Four-pole Electrical Connector for Lamps

Electrical and electronic topics for small boats
gchilcott
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Four-pole Electrical Connector for Lamps

Postby gchilcott » Tue May 30, 2017 5:44 pm

Hello. I have a removable mast on the console of my Guardian Divemaster 17. I have LED deck lamps (wired together) and a navigation lamp on the mast, so four electrical conductors. The mast wiring plugs into the front of console via two Perko watertight deck connections (Mfg # 1189DP0CHR). They aren't secure enough and after a while the connections become intermittent. Photo is attached.

Does anybody have a suggestion for a better product? I would prefer to use a single four-pin deck connector, but haven't found one I really like. Currently all I've found is a Hella product (Mfg # 002 957 801), but would be interested if there are other products that I should consider.

I'd like something that's waterproof when connected, and has some sort of waterproof cap when not.

Ideas are welcome.

Thanks, Gavin
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whaler console with mast.jpg
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jimh
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Re: four-pin deck connector for light wiring

Postby jimh » Wed May 31, 2017 10:38 pm

Try a Cannon XLR connector with the 4-pole option. They have been used for years for many electrical circuits. See

http://www.ittcannon.com/Core/medialibr ... f?ext=.pdf

These connectors are very widely used for DC power in the television broadcast industry. You want a cable-end male connector and a panel mount female. Dust caps are available.

Cable mount = XLR412C
See https://www.digikey.com/products/en?mpart=XLR412C&v=1003

Panel mount = XLR431
See https://www.digikey.com/products/en?mpart=XLR431&v=1003

These connectors are not waterproof, but they are durable and reliable. You might want the circular panel mount connector as it looks like the existing connectors are circular surrounds. Again, this series is not rated as water proof, but it will work reasonably well with some water around--but not if it you submerge it in water.

If you need completely waterproof, I don't have anything to recommend of the top of my head. Maybe something like this IP66/67-rated connector:

https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/ ... ND/1647543

Here is a data sheet on that family of products:

http://www.amphenol-sine.com/pdf/catalog/C091.pdf

Connectors can be very tricky to specify and order correctly. Often there are many options, include contact material, which can be upgraded to gold. Also the cable clamp diameter and the ID of the bushing are options on many connectors. If you are not familiar with the connector family and all the part numbers, work with a specialist to get the right part number.

gchilcott
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Re: four-pin deck connector for light wiring

Postby gchilcott » Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:54 pm

Jim,

Thanks for the tips. I think the more waterproof plug would be worthwhile because the front of my console takes a bit of splash in waves, perhaps more so on the Divemaster because the console is mounted farther forward.

I'm also considering trolling motor plug/receptacles. Examples are Marinco 12VCP, TH Marine TMFR-1-DP/TMBMP-1-DP. Unfortunately they're usually a little big for my application.

Still looking....

- Gavin

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Landlocked
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Re: four-pin deck connector for light wiring

Postby Landlocked » Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:46 pm

I was scrolling down to see if anyone had suggested trolling motor receptacle when I saw you had thought of it already. That is the route I would go.

Ll.

jimh
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Re: four-pin deck connector for light wiring

Postby jimh » Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:11 pm

Another consideration when choosing a connector: how thick is the panel the panel-mount connector will be installed on? Some connectors will not work well with thick panels. Also, be sure to choose a connector that has a weather cap so that when the lamps are not plugged into the power outlet the outlet can be protected from splash.

jimh
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Re: four-pin deck connector for light wiring

Postby jimh » Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:19 pm

I have another idea: stop using the existing system of having a cable exit from the support pole and having a loose cable that connects to a panel mount. Instead, convert to having the power cable for the lamp run inside the support pole. Re-wire the power source cable so it is available inside the support socket on the end of a short cable. This will accomplish several things, all being improvements:

--cleaner look for the installation as no loose wiring

--much improved splash protection for the electrical cables

--much improved damage protection for the electrical cables

There are many cable-end connectors available which would do a good job for the cable-to-cable connection. For example, Ampseal16 connectors.

gchilcott
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Re: four-pin deck connector for light wiring

Postby gchilcott » Fri Jun 02, 2017 5:14 pm

Due to the way the mast fits into the bracket, it would be difficult (but maybe possible) to do this as you suggest. I'd also have to figure out a way to get the wire pigtail to go up the center of the mast as it was being slid into the bracket. You're right that it would be a nice clean installation if it was all hidden away and protected inside the bottom the mast and the bracket.

Along the way, I found another interesting product. It's the Aqua Signal Model #315168 connector. I think it's intended for mast wiring in sailboats, specifically a deck-stepped mast. It angles 90 degrees from the mounting surface, so in my installation the wire would make a clean loop to the bottom of the mast or other exit point, rather than sticking straight out of the front of the console.

jimh
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Re: Four-pole Electrical Connector for Lamps

Postby jimh » Sat Jun 03, 2017 10:46 am

That AquaSignal connector looks like a good candidate for your application:

Image

I see them for sale at DEFENDER for under $50. I think you've found a good solution. I think the manufacturer part number is 80100-7. The number you mention is a vendor stocking number for a specific vendor. And they seem to include dust-covers or caps for weather protection.

jimh
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Re: Four-pole Electrical Connector for Lamps

Postby jimh » Sat Jun 03, 2017 11:06 am

This discussion of electrical connectors will be moving to SMALL BOAT ELECTRICAL.

gchilcott
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Re: Four-pole Electrical Connector for Lamps

Postby gchilcott » Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:29 pm

I received the Aqua Signal connector today. The basic idea looks great, but the material isn't very strong. It would be a very nice part if built out of metal. Also, pulling the plug out of the socket takes a lot of force. Given how light the material is, I'm wondering if the mounting tabs will break off after a few cycles. I'll try lubricating the O-ring to see if that lets it slide out easier. The retainer clip is very light too, so it will have to be handled gently.

So, exactly the design I want, but not quite the construction.