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Converting Zamp solar side port SAE to MC4.


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Has anyone here converted the side export for portable solar panels from an SAE to an MC4. We have a portable power station that uses MC4 and would rather just have one plug type. Since there is some confusion with the SAE plugs and some questions concerning their reliability, we are looking at the possibility of changing that side port to MC4.

Thanks, 

Kirk

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Kirk and Carrie Peterson

Twin Falls, Idaho

2018 Ram 3500, 8 foot bed with overland conversion.

Elite 2 before the end of 2022!

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I haven't yet, but would be interested in replies.  We have a 200W Renogy suitcase + controller with converting/polarity reversing adapters (I haven't determined yet whether I need the polarity adapter).  It would be nice not to have to use those and just plug straight into an MC4 outlet.

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MaryBeth
Boulder, CO

2022 Elite II #953
TV: 2021 Ford Expedition Max Platinum, Max Tow Package

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I'm kind of confused. I don't think I've ever seen a portable panel with an mc4 male or female end to plug onto a port. Mc4 connectors aren't easy to separate, in my experience, and  are not made for quick connect like some other types. We have a special little plastic tool to disconnect our fixed panel mc4 connectors,  which are semi "permanent " connections.

Many suitcase solar come with alligator clips. Zamp uses sae, wired reverse of standard. Some brands come with a few varieties of connectors. I've not seen quick connect mc4 in portable solar, but maybe there's something new out there.

Edit to add: I looked around, and found these quick connect mc4 connector pairs from a Canadian company. Is this what yours look like?

http://azimuthsolarproducts.com/product/mc4-connectors/

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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MC4 connectors are typically used to interconnect PV panels and an unregulated charge controller input. The ZAMP proprietary SAE connects directly to the battery bank. If it were "converted" to MC4, it would be possible to connect the PV array directly to the batteries without a controller.  The unregulated higher voltage of the array would "fry" the batteries. 

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3 hours ago, Kirk Peterson said:

Has anyone here converted the side export for portable solar panels from an SAE to an MC4. We have a portable power station that uses MC4 and would rather just have one plug type. Since there is some confusion with the SAE plugs and some questions concerning their reliability, we are looking at the possibility of changing that side port to MC4.

Thanks, 

Kirk

Many power stations have an internal integrated controller, so your panel may not/probably doesn't have a controller. 

You'd need to add one, to safely use it with the Ollie, as the solar port does not run through the on-board controller for the fixed panels. The port connects through just a fused line, going straight to the batteries. 

X2 @bhncb

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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I have considered one or two of the Bluetti PV200 200 watt panels, they come with an MC4 connection and weight 16 pounds. I was planning on a solar controller, either inside the battery storage area if there is room and it wouldn't be too hard. Or, if possible, maybe a the controller between the panels and the Ollie side port, possibly in a pelican box or something similar.  At least that's what I am pondering.  

Kirk and Carrie Peterson

Twin Falls, Idaho

2018 Ram 3500, 8 foot bed with overland conversion.

Elite 2 before the end of 2022!

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31 minutes ago, Kirk Peterson said:

Or, if possible, maybe a the controller between the panels and the Ollie side port, possibly in a pelican box or something similar.  

Very possible, and works quite well.

https://olivertraveltrailers.com/forums/topic/5478-how-to-remote-mount-the-controller-of-a-suitcase-solar-panel-not-inside-the-trailer/

John Davies

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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5 minutes ago, John E Davies said:

Very possible, and works quite well.

Thanks John! That looks great! 👍

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Kirk and Carrie Peterson

Twin Falls, Idaho

2018 Ram 3500, 8 foot bed with overland conversion.

Elite 2 before the end of 2022!

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The Renogy suitcase I have has a controller and comes with cabling terminating in an MC4 connector. It has a set of alligator clips that couple via MC4, so they aren't hardwired.  This allows me to use an MC4-to-SAE adapter to connect to the Zamp Solarport, but I would like to minimize the number of adapters.  Not a deal-breaker as-is, but not as clean as I would like either.

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MaryBeth
Boulder, CO

2022 Elite II #953
TV: 2021 Ford Expedition Max Platinum, Max Tow Package

COKSMONESDTNUTWYmed.jpg

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