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Author Topic:   Wiring Cigar Lighter Connector
Ducktown posted 11-07-2010 12:31 PM ET (US)   Profile for Ducktown   Send Email to Ducktown  
I plan to install a [cigar ligher socket] in my c.1980 Montauk console, and I'm looking for wiring advice. I plan to use the outlet for two very different purposes: one is to power a portable spotlight; the other to connect a solar panel trickle charger to the battery. Should I wire [the cigar light socket] direct to the battery for charging purposes? Or, wire it through the terminal block as with other accessories? In either case, I would include a fuse on the outlet's positive lead.

contender posted 11-07-2010 04:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
Duck, the only thing I can tell you about the cigarette outlet it will rust out pronto (I have never seen one that continues to work they all rust out/crap out and I would never drill one into my console), I have always lengthen the wire and used alligator clips for my spot light (has in-line fuse on the wire), I connect it directly to the battery when I want to use it and store it away when done. As far as the wiring I do not think it would matter, however the spot light will pull a lot of current so make the run short and use a larger wire for the flow, the fuse is a must. I do not have or ever have use a trickle charger, when I'm done with the boat it is kept on a trailer and I disconnect the battery. I would set the trickle charger up the same way with some alligator clips, that way if it does not work out no holes in the console and can be used for something else if needed...good luck
jimh posted 11-07-2010 09:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The wiring and fuse for a cigar lighter plug should probably be 15-amperes maximum. It is doubtful the solar panel charger output will be that high. You can wire the cigar lighter socket from your secondary power distribution panel, if that is more convenient. Here I assume you have a secondary power distribution panel in your center console. If it is more convenient to wire the cigar lighter socket to the battery directly, there is nothing wrong with that, either, as long as you have it properly fused.

In fact--it just occurred to me--you probably should wire directly to the battery so that you can leave the main power distribution switch set to OFF when you have plugged in the solar panel charger. That way, if you left anything in the boat switched ON, you won't be draining the battery faster than you'll be charging it.

Chuck Tribolet posted 11-07-2010 11:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Contender: The Marinco cigar lighter socket has been on my
Montauk for at least ten years. It sees salt water about
70 days a year. No rust. And the mating Marinco plug latches
in place.

I primarily use it to plug in my Schumacher smart trickle
charger. Do rig things so that you can control when there's
power to the plug so you don't have a 12V short at the plug
if it bumps into something. With my charger, I plug it into
the boat first, then into 110V. With your solar panel, I'd
put a switch in the +12V side of the line.

Mine is wired in to the Aux circuit, between the fuse and the
Aux switch, so it fused and unswitched.


Chuck

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