12V plugs and sockets that are not cigarette lighter style

rruff

Explorer
Anderson connectors are great, I just find them WAY to big and bulky for what I want.
How much bigger than SAE? Look pretty similar to me.

I've been looking into this as well. A nice thing about Anderson is having the wire crimped to the plug; looks like the SAE are soldered?

In the past I always got laptops that ran straight from 12V, but I had no luck this time. Maybe if I hadn't bought one with a high powered video card. I got a step up transformer (12-19V) that is supposedly 95%+ efficient.
 

Dan Grec

Expedition Leader
Sorry all, I should have been more clear.

I really don't need connectors that can handle 30, 60 or 90 amps. That's mega overkill

I'd like the smallest and most convenient connectors that handle 10amps without issue.

Cheers,
-Dan
 

rruff

Explorer
Something I ran across regarding SAE vs Anderson: https://www.cheaprvliving.com/forums/showthread.php?tid=22191&pid=262799#pid262799

"The Above connector is commonly calles a 12v SAE connector( society of automotive engineers)

I employed these widely all over my Van in 2007. I found they wear out quickly, and they also get way too hot passing 20+ amps. Stinky plastic hot burning finger hot. And many failed with no discernable causation, or the wire simply pulled out of the molded connector and grounded out and blew a fuse or just stopped passing current. I had many more with 18awg leads for lesser amperage devices and still found them problematic.

By 2011, I cut all of them out and replaced them with 30 or 45 amp anderson powerpoles."
 

roving1

Well-known member
OK, to answer my own question, it seems like the SAE plugs can work really well for what I want.


So I'll cut that wire in in the middle, wire the receptacle into my vehicle in a convenient spot, and then wire my laptop charger to the plug end.
This one comes with 10AWG wire.


If you go with 12AWG you can get a two pack for the same price...


-Dan
I worked around some fleet equipment that had this style of connector. They are extremely vulnerable to side loads bending the connector since the plug is long and acts as a lever. They are not bad with both ends on wires but with a hard base much less so. Once they get tweaked they have a habit of vibration knocking things lose enough to break the connection. I would try to find 90 degree plugs to help not get tweaked.

HTB1e_8fXijrK1RjSsplq6xHmVXab.jpg
 

Dan Grec

Expedition Leader
I worked around some fleet equipment that had this style of connector. They are extremely vulnerable to side loads bending the connector since the plug is long and acts as a lever. They are not bad with both ends on wires but with a hard base much less so. Once they get tweaked they have a habit of vibration knocking things lose enough to break the connection. I would try to find 90 degree plugs to help not get tweaked.
Ohh, thanks, good info.
Unfortunately it seems like Amazon doesn't have the 90 deg. ones, and alibaba wants a min order of 500!
I'll keep digging

-Dan
 
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Rando

Explorer
I feel like this discussion comes up every few months. I am personally not a fan of either Anderson or SAE connectors. SAE connectors only come in a molded form, meaning you need to splice the wire provided with the connector, and don't lock in anyway. Anderson connectors don't have a very good panel/bulkhead mount version, and have no strain relief and also don't lock.

There are a variety of circular connectors that do what you want, have nice panel/bulkhead mount options, strain relief, dust covers, IP ratings that can be used inside or outside the vehicle. You can get fancy ones from suppliers like digikey, or cheaper ones from amazon like these:
Amazon Link
or these:
Amazon Link
 
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Rando

Explorer
I'm not seeing any pictures in the last post. Is it just me?
Me neither, and I posted it. I think it is a forum bug where they try to give a preview of the amazon pages. Not sure how to post a link without this happening. If you search for '2 pin circular connector' on amazon you will see lots of option.

Edited the previous post to make the links work.
 
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OllieChristopher

Active member
High there Dan. I'm a big fan of both SAE and Anderson plugs. They are both simple and reliable. I use the SAE pigtails on my motorcycles and the small Andersons on my truck. What's cool about the Andersons is you can configure the plugs 4 different ways so you have specific connections that cannot be accidentally plugged into a circuit you don't want. The small Andersons are good for up to 40 amps.

Another great option is the good old 12 volt cig socket. Those can be found in up to 30 amp capability.
 

kootenay

Intergalacticsuperintendent
Sorry all, I should have been more clear.

I really don't need connectors that can handle 30, 60 or 90 amps. That's mega overkill

I'd like the smallest and most convenient connectors that handle 10amps without issue.

Cheers,
-Dan
Then look into those 30amps connectors I linked. They are inexpensive $1 each unless you buy 10 then $.95 and small they are used most often in Drones.
Specifications for applicative wires: 16-20AWG

XT30 male head x1 (14.5 x 10.5 x 5.5mm) 0.8g
XT30 female head x1 (15.5 x 10.5 x 5.8mm) 0.95g


They are smaller than an SD card and easy to plug and unplug.
 
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Dan Grec

Expedition Leader
Then look into those 30amps connectors I linked. They are inexpensive $1 each unless you buy 10 then $.95 and small they are used most often in Drones.
Specifications for applicative wires: 16-20AWG

XT30 male head x1 (14.5 x 10.5 x 5.5mm) 0.8g
XT30 female head x1 (15.5 x 10.5 x 5.8mm) 0.95g

They are smaller than an SD card and easy to plug and unplug.
Thanks, I had a good look at those, but I can't find any kind of "flush wall mount" for the female.
It appears they are only for "the middle" of wires.
I want to be able to have one of these in the dash, and another in cabinets, and another in a charging block, and it would be great if they were flush mount female plug ins.

-Dan
 

Herbie

Rendezvous Conspirator
Hey Dan, the style of connector you'll want to search for is "Panel Mount" (the generally-used-in-North-America industry term for connectors that mount flush to a surface).

That said, I tend to think of XT30/XT60 as a "bullet" or in-line connection. There are definitely some that are sold that can be screwed to a panel, but they aren't generally as ease-of-installation friendly as other connector types. (Particularly because they usually require rectangular holes in the panels.)
Another bummer is that most of the XT30 connectors I see are solder-cup, rather than crimp-on, spade, or screw-on connectors, so putting in a female XT30 at the end of a long run of cable sort of requires "bench assembly" first. 😒

Anderson/PP connectors are panel-mount friendly, but as you say, possibly overkill. The upside there is that's becoming a quasi-standard interface for some battery boxes and other low-voltage DC systems, so at least you aren't re-inventing the wheel. I like that they can be crimped in situ and the terminals can be removed/replaced in the housing if you need to make repairs or reconfigure the connector shape/orientation. The small terminals (25A and below) can generally be crimped with normal crimpers, but the 35A and up units require special crimping dies to get the right shape.

SAE, as you've seen, can be had in panel-mount form. Since they're an over-molded connector, you can get panel-mount pigtails (and make your own connections near the panel, but you can't join a long cable directly to the panel assembly.

The other option is MOLEX style connectors. These are not generally consumer oriented, but then again, they're not consumer-grade either - Waterproof and Mil-Spec vibration rating can be had if needed. Like Anderson, they can be crimped directly in situ and the connector packs are rebuildable. Panel mounts are available and some are even locking. The downside for these will be cost, size (they're physically on the bigger side), and to do it right requires a couple of specialized pin insertion/removal tools and sometimes special crimpers, depending on wire gauge and connector type.

Hope that's moderately helpful.
 

potfish

Member
Am building a DIY power pack. I'm finding it hard enough to find any panel mount, single pair Powerpole connectors that don't look homemade 3D printed. Any recommendations? Even better, weatherproof ones?
Thank you.
 

ducktapeguy

Adventurer
For really good small 12V plugs I've used RC battery plugs. Typically they really low resistance, rated for high amps, and are very small, especially ones meant for flying models where weight is a concern. For a while I was trying out Dean's plugs, which are rated for 60A (up to 100A peak) and when connected are smaller than just a single SAE style plug. The down side is that's is a little tricky to solder with larger gauge wires, and I didn't like the fact that the only thing holding the wires on is the solder, there's no mechanical connection. Mounting them was also an issue since they're too small to have a screw hole, and because of the small size plugging and unplugging them was a bit of a pain.

I've switched over to using anderson plugs, which I like a lot better. Even though they don't lock in place, I haven't had a problem with them vibrating loose on me. They do have a locking piece if you have access to both side of the plug (i.e. not in a panel mount). I also like the fact that they're genderless, meaning all of my cables are interchangeable and I can connect them together if I need to extend them. Plus they're easy to reconfigure if I need a 3 or 4 wire plug. I modified the plug on my fridge with a 3D printed panel mount adapter, I think I posted pics somewhere on this forum, but for everything else I use the "cigarette lighter" looking adapter which holds 2 plugs but take up much less space than your typical cigarette plug.
 
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