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Old 13-07-2014, 06:18   #1
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Replacing Cigarette Lighter Connections With ...?

Has anyone switched out their cigarette lighter connections with something more durable/smaller/etc?

Just wondering. I don't really like them, they seem prone to corrosion. Not sure what I would replace them with. It would be nice to have a strip to plug things into...
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Old 13-07-2014, 06:33   #2
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Re: Replacing Cigarette Lighter Connections With ...?

I changed all mine to the little two pin connectors like these:
http://www.amazon.com/Deck-Connector.../dp/B0006ZCCY6

I cut the cigar lighter ends off all the 12 volt portable appliances that came with the boat and replaced them with these. I have made up a couple ofl ong jumpers with one of these connectors on one end, and two alligator clips on the other end so I can quickly get 12 volts to where I might need it. They're about 15 ft long and will reach from an outlet to any of the bilge pump strips. I have also made up a couple of adaptors from these to the cigar lighters so that I could use one if I needed to. For example if I had a new light or fan on board I'll use the adapter until I take time to modify it. I immediately cut those 1950's designed cigar lighter ends off. I don't know how, for some insane reason, they have become the de facto standard in the marine industry. One could hardly come up with a worse design for a marine connector. A half dozen metal strips, moving parts, springs, a seam, a deeply recessed socket no provision for o-rings, flimsy electrical contact, steel instead of copper...duh.

These are solid and cheap.
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Old 13-07-2014, 06:36   #3
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Re: Replacing Cigarette Lighter Connections With ...?

I’ve never been happy with the normally available 12VDC outlets (receptacles) - not the W.P. Bi-Pin Deck Connections (Perko1189 Series, Cole-HerseyM121-BP, SeaFit, & etc), and especially not the Lighter Socket type (commonly fitted to accessories).

For 12 Volt DC accessories, I use “Midget Twist-Lock Devices” (2 Pole, 2 Wire, Polarized, (NEMA Code ML-1), such as the:

Hubbell #HBL7526C Flanged Receptacle (or Cooper #7468 etc.)
Standard Weather-Proof Coverplates are readily available available.
mated with the

Hubbell #HBL7545C Plug (male cord cap) (or Cooper #7467 etc.)
The series even has a female cord cap (to make an extension cord) #HBL7506C (or Cooper #7464N etc.)

Although these devices are intended for AC use (UL rated for 15A 125VAC - polarized), they are an excellent alternative to the conventional DC outlets.
They are rugged, corrosion resistant, easily installed, attractive, and best of all “Twist-Lock”.

Not normally available at Marine stores, these NEMA type "ML-1" Midget devices are available at any good Electrical (or Industrial) Distribution Supply house. Unfortunately, they're somewhat expensive.
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Old 13-07-2014, 06:43   #4
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Re: Replacing Cigarette Lighter Connections With ...?

I think that no matter what the connector, it will eventually corrode, especially if the vessel is in salt water.

The problem with connectors of any type is the bare metal male and female connectors, which are exposed to salt air.

I haven't figure out how to get around that.
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Old 13-07-2014, 06:46   #5
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Re: Replacing Cigarette Lighter Connections With ...?

Those Hubbells are nice, and I looked at those too. But at the time, sixty bucks per socket set times a dozen made me keep looking. There are watertight bulkhead versions of the one I use, but I would prefer the twist lock feature. Also, the small ones I got have two different sized pins, and I wire them all the same polarity, but it's not immediately apparent when you look at them that they only plug in one way. They do, but sometimes I have to reverse them to make them plug in. But I have the same issues with two prong ac plugs too. I think it must be a corollary of Murphy's that I will always first try to plug them in with the wide blade on the wrong side.

The little connectors I'm using have only solid copper in them. Two round bars with one copper screw in each. No other metals. One of the things I liked about them. No flimsy, springy, thin, or plated contacts.
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Old 13-07-2014, 11:28   #6
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Re: Replacing Cigarette Lighter Connections With ...?

900 Series Buccaneer. IP68 & IP68K Waterproof Electrical Connectors

2 pin to 10 pin and watertight!
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Old 13-07-2014, 12:01   #7
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Re: Replacing Cigarette Lighter Connections With ...?

sailinglegend, how much does the crimper cost for those connectors?
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Old 13-07-2014, 12:10   #8
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Re: Replacing Cigarette Lighter Connections With ...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
I changed all mine to the little two pin connectors like these:
http://www.amazon.com/Deck-Connector.../dp/B0006ZCCY6

I cut the cigar lighter ends off all the 12 volt portable appliances that came with the boat and replaced them with these. I have made up a couple ofl ong jumpers with one of these connectors on one end, and two alligator clips on the other end so I can quickly get 12 volts to where I might need it. They're about 15 ft long and will reach from an outlet to any of the bilge pump strips. I have also made up a couple of adaptors from these to the cigar lighters so that I could use one if I needed to. For example if I had a new light or fan on board I'll use the adapter until I take time to modify it. I immediately cut those 1950's designed cigar lighter ends off. I don't know how, for some insane reason, they have become the de facto standard in the marine industry. One could hardly come up with a worse design for a marine connector. A half dozen metal strips, moving parts, springs, a seam, a deeply recessed socket no provision for o-rings, flimsy electrical contact, steel instead of copper...duh.

These are solid and cheap.
yeah, those are pretty good. as mentioned... nothing is perfect.
Another option I have considered but not used is a Bnc Connector. They twist to lock on and you can even attach a nice little gooseneck light if you want! The twist lock seals it up pretty well from corrosive air and the pin on the good ones is gold plated. These are small... like ~1/2" major OD.
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Old 13-07-2014, 12:29   #9
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Re: Replacing Cigarette Lighter Connections With ...?

These sockets have a sealing o-ring and are locking with the matching plug. They will work with regular style cigarette light plugs too. The best of both worlds imo.

Amazon.com : Marinco 12V Receptacle Blk Plas Tic : Rv Receptacles : Sports & Outdoors
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Old 13-07-2014, 12:53   #10
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Re: Replacing Cigarette Lighter Connections With ...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sully75 View Post
Has anyone switched out their cigarette lighter connections with something more durable/smaller/etc?
I have a couple of cigarette lighter outlets but generally use Powerlet connectors, often known in the US as BMW power plugs.
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Old 13-07-2014, 13:01   #11
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Re: Replacing Cigarette Lighter Connections With ...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
sailinglegend, how much does the crimper cost for those connectors?
It's just a simple screw tightener.

They come with waterrtight covers for the socket when not in use.
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Old 13-07-2014, 13:21   #12
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Re: Replacing Cigarette Lighter Connections With ...?

I've been using these, similar to what Sailinlegend posted.
Bulgin Flush Mounting Socket- 2 Pin - Only £9.95 - Force 4 Chandlery

Simple screw terminal connection at the back, flush mounting, water proof, (also have a water proof cap for when not in use)

To protect against sea water corrosion I use dielectric grease on the pins and sockets.

Seems in the USA there is a much greater choice, and cheaper compared to the UK
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Old 13-07-2014, 13:27   #13
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Re: Replacing Cigarette Lighter Connections With ...?

Ah, I see. I looked but only saw pin termination with needing what looked like an expensive crimp tool.
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Old 13-07-2014, 15:41   #14
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Re: Replacing Cigarette Lighter Connections With ...?

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Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
Ah, I see. I looked but only saw pin termination with needing what looked like an expensive crimp tool.
If I'm seeing correctly, you would slide the boot over the cable, solder your connections on the inside in the pins, pull the boot back up and attach it that way. I'm sure they aren't the cheapest, but they do look pretty durable.
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Old 13-07-2014, 17:20   #15
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Re: Replacing Cigarette Lighter Connections With ...?

I'm a big fan of Anderson Powerpole connectors. Stopped using most of the cigarette lighter outlets on board. Use the Powerpoles in lot's of places including parts of my electric propulsion system:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: TOOLS OF AN ELECTRIC SAILOR: Anderson Powerpole Connectors
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