If you are going to use the 7pin, just get the female,(TV) side and use the 12v charge & ground terminals, along with the polarity reverse adaptor noted above.👍


I have used up to 30' of charge line with two 180w Zamp,(made in USA), panels without problems.🤓 I am also using the stock Zamp controllers mounted on the panels...they work fine.

Bob
🇺🇸
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Old 07-05-2019, 02:00 PM   #5
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Hello all,
For all of you using the 7-pin method for your solar. I am wondering what gauge wire you have from the male 7-pin umbilical to the coach battery(s)

-Dennis
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Old 07-05-2019, 02:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by batman View Post
Hello all,
For all of you using the 7-pin method for your solar. I am wondering what gauge wire you have from the male 7-pin umbilical to the coach battery(s)

-Dennis
I am not sure it really matters much since your umbilical will be the smallest wire in the circuit. Yes, it is limiting, but I get plenty of charging current from my suitcase that way.

Larry
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Old 07-05-2019, 03:06 PM   #7
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you need a solar MPPT controller between the panel and any DC storage destination

i suggest you look at victron energy
they are best in class and offer inet and blue tooth access

i am a happy customer
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Old 07-05-2019, 03:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by batman View Post
Hello all,
For all of you using the 7-pin method for your solar. I am wondering what gauge wire you have from the male 7-pin umbilical to the coach battery(s)

-Dennis
The Zamp portable wiring for ours is all 10g.
It works very well with 360w.👍
And no you don't need another controller if you use the Zamp portables.


Bob
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Old 07-06-2019, 08:18 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
The Zamp portable wiring for ours is all 10g.
It works very well with 360w.��
And no you don't need another controller if you use the Zamp portables.


Bob
����
Thanks Bob, I thought most were 10ga.

I have a different setup for my solar but was curious how this worked. As a low voltage tech, C-7 contractor. I understand the need for larger gauge wire for amperage to travel grater distance using DC current.
10ga seems a little small to get any distance (13-16 feet) from the panel to the battery, without loss.
But if you say it works and you like it, well, so be it.
I wonder if anyone has done a side by side comparison measuring current loss, amps at various lengths and gauges of wire? I have books and charts explaining these things. However a real world video using solar would be cool to have.
This site is pretty good.
http://www.offroaders.com/technical/...gauge-to-amps/

-Dennis
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Old 07-06-2019, 09:12 AM   #10
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We used a 160w suitcase solar system for several years, came with 45' extension for sun hunting When we got 'Blue Streak' she came with 200w on the roof (not zamp). We rigged a 7-pin to the suitcase (has own controller) and use it to sun hunt if the AS is in the shade. Works great and no conflict.
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Old 02-19-2024, 06:34 AM   #11
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After goiing all in by adding 400ah of LiFePO4 BBGC2 batteries and a 3000w MultiPlus in our previous 23' rig, I decided to scale back my expectations with our 27' rig. On the 23' rig everything was on the 3000w inverter -- and while I could run the air conditioning sparingly, I found the 120VAC dependent appliance I used most often was the convection microwave oven.

With our 27' rig I decided to go with only 200ah of LiFePO4 batteries and concentrate more on charging the house batteries and supplimenting them with a portable "power station". In my case I choose an Anker C1000 power station and four of their 200w solar panels. (I also bought a larger Anker Solix 767 power station and its auxillary battery for the sticks and bricks house.)

I now have 1100w of solar, 300w of factory solar on the roof and 800w of portable solar available to be placed on the ground. This portable solar can be used to directly charge the house batteries or either of the Anker power stations.

To connect the portable solar panel(s) to the rig I ditched the Zamp plug arrangement in favor of my own creation -- basically a box that contains a Victron Smart Solar charge controller and recepticles for the trailier's 7-pin cord and the portable 48vdc 200w solar panels that use an XT60 plug.

The LiFePO4 batteries are now in the forward locker with a Victron Phoenix Charger, which allows me to use unheated batteries and makes the factory battery box a "wet" storage area for hoses etc. I will be adding a removable partition in the forward locker so I am able to safely use its remaining storage space.
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Old 02-19-2024, 08:06 AM   #12
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My solar suitcase (Renogy) has MP-4 connectors. It also came with a set of MP-4 to jumper cables.
But I bought an adapter to go from MP-4 to SAE-2 (The Zamp Pug already on the battery box) It's 10 AWG, my 30' extension is 8 AWG.
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Old 02-19-2024, 11:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
My solar suitcase (Renogy) has MP-4 connectors. It also came with a set of MP-4 to jumper cables.
But I bought an adapter to go from MP-4 to SAE-2 (The Zamp Pug already on the battery box) It's 10 AWG, my 30' extension is 8 AWG.
Is your 30' extension before or after the solar controller?

My panels are 48VDC, so I wanted any extension cord to be between the 48-volt panels and the solar controller, rather than after it where the voltage will be lower and resistance higher.

Some of the solar "suitcase" solutions require their solar charge controller to be right at the panel(s), so positioning the panels away from the rig requires an extension cord to be between the solar charge controller and batteries -- after the voltage has been attenuated and resistance is higher.
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