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Old 06-06-2017, 07:28 PM   #1
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100% DC power

Anybody gone all DC / 12 volt on their bus? wondering how to make/mount an appropriate electrical "outlet" from a cigarette lighter receptacle...
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Old 06-06-2017, 07:39 PM   #2
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Im full solar/12v i ran conduit and boxes with banana plugs. The cigarette receptacle idea didn't appeal to me. But could work. Minimalist usually goes wrong

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Old 06-06-2017, 07:42 PM   #3
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There's been a number of people try to go with the 12 volt option. It's similar to the one fuel option concerning running many things off of just diesel. 12 volt appliances are a little harder to come by, so goodwill is probably not going to help much there.

It's us minimalists that like the 12 volt option, and naturally that doesn't mean you would have to have all 12 volt appliances. It's just part of the KISS theory for some of us.
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Old 06-06-2017, 07:44 PM   #4
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I guess I've circumvented it with a bank of batteries that i can put a 2000 watt inverter on. Am o still a 12 v purest?

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Old 06-06-2017, 07:45 PM   #5
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I guess I've circumvented it with a bank of batteries that i can put a 2000 watt inverter on. Am o still a 12 v purest?

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And a huge alternator that makes my diesel a generator

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Old 06-06-2017, 09:01 PM   #6
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I am pretty close to being ALL DC, but DC fridges are expensive, and I work from a desktop, so the inverter is still in use. I keep a LOT of these around,

and I make my own lights (mostly) and I am thinking about making a DC fridge? Video coming soon about my DC gadgets.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...nbb2liOG9fMAAq
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Old 06-06-2017, 09:02 PM   #7
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That was my theory but I keep getting told I shouldn't charge my house batteries off of the alternator. There's some kind of issue with either blasting the batteries with to much voltage or over stressing your alternator.

Since I don't have house batteries or an HO alternator I just put this issue on the back burner for now. I just want a couple house batteries so I don't have to be running a generator absolutely every time I need power. Apparently it takes a number of hours to charge batteries so it makes sense to do that while driving.

I'm not enough of an electrician to argue with anyone's advice and I'm to cheap to take a chance on wasting funds to prove how hard headed I am.

How have you got your house batteries hooked up for charging?
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Old 06-06-2017, 09:23 PM   #8
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Dredman: i've no idea what them little thingies are.

Pirate: most appliances come with those cigarette lighter plugs and since i'm fair ignoranigreenamous on this issue, i guess i will make use of the receptacles for those. i read on amazon that someone plugged his DC fridge into one that he installed in the trunk of his car, so i guess it's not much of an issue.

i didn't know all DC was a philosophy of some kind. i guess i am kind of a minimalist for whatever that's worth...

i just bought "Photovoltaic Installation for Dummies". should arrive tomorrow. i guess i'm set for reading material for a while
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Old 06-06-2017, 09:32 PM   #9
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Dredman: i've no idea what them little thingies are.
6amp DC connectors - they are all over my bus
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IBFNQP6?psc=1
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Old 06-08-2017, 09:24 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by KerryBeth1985 View Post
Dredman: i've no idea what them little thingies are.

Pirate: most appliances come with those cigarette lighter plugs and since i'm fair ignoranigreenamous on this issue, i guess i will make use of the receptacles for those. i read on amazon that someone plugged his DC fridge into one that he installed in the trunk of his car, so i guess it's not much of an issue.

i didn't know all DC was a philosophy of some kind. i guess i am kind of a minimalist for whatever that's worth...

i just bought "Photovoltaic Installation for Dummies". should arrive tomorrow. i guess i'm set for reading material for a while
Right on. Soldier on. I hope it works. Keep is posted. Im interested in your appliance choices.

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Old 06-09-2017, 10:14 AM   #11
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try https://www.bluesea.com/

the have everything you could possibly need for 12v
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Old 06-09-2017, 12:17 PM   #12
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As for connectors, I'm a big fan of the Anderson Powerpole line. The coaxial connectors dredman linked are nice and are entirely appropriate for small loads like LED lighting. The smallest Powerpole is available with terminals in 15, 30, and 45 amp ratings. I usually buy from https://powerwerx.com/. I like that they're more compact and good for higher power as compared to the conventional "lighter plug." Cheaper, too.
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Old 06-09-2017, 01:25 PM   #13
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I like that they're more compact and good for higher power as compared to the conventional "lighter plug." Cheaper, too.
Always good to know where DC options are(they are rare and pricey) and that looks like good stuff, but the hottest DC stuff in my bus is my 3-amp fan. Out of curiosity, what would you use in a bus(not connected to an engine) that is drawing 30-45 amps?
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Old 06-09-2017, 02:53 PM   #14
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I was introduced to Powerpole through ham radio circles. Obviously a mobile radio transceiver is going to pull more than a few amps! Honestly I tend to use them pretty universally for my 12 volt connector needs. Anything bigger than a lighter-socket phone charger adapter often finds itself refitted with Powerpoles.

Powerpoles are UL listed for 600 volts AC/DC; they're not limited to just low voltage DC. When I discovered that I built a set of "dog bone" AC adapters. They convert the 7 NEMA connectors I encounter most commonly to Powerpole. I can choose any pair and plug them together to get a connection made without having to put cord ends onto a piece of cable every time I have a temporary need complicated by incompatible connectors.

Often even the 15 amp terminal is sufficient (if not overkill) but I like that I can keep a simple inventory of terminals and housings in several colors and use them for connecting anything, DC or AC. It works out to about $1 for each two-pole connector set.

The coaxial/barrel style linked earlier are cheaper at 35 cents for each connector. I hadn't really thought about them before and I appreciate you pointing them out. Probably will get some; they're just the thing for a wiring project I'm about to get into. But the genderless and higher retention force attributes of the Powerpoles may be attractive too, even for applications where the current capacity isn't needed.
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Old 06-09-2017, 03:09 PM   #15
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I too prefer the 5.5 x 2.1 MM power jacks/sockets over the cigarette lighter style. The latter is just so large and ugly. I bought ten pack of these and have been sprinkling them around my bus. I often have to cut the cigarette lighter end off of whatever I am powering and replace it with a 5.5 x 2.1 MM power jack but it is worth it to me to have numerous easily hidden/barely noticeable sockets.
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Old 06-09-2017, 04:02 PM   #16
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It works out to about $1 for each two-pole connector set.

The coaxial/barrel style linked earlier are cheaper at 35 cents for each connector. I hadn't really thought about them before and I appreciate you pointing them out. Probably will get some; they're just the thing for a wiring project I'm about to get into. But the genderless and higher retention force attributes of the Powerpoles may be attractive too, even for applications where the current capacity isn't needed.
at $1 each, that is still crazy cheap compared to just about everything else out there DC, surprised I did not run across your connectors - thanks for posting them!
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Old 06-09-2017, 08:19 PM   #17
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Dear Pirate, I decided on the Dometic 61L dual zone DC fridge just because it was size appropriate for the mini bus and was both a freezer and a fridge. Also, all the review say that it is much quieter than other brands like Whynter. Quiet is good. I will likely purchase a DC television. I have DC water pumps which are easy enough to find. I also purchased an in-line fan for my composting toilet from walmart (also DC).

Also, to purify water, i found a site called SAF H2O UV (all run together dot com) that sells DC water purification systems wherein the UV light runs on DC power.

Lights will run on batteries. Laptop is already DC and plus into any USB. they make DC receptacles that have a cigarette port on one side and two USB ports on the other. One of my pumps plugs into a cig receptacle so i can wire it to a DC toggle switch so essentially, my kitchen sink water will flip on an off with the toggle.

I have a small 400W inverter just in case there is some small appliance that I must have.

I'm still figuring out cooking. I feel good about using a sun oven for baking chicken and such and a I have a wood stove for cooler weather but during the hotter months, i'm unsure if i will cook outside with a coleman or use a small 12V frying pan. I'm sure i'll have both as an option. We also need to heat up water for shower and yes, i know, there's a bazillion solar water / camping shower things out there, but i want to just heat up some water and throw it into our shower loop and take a real shower.

those were the two things i didn't want to compromise too much on: food storage and a good shower.
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Old 06-09-2017, 08:34 PM   #18
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Dear Pirate, I decided on the Dometic 61L dual zone DC fridge just because it was size appropriate for the mini bus and was both a freezer and a fridge. Also, all the review say that it is much quieter than other brands like Whynter. Quiet is good. I will likely purchase a DC television. I have DC water pumps which are easy enough to find. I also purchased an in-line fan for my composting toilet from walmart (also DC).

Also, to purify water, i found a site called SAF H2O UV (all run together dot com) that sells DC water purification systems wherein the UV light runs on DC power.

Lights will run on batteries. Laptop is already DC and plus into any USB. they make DC receptacles that have a cigarette port on one side and two USB ports on the other. One of my pumps plugs into a cig receptacle so i can wire it to a DC toggle switch so essentially, my kitchen sink water will flip on an off with the toggle.

I have a small 400W inverter just in case there is some small appliance that I must have.

I'm still figuring out cooking. I feel good about using a sun oven for baking chicken and such and a I have a wood stove for cooler weather but during the hotter months, i'm unsure if i will cook outside with a coleman or use a small 12V frying pan. I'm sure i'll have both as an option. We also need to heat up water for shower and yes, i know, there's a bazillion solar water / camping shower things out there, but i want to just heat up some water and throw it into our shower loop and take a real shower.

those were the two things i didn't want to compromise too much on: food storage and a good shower.
Right. We rely on propane as our backup. Cooking and water heating. The solar bank takes care of the rest

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Old 08-28-2017, 12:29 PM   #19
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Those 5.5*2.1mm plugs seem to be a pseudo-standard DC connector in the CCTV/surveillance/security world. I see them on lots of security cameras and associated equipment. I tend to use them by default for home built gadgets just because it seems to be such a readily available size, but I hadn't thought of installing them as wall sockets. That's actually a pretty good idea. They seem less likely to wear prematurely vs cig lighter sockets, and they definitely take up less space.
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Old 08-28-2017, 02:26 PM   #20
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Those 5.5*2.1mm plugs seem to be a pseudo-standard DC connector in the CCTV/surveillance/security world.
I've been planning the low-voltage component of my build. The good thing about cig lighters is ability to add stuff like these

chargr.jpg

My goal is to be able to hit the established standards- 12V, USB but I also want the outlet switched to kill phantom draw and not have to disconnect charger when not in use.

I ordered dedicated 12v-usb charger from china...we shall see.
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