12v plug & socket

tanuki.himself

Active member
Is it just my ignorance not searching for the right thing, or is there no form of standardised or common 12v power socket other that a cigarette lighter? That has to be one of the least fit for purpose designs ever, but unless you want to plug in a fork lift truck with an anderson plug i'm not finding anything else that seems suitable for relatively low amp requirements - safe when not in use, positive latch/engagement, not an ugly great hole on the wall....
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

Americas Overland - The Driving Handbook
by Donald Greene
From $20
Overlanding the Americas: La Lucha
by Mr Graeme Robert Bell
From $20
Sailing Alone Around the World: a Personal Account of the...
by Joshua Slocum
From $26
Don't Go There. It's Not Safe. You'll Die.: And other mor...
by Jared McCaffree, Jessica Mans, Kobus Mans
From $19.99
Tortillas to Totems (Every day an Adventure Book 4)
by Sam Manicom
From $9.99

hg1027

New member
What are you hooking up? What kind of standardization are you looking for?

Anderson sb50 seems to be pretty common for solar panels/fridges/truck to trailer power. If you want to be able to plug your panels in to a strangers rig in the boonies, that would probably be the most likely.

I expect most people are more interested in a dedicated use - my fridge on my trailer to my truck. Use the mfg plugs, use 50a and mini andersons, molex, USB. Heck, use balanced XLR cables if you want.

You wouldn't want one single standardized connector, waterproof locking connector for 2/0 would be totally inappropriate for interior lighting, and you aren't running solar panels off USB.

Alligator clips and a wire stripper would be last resort forced standardization.
 

86scotty

Explorer
Is it just my ignorance not searching for the right thing.....
I feel your pain Tanuki. I have been meaning to change over to the growing line of Anderson connectors for a long time and have finally run out of these in my junk drawer. Not sure what they are usually called but they do work a lot better than regular power points:


This one seems to be only a minor improvement on a PP but I learned of them here recently. Seems pricey for a simple connection though.

 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
For under 45 amps the Andersen PowerPole 15/30/45 size is fairly ubiquitous. I think for under 20 or so amps the PowerPole is a better option than the SB50. The SB50/PP75 size seems to me overkill for fridges and small solar panels since the smallest terminal you can get is 10 AWG. In a PP 15/30/45 they make terminals down to 20 AWG.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
I feel your pain Tanuki. I have been meaning to change over to the growing line of Anderson connectors for a long time and have finally run out of these in my junk drawer. Not sure what they are usually called but they do work a lot better than regular power points:

https://www.amazon.com/Sea-Dog-Polarized-Connector-2-Wire/dp/B000Y89TDM/ref=asc_df_B000Y89TDM/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312430092407&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=1863890739213492640&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1026083&hvtargid=pla-569344392136&psc=1
51lywcB1QsL._AC_SL1000_.jpg

The first ones you link are nothing more than SAE connectors. These are not a great connector.
 

86scotty

Explorer
They work fine for every application I've used them in, generally just extension cords for things like fridges. I would not hard mount anything with one and I do realize they are not at all weatherproof.

Anyway, I used to have about 10 of them floating around in my wiring bins, some with long, handy cords already attached so I used them. Free is me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: WVI

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
The main problem I have with SAE is they're molded so all you can do is splice them to wires. A crimped terminal inserted into a housing is fewer connections and generally cleaner.

From a strictly low current performance standpoint an SAE isn't any really better or worse than a PowerPole - similar size, shape, etc. I suspect SAE mated resistance is higher and probably more inconsistent just due to quality. The main thing is PowerPoles have such an ecosystem of various configurations.
 

Florida Native

Active member
I am slowly switching over from the SAE 2-pole that 86scotty mentioned to Anderson Powerpole 15/30/45. Smaller (slightly), much better quality, can connect wire directly to terminals (no mid-line connections), can choose appropriate wire size, and - a big deal to me - they are electrically hermaphroditic (no need to worry which is supply or load side, you just wire them all one way and they just work together).

-Mike

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

john61ct

Adventurer
Standard ciggie sockets are IMO a dangerous abortion, avoid like the plague for anything important, or that you use regularly.

The more standard they are, the worse!

Never more than 5-6A and only for short periods, as in a few minutes. Even then they are risky, an inherently poor design!


Blue Sea has a nice socket design that twist-locks with the matching plug, but will also accept standard ciggie plugs for smaller (
Also the BMW/ Hella/ Merit/ Powerlet "Euro-style DIN" (ISO 4165) style is very robust.

Anderson plugs for high amps, for me my standard, for almost all power connections.

If you standardize on one of the last two types, there are adapters for guests, temporary use of devices with standard ciggie plugs.
 

john61ct

Adventurer
SAE are not rated for high currents, the mid-wire splicing is inferior to proper crimping of home runs, and they do deteriorate much faster.

Fine for indoors, low amps, IMO under 10A, and low duty cycles.

Certainly miles better than ciggie ports
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

The Alchemist, 25th Anniversary: A Fable About Following ...
by Paulo Coelho
From $10.47
Don't Go There. It's Not Safe. You'll Die.: And other mor...
by Jared McCaffree, Jessica Mans, Kobus Mans
From $19.99
Adventure Motorcycling Handbook: A Route & Planning Guide
by Chris Scott
From $28.81
Overlanders' Handbook: Worldwide Route & Planning Guide: ...
by Chris Scott
From $19.35
Road Fever (Vintage Departures)
by Tim Cahill
From $6.99

john61ct

Adventurer
You wouldn't want one single standardized connector, waterproof locking connector for 2/0 would be totally inappropriate for interior lighting, and you aren't running solar panels off USB
For 45A and lower PowerPoles are pretty perfect as a "default" standard.

15A and 30A will interchange, in either direction

weather resistant booties and panel mount kits are readily available.

Very robust, thousands of duty cycles, the self-wiping contact design is great to keep resistance low.
 

tanuki.himself

Active member
Blue Sea has a nice socket design that twist-locks with the matching plug, but will also accept standard ciggie plugs for smaller (
Also the BMW/ Hella/ Merit/ Powerlet "Euro-style DIN" (ISO 4165) style is very robust.
I have some cigarette lighter fitting supplies with various products and never realised the ends were removable and fit this type of socket - smaller and a much more positive connection. I think this will be my preferred option but i'll buy Hella as cheaper than BMW :)
 
Top