Electrical questions! - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Unread 04-28-2019, 07:44:PM Thread Starter
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Electrical questions!

Hi all,

In the middle of our camper wiring. A bunch of questions have come up; hoping you can help.

Our system has 300Ah of lithium batteries, 30 amp shore power connection to a Victron 2000W inverter/charger, Victron MPPT solar controller, Sterling B-B charger. I am wiring a small Siemens AC panel to distribute the AC power to our loads. DC loads go through a Blue Sea fuse panel.

I am mounting most of the electrical components on the driver's side garage wall (under the bed), except for the B-B charger.

So, here are my questions.

I am using 10ga (B/W/G) stranded AC wire from Ancor. Having a hard time to get a clean connection at the AC outlets as the strands fan out. Worried that a good proportion of the strands aren't carrying current. Tips or tricks? Can I crimp a spade connector to ensure a robust connection?

I have a Victron 712 BMS and the solar controller has an iPhone app to keep track of solar power. The Victron inverter/charger literature mentions a website that can be used to track or control the device but no Bluetooth connection. The inverter is mounted in the van garage, with easy access from outside. How often do you need to change settings? Would you recommend the Victron remote panel?

How often do you need to access the main battery shutoff switch? I have access from the main cabin but not so easy to get to. My thought was that the fuses protect for emergencies and the shutoff switch is for maintenance only. Other thoughts?

How often do you need to access the Sterling B-B charger? I am assuming not very often and plan to mount it in back of a cabinet near the driver's seat.

What have others used for a high quality 12VDC receptacle? We will have them scattered throughout the van, for refrigerator, chargers, fan, etc... I want one that is durable and easy to install; recommendations for surface mount and flush mount would be appreciated.

Any recommendations for quality dimmable DC switches for LED lights?

Finally, did most of you turn on power for the first time when installed in the van or did you try it on a bench (away from flammable substances, children, pets, etc...)?

Thanks!

2019 HR T-250 Quigley Transit, 3.5 Ecoboost, 3.31 LS, Magnetic Metallic
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Unread 04-28-2019, 08:03:PM
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Originally Posted by Timetogo View Post
Hi all,



.



I am using 10ga (B/W/G) stranded AC wire from Ancor. Having a hard time to get a clean connection at the AC outlets as the strands fan out. Worried that a good proportion of the strands aren't carrying current. Tips or tricks? Can I crimp a spade connector to ensure a robust connection?

!

I usually just twist the strands tightly, cut off the excess, and screw down. On some connections where there is too much room alongside the screw to get a good clamp I have soldered the strands together. Many do not like this, be sure to use rosin core electrical solder, that plumbing flux stuff WILL corrode.
BTW. Once those stray strands get to the main wire bundle they all share the current.
The barrel of a spade connector just adds one more unnecessary connection.



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Unread 04-28-2019, 08:40:PM
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I use ring connectors. They cannot vibrate loose and short out the way stranded can.

Blue sea makes high quality dc outlets. For USB outlets, I look for the higher amp USB C compliant outlets without an annoying blue light.

I only use the battery shut off switch to fully disconnect the batteries for servicing or if the van is going to sit for a long time. My ACR is under the drivers seat and not very accessible at all.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Unread 04-28-2019, 09:30:PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timetogo View Post

I am using 10ga (B/W/G) stranded AC wire from Ancor. Having a hard time to get a clean connection at the AC outlets as the strands fan out. Worried that a good proportion of the strands aren't carrying current. Tips or tricks? Can I crimp a spade connector to ensure a robust connection?
Ferrules are used to hold the strands of stranded wire together when making screw connections.

https://www.cesco.com/Thomas-Betts-T...-Blue/p2111694
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Unread 04-28-2019, 09:41:PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ranxerox View Post
Ferrules are used to hold the strands of stranded wire together when making screw connections.

https://www.cesco.com/Thomas-Betts-T...-Blue/p2111694
Hi Ranxerox,

Looks like the ferrules would be used when connecting to a compression connection (like a circuit breaker). What would you recommend when connecting stranded wire to the screws on an AC outlet?

Thanks.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Unread 04-29-2019, 12:03:AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timetogo View Post
... I am using 10ga (B/W/G) stranded AC wire from Ancor. Having a hard time to get a clean connection at the AC outlets as the strands fan out. Worried that a good proportion of the strands aren't carrying current. Tips or tricks? Can I crimp a spade connector to ensure a robust connection? ...
I had the same problem with thick 10 gauge stranded wire and standard domestic outlets. Next time I would use 12 gauge wire which better matches the standard outlets but is heavy enough for the current draw of most appliances. For my application 10 gauge was overkill (and more importantly a nuisance).

I used crimp fork terminals. Here's a thread about this issue.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Unread 04-29-2019, 12:10:AM
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... How often do you need to access the Sterling B-B charger? I am assuming not very often and plan to mount it in back of a cabinet near the driver's seat ...
There is no need to access the unit. It should be installed close to the van's battery with thick wires to minimize voltage drop but it can be some distance from the house battery as there is a voltage sense wire that can allow the unit to compensate for the voltage drop to the house battery.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Unread 04-29-2019, 12:11:AM
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Originally Posted by Timetogo View Post
Hi Ranxerox,

Looks like the ferrules would be used when connecting to a compression connection (like a circuit breaker). What would you recommend when connecting stranded wire to the screws on an AC outlet?

Thanks.
I would say you could use Ferrules for both types of connections, But I have only saw Ferrules used for small circuit breakers in industrial machinery I have repaired.

I guess you could try a pin connector for a wall outlet.

https://www.cesco.com/Thomas-Betts-T...ellow/p1933614
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Unread 04-29-2019, 12:30:AM
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Originally Posted by Timetogo View Post
... What have others used for a high quality 12VDC receptacle? We will have them scattered throughout the van, for refrigerator, chargers, fan, etc... I want one that is durable and easy to install; recommendations for surface mount and flush mount would be appreciated.

Any recommendations for quality dimmable DC switches for LED lights?

Finally, did most of you turn on power for the first time when installed in the van or did you try it on a bench (away from flammable substances, children, pets, etc...)?

Thanks!
I just used gray plastic outdoor surface mount boxes available at any hardware store. I just screwed them to my FRP wall panels.

I used inexpensive Chinese dimmers and remote controls. I disconnected the Ford cargo bay lights and I really appreciate having my led lights controlled by a fob on my keychain.

The first thing that you connect to a power source is a fuse, so any danger is minimal. Just remember to disconnect the negative wire from the battery when you are working on things. I forgot once.

I'm not sure that I have provided any information that you didn't already have but there's my two cents worth.
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Terry
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Last edited by tthrsn; 04-29-2019 at 01:58:PM.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Unread 04-29-2019, 09:16:AM
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Used 14/3 SO cords with crimped ring connectors for the 120 volt AC. Used 12/2 SO cords with spade connectors for the Blue Sea 12 volt DC plug recepticals. Also used 14/2 and 16/2 for smaller DC loads.

Either ring or spade connectors always used. Used shrink wrap around each wire at connector joint.
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