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Old 28-12-2018, 12:30   #1
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Smart Plug -- Wow!

I picked up a 30 amp Smart Plug while I was in the States over Christmas.


Wow! What a piece of kit! I read a lot of good things about these devices, but I was unprepared for the extraordinary high quality of this thing. The socket part is actually machined metal with heavy chrome plating, the gaskets are really elaborate, the parts fit together like parts of a fine gun.



They are really expensive, but now after seeing one, I wouldn't say the cost is ridiculous, especially considering the high cost (at least 50%) of the horrendously bad Marinco connectors, which have nearly burned up a couple boats of mine.



Really pleased and looking forward to getting it installed.
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Old 28-12-2018, 13:10   #2
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Re: Smart Plug -- Wow!

I did the same last Christmas when I was in Seattle and went to Smartplug Inc.. I installed the Smartplus last spring and can only agree on the quality and sense of detail of the product. Highly recommended.
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Old 28-12-2018, 14:00   #3
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Re: Smart Plug -- Wow!

I installed the Smart Plug on two of my boats and I really like it. The original plugs had overheated due to bad/small contact surfaces.
Well worth upgrade...
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Old 28-12-2018, 14:20   #4
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Re: Smart Plug -- Wow!

Another for the smartplug I replaced the two marinco inlets about 5 years ago and they've been great. In the winter I always check the temperature of the plugs and inlets with a heavy load on the circuits. The smartplug is alway ambient, the old marinco plugs ran 3 to 5 degrees above ambient.
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Old 29-12-2018, 00:20   #5
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Re: Smart Plug -- Wow!

But don't you have to have a marina that has the corresponding receptacle for the Smartplug? If so, which is my understanding, there are very few marinas that offer that plug to plug into, and none that I have heard about in Australia.


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Old 29-12-2018, 05:13   #6
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Re: Smart Plug -- Wow!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBeakie View Post
But don't you have to have a marina that has the corresponding receptacle for the Smartplug? If so, which is my understanding, there are very few marinas that offer that plug to plug into, and none that I have heard about in Australia.
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This is wrong information. Install the male smart plug on the boat inlet and the female end on the boat end of the shore cord. The marina end of the cord can stay the same. Most boat fires started by the shore cord do so at the boat end not the marina end.
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Old 29-12-2018, 07:33   #7
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Re: Smart Plug -- Wow!

Yep. Just installed mine. Will sleep better at night. Click image for larger version

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Old 29-12-2018, 07:41   #8
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Re: Smart Plug -- Wow!

Been using mine for several years now. It still looks like new and never even slightly warm.
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Old 29-12-2018, 09:52   #9
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Re: Smart Plug -- Wow!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBeakie View Post
But don't you have to have a marina that has the corresponding receptacle for the Smartplug? If so, which is my understanding, there are very few marinas that offer that plug to plug into, and none that I have heard about in Australia.

No, it has nothing to do with the marina pedestal connection. The Smart Plug is sold as a set of socket to install in your boat, and plug to put onto the boat end of your shore power cable. You don't change the marina end of the shore power cable (a blue 16 amp plug in my case).
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Old 29-12-2018, 10:31   #10
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Re: Smart Plug -- Wow!

A great upgrade choice, DH.

I also converted to SmartPlugs 4 years ago and have had zero issues since.

This boat came wired with dual 50A 125/250V [US] AC inlets [port and starboard- use the most convent one; only one is hot at a time...]

Therefore I installed 2 of the 50A SmartPlug kits after having the usual issues with the original twistlock design. [I have read that the oritinal twist-lock design was first approved for use in the US in 1939... and is still the defacto standard today— for reasons unknown to me...]

We have two shorepower cords with 50A SmartPlug ends. One is what you would expect: a 50A [6 AWG, 4 conductor] shorepower cord. The other is a 30A cord [10 AWG, 3 conductor] but with the 50A SmartPlug installed eliminating any 30A to 50A adapters. [e.g., 30A at the dock to a 50A inlet on the boat; Additional safety factor.]

The lighter 30A cords [2 extensions on hand] are used mainly in summer [the 30A cord is easier to handle, and 30A is more than adequate when we aren't using the onboard A/C — heaters.]

The only thing that could be better [and I considered this at the time] would be to hard wire the shorepower cable[s] to the boat.

[Pictures and more details [including wiring specifics] are in this write-up for anyone interested.]

Cheers! Bill
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Old 29-12-2018, 10:44   #11
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Re: Smart Plug -- Wow!

I snipped off the old Marinco connector and installed a SmartPlug and the corresponding inlet on my Alerion about six years ago. Wonderful upgrade, although the height of the inlet with its hinge was higher than the previous Marinco, which caused a bit of a clearance problem, so I ended up installing the inlet rotated 90 degrees.

Over time, I had some deterioration of the strain relief/seal that went around the old Marinco cord, so I contacted SmartPlug with a picture and asked if I could buy replacement parts. The identified that I had one of the original plugs, and promptly sent me entirely new "innards" including the strain relief at no charge. The changes were a great improvement, even though I had no complaints with the original parts.

I did a video on the product when I worked for West Marine which is still available on , if you're interested...

Cheers,

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Former Owner "Surprise", Alerion Express 38
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Old 29-12-2018, 11:18   #12
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Re: Smart Plug -- Wow!

the strain issue aside and the smart plug development aside , put a dab of dielectric grease into the shore power connector female contacts - it will significantly reduce and/or eliminate the corrosion issue, dry connections, and wear and tear in the contacts. Installing it in any female connector will have same effect.
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Old 29-12-2018, 11:29   #13
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Re: Smart Plug -- Wow!

Quote:
Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
This is wrong information. Install the male smart plug on the boat inlet and the female end on the boat end of the shore cord. The marina end of the cord can stay the same. Most boat fires started by the shore cord do so at the boat end not the marina end.
I just left the old plug in place and attached to the AC system.
Then installed the smart plug recepitical.
Now we can use either.
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Old 29-12-2018, 11:38   #14
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Re: Smart Plug -- Wow!

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Originally Posted by Boatyarddog View Post
I just left the old plug in place and attached to the AC system.

Then installed the smart plug recepitical.

Now we can use either.

Cheers

SV Cloud Duster

If you parallel 2 inlet connectors I am pretty sure that is a safety code violation. It would effectively create a Jesus cord/connector by exposing the mains to fingers.
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Old 29-12-2018, 12:01   #15
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Re: Smart Plug -- Wow!

Another happy customer of Smart Plug. I installed mine a couple years ago. Simple changeout and high quality components.

Cheers!

Steve
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