Electrical Handy connector with many uses

Boots in Action

Well-Known Member
Mar 13, 2017
558
589
93
Ferny Grove, Queensland
#1
There were many times when I found that I needed an exterior point to which I could couple up various types of equipment and I have surprised myself on how versatile it can be after my latest trip to the Connondales.
The first thing I had done was connect a twin 6mm cable across the battery terminals in my van. Penguin battery is under bed and is a hassle to access especially if "the boss" wants to have a lie down! This cable is connected to a 50A Anderson plug on the outside. Positive line is protected with a 40A inline fuse.
At first I just used it for connecting up my "smart charger" at home with the 240V supply to get faster and better power into my 120ah AGM battery. Very successful too.
I can also use this outlet to operate high load equipment without it going through the SETEC distribution panel with its lower fuse ratings. (only 10A)

Just recently, I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a 12 month old AGM (75ah) which was part of a bank (for starting fire pumps) which are required by law to be changed every 12 months. So instead of being distributed around to staff or taken to the recycling point, I managed to snaffle one for myself. Just as a matter of chance, I placed this extra battery in my tug before going away. I did so as not to increase weight in van and be over the GMV limit. This battery came in mighty handy as I was able to plug this fully charged AGM into the Anderson plug at side of van to supplement my battery storage. This connection is in parallel with the van battery and effectively gave me 195ah capacity.
A further advantage with this connection, my MPPT solar controller was also now putting power into the new battery outside, so both batteries were being charged at the same time and same rate according to voltage state. The connecting lead has Anderson plug on one end and alligator clips on other for connection to any similar battery.
This system can be used to charge any AGM battery (or Gel if same as van battery - capacity not critical) with the solar power output, regardless of the state of the battery.

Note: The Tech Heads will say (correctly too) that the charged van battery will be dragged down to the mean voltage of both batteries, but that would not be a problem if there is plenty of solar generation coming in.

I could also be a "kindly neighbour camper" if their van battery was low/flat. I could charge his/her van battery by using the extended lead to their battery and use the alligator clips for their connection if they are close enough. One never knows when off the grid what rewards are offered for services rendered !! Maybe a cold beer or glass of wine while charging takes place??? Fantasizing again!!! We campers are a friendly mob and always help one another out if in trouble.

So some points to offer: An easy way to increase your battery storage and be able to charge it on the spot. You don't carry it/them in your van if extra weight could be a factor. Carry it/them in your tug. Yes, you may have to transfer the bloody heavy thing/s to a convenient point nearer to the connection or just use a lead from van to your battery in back of tug. Remember that both batteries MUST be of the same chemistry as different charging voltages are applicable.
The good thing is that both batteries will get charged as necessary and if the smaller/weaker battery gets lower, the stronger battery will carry more load and voltage should even out the difference. A picture is worth a thousand words, so I have attached several to give you some idea.

Tech Heads will probably say "so what", but a lot of other members with less technical knowledge might get some value out of it or at least get them to thinking. I hope so. Cheers.
.
 

Attachments

Drover

Well-Known Member
Nov 7, 2013
7,054
13,223
113
Cooloola Coast, QLD
www.expandasdownunder.com
#3
Big Mal has a direct line to the batteries like that, solar panel can be plugged in to boost them or compressor can run off it without melting cables, could even plug the ute into it to charge the aux battery if needed as it has an Anderson set up the same........did you know Booties, that if your fridge has a 12v anderson run to the drawbar/tug you can plug that lead into this aux anderson and run power to the fridge from the van battery, I use mine that way via an extension when working on my fridge and I need it to fire up on 12v, saves stuffing around with the tug or dragging a battery out, just plug in and all good, also gives the solar a run to keep it powered up.

It's a great idea all round with so many uses........

I once used those covers for my external andersons but found they got more corrosion and crap in them than when left naked in the breeze........
 

Bellbirdweb

Well-Known Member
Jan 24, 2014
1,876
2,678
113
Sydney
#4
I have pretty much the same setup.

I can connect it to the car diving me 3 x 100ah in parallel and allowing me to charge from the vans solar or from the cars alternator.

When we were away after Christmas, we were with some friends in a Swan who only had 70w of folding panel solar, so I plugged his van into mine so I was charging both vans from my solar.
 

Boots in Action

Well-Known Member
Mar 13, 2017
558
589
93
Ferny Grove, Queensland
#5
Big Mal has a direct line to the batteries like that, solar panel can be plugged in to boost them or compressor can run off it without melting cables, could even plug the ute into it to charge the aux battery if needed as it has an Anderson set up the same........did you know Booties, that if your fridge has a 12v anderson run to the drawbar/tug you can plug that lead into this aux anderson and run power to the fridge from the van battery, I use mine that way via an extension when working on my fridge and I need it to fire up on 12v, saves stuffing around with the tug or dragging a battery out, just plug in and all good, also gives the solar a run to keep it powered up.

It's a great idea all round with so many uses........

I once used those covers for my external andersons but found they got more corrosion and crap in them than when left naked in the breeze........
Hi @Drover , more good ideas from "the old campaigner"!! Looks like you were well ahead of me all the time and I thought I was going to give YOU something new to chew over. I did not think about using the Anderson plug on van drawbar to connect 12 volt power to fridge using the van battery, and still be able to charge the van battery from the solar input. Great back up if you run out of gas for a short time. Lots of advantages with this versatile cable and exterior connector as you have set out. Thank you for expanding on my ideas with extra uses and virtues. Shows that younger "upstarts" still need to listen to the "old dog"!!
 
Likes: bigcol

bigcol

Well-Known Member
Nov 22, 2012
6,809
10,144
113
Swan Valley Perth
#7
I have been looking for my packet of grey Andersons to do just that on both mine and my sisters Vans
for pretty much the same reasons - for attaching her portable solar panels, and me for the same - when I get some

I found my packet of Blue ones, the Red ones and also my Yellow ones

but cannot find my grey ones anywhere......... have to go buy some more me thinks

what sized fuse do you all recomend for between the anderson and the battery?
 

mikerezny

Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2016
752
1,362
93
65
Mount Waverley, VIC
#10
nudda question for you "buffs"

solder or crimp.................. (for the Anderson plugs..............)
Hi @bigcol,
I am old school and much prefer to solder than to crimp. The bigger the cable or the more important the connection, the more likely I am to solder. If I do decide to crimp, I am very fussy about ensuring the cable size matches the connector.
More importantly, I only use a proper crimping tool, not the cheap one found in many composite tool kits.

WRT Anderson plugs, I definitely prefer to solder so I can always reuse the terminals.

cheers
Mike
 
Likes: bigcol

Crusty181

Well-Known Member
Feb 7, 2010
4,482
10,093
113
Mentone, VIC
#15
There were many times when I found that I needed an exterior point to which I could couple up various types of equipment and I have surprised myself on how versatile it can be after my latest trip to the Connondales.
The first thing I had done was connect a twin 6mm cable across the battery terminals in my van. Penguin battery is under bed and is a hassle to access especially if "the boss" wants to have a lie down! This cable is connected to a 50A Anderson plug on the outside. Positive line is protected with a 40A inline fuse.
At first I just used it for connecting up my "smart charger" at home with the 240V supply to get faster and better power into my 120ah AGM battery. Very successful too.
I can also use this outlet to operate high load equipment without it going through the SETEC distribution panel with its lower fuse ratings. (only 10A)

Just recently, I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a 12 month old AGM (75ah) which was part of a bank (for starting fire pumps) which are required by law to be changed every 12 months. So instead of being distributed around to staff or taken to the recycling point, I managed to snaffle one for myself. Just as a matter of chance, I placed this extra battery in my tug before going away. I did so as not to increase weight in van and be over the GMV limit. This battery came in mighty handy as I was able to plug this fully charged AGM into the Anderson plug at side of van to supplement my battery storage. This connection is in parallel with the van battery and effectively gave me 195ah capacity.
A further advantage with this connection, my MPPT solar controller was also now putting power into the new battery outside, so both batteries were being charged at the same time and same rate according to voltage state. The connecting lead has Anderson plug on one end and alligator clips on other for connection to any similar battery.
This system can be used to charge any AGM battery (or Gel if same as van battery - capacity not critical) with the solar power output, regardless of the state of the battery.

Note: The Tech Heads will say (correctly too) that the charged van battery will be dragged down to the mean voltage of both batteries, but that would not be a problem if there is plenty of solar generation coming in.

I could also be a "kindly neighbour camper" if their van battery was low/flat. I could charge his/her van battery by using the extended lead to their battery and use the alligator clips for their connection if they are close enough. One never knows when off the grid what rewards are offered for services rendered !! Maybe a cold beer or glass of wine while charging takes place??? Fantasizing again!!! We campers are a friendly mob and always help one another out if in trouble.

So some points to offer: An easy way to increase your battery storage and be able to charge it on the spot. You don't carry it/them in your van if extra weight could be a factor. Carry it/them in your tug. Yes, you may have to transfer the bloody heavy thing/s to a convenient point nearer to the connection or just use a lead from van to your battery in back of tug. Remember that both batteries MUST be of the same chemistry as different charging voltages are applicable.
The good thing is that both batteries will get charged as necessary and if the smaller/weaker battery gets lower, the stronger battery will carry more load and voltage should even out the difference. A picture is worth a thousand words, so I have attached several to give you some idea.

Tech Heads will probably say "so what", but a lot of other members with less technical knowledge might get some value out of it or at least get them to thinking. I hope so. Cheers.
.
Great idea, and good write up Boots

Im assuming that the solar Anderson input goes directly to the regulator ??
 

Boots in Action

Well-Known Member
Mar 13, 2017
558
589
93
Ferny Grove, Queensland
#16
Great idea, and good write up Boots

Im assuming that the solar Anderson input goes directly to the regulator ??
Thanks @Crusty181 . Yery simple really and @Drover has added another use I did not think about. Hopefully you can gain/modify some of your own ideas to suit your own situation.
And yes, the other connector is for connection of my portable solar panels and goes DIRECTLY to my internal MPPT controller. All controllers on back of both my portable panels have been bypassed. After going to and through the solar controller, the line goes to the battery and NOT through the Setec power distribution box.
Note that BOTH connectors are CLEARLY marked to avoid electrical mistakes when connecting lines!!!
 

Boots in Action

Well-Known Member
Mar 13, 2017
558
589
93
Ferny Grove, Queensland
#17
I have pretty much the same setup.

I can connect it to the car diving me 3 x 100ah in parallel and allowing me to charge from the vans solar or from the cars alternator.

When we were away after Christmas, we were with some friends in a Swan who only had 70w of folding panel solar, so I plugged his van into mine so I was charging both vans from my solar.
Good upon you @Bellbirdweb , you "friendly camper neighbour"!! Great minds think alike.
 

Boots in Action

Well-Known Member
Mar 13, 2017
558
589
93
Ferny Grove, Queensland
#18
Big Mal has a direct line to the batteries like that, solar panel can be plugged in to boost them or compressor can run off it without melting cables, could even plug the ute into it to charge the aux battery if needed as it has an Anderson set up the same........did you know Booties, that if your fridge has a 12v anderson run to the drawbar/tug you can plug that lead into this aux anderson and run power to the fridge from the van battery, I use mine that way via an extension when working on my fridge and I need it to fire up on 12v, saves stuffing around with the tug or dragging a battery out, just plug in and all good, also gives the solar a run to keep it powered up.

It's a great idea all round with so many uses........

I once used those covers for my external andersons but found they got more corrosion and crap in them than when left naked in the breeze........

Hello @Drover , you said you used dust covers for external anderson plugs without too much success. The cover on the right hand external plug is a cheap version provided when I had it connected by the person who set up my original solar controller inside. I could see that there could be problems with it staying attached, so I looked around on Ebay and came across these from Autolec in Bairnsdale Vic. Note they are not only better design but better material less subject to sun deterioration. Note the small rubber section inside which fits into the locator for the Anderson plug and seals off the complete outlet. I have them on all my open Anderson plugs and have found them to be excellent.
 

Attachments

Likes: Drover

Boots in Action

Well-Known Member
Mar 13, 2017
558
589
93
Ferny Grove, Queensland
#20
Yep, was going to go for the type that enclosed the plug but in the mean time found no drama with them naked other than spiders, so left them in the open.
This is the external plug for the aux battery on ute, usually plug a panel or light into it or can plug a 240 charger in and keep ute locked.

View attachment 59445
Facing downwards stops a lot of rubbish and road grit getting into connector terminals.