Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Need Good Sources for Quality Bulk Solar Cable
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 > Need Good Sources for Quality Bulk Solar Cable

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crcr

US

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Joined: 11/12/2005

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Posted: 12/06/19 07:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm building a solar system on our TT. I am going to buy my own MC4 connectors, crimpers, etc, and build my own custom length cables for connecting the roof solar panels to the roof combiner box.

I'm having trouble finding quality 10 gauge UV-resistant cooper (not copper clad aluminum) cable designed to attach MC4 connectors to, in say 50 ft lengths (or where it can be ordered by the foot). Anyone have good source(s) to recommend for this? Sometimes I find some cable that looks good initially, but then find one or more reviews that state that the cable they received was 12 gauge, not 10 gauge.

Another question -- I'm finding both 19 strand and 7 strand cables -- what are the pros and cons of each (I presume that 19 strand is more flexible), and which is designed to work well with MC4 connectors?

Thanks for any input!

* This post was edited 12/06/19 07:27am by crcr *

rockylarson

Jersey Shore

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Posted: 12/06/19 08:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

14 years ago when I installed my panels I used marine grade 10 ga from West Marine. As I learned more over the years I would use 8 ga next installation.
The store I used had all the tools and connectors for DIY build use in the store.


Jan and Rocky
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Matt_Colie

Southeast Michigan

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Posted: 12/06/19 08:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I did a lot of boat work before the depression and still do some. I have several regular suppliers for cable and both are less expensive than waste marine.
http://www.genuinedealz.com/
https://theelectricaldepot.com/
https://www.delcity.net/

Be sure to shop all three as copper prices are variable.

Matt


Matt & Mary Colie
A sailor, his bride and their black dogs going to see some dry places that have Geocaches in a coach made the year we married.


pauldub

North of Seattle

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Posted: 12/06/19 08:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I bought mine from these guys. They also sell on eBay. If you want two wire duplex solar cable that is round, check out AM Solar.

BFL13

Victoria, BC

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Posted: 12/06/19 08:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here is a thread about the IQ test part of those MC4s in case you run into that. No second chances with the little internal grabbers. Can't pull it out again. The photos are gone with tinypic, sorry.

There are a number of different MC4s on panels where some are one piece and some do unscrew, so first see what is on your panels.

I thought my panel pigtails were cu-al, but after guys on here said to check, I scraped the strands and it was tinned cu. Hard to tell with the silky thin strands.

I used #8 cu onto the panel pigtails. Yes, Amazon, etc have much better pricing that I paid for my MC4s, but I only needed a few so no problem. Don't know about wire sourcing.

You have to start at page 1 after going here

https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fusea........d/29910358/gotomsg/29910840.cfm#29910840


1. 1991 Oakland 28DB Class C
on Ford E350-460-7.5 Gas EFI
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2. 1991 Bighorn 9.5ft Truck Camper on 2003 Chev 2500HD 6.0 Gas

Ed_Gee

Central Oregon coast

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Posted: 12/06/19 09:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Recommend this place for high quality solar materials:
AM Solar


Ed - on the Central Oregon coast
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Tom_M

New Hope, MN

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Posted: 12/06/19 09:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If this is a permanent install you don't need connectors. Just wire direct from panel junction box to combiner box. Any connector will add a bit more resistance to your run. If connectors are needed, I would suggest using Anderson Powerpull SB50 connectors. The contacts can be crimped or soldered.

https://powerwerx.com/anderson-sb-connectors-sb50-50amp
[image]


Tom
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time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 12/06/19 09:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would buy some MC4 extension cables on amazon with connectors already attached. Cut in half with the connectors to the panel and the cut end in the combiner box.

Even better with panels in series and skip the connections in the box and pull the MC4 direct to the controller.


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crcr

US

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Posted: 12/06/19 10:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for all your replies. Much appreciated.

I just got to looking at the wire leads with MC4 connectors on the solar panels I just bought, and I don't think the wire is even close to 10 gauge, seems smaller. So now I'm thinking that maybe I'll just un-solder those pigtails from the junction boxes on the solar panels and as someone here suggested, solder in my own wires to the combiner box. Therefore no MC4 connectors needed.

So if I do that, I'm thinking that I would prefer to just go to 8 gauge wire. But I'm having some difficulty finding 8 gauge UV resistant copper wire in bulk, say 50 ft rolls. Any suggestions as to where I could buy 8 gauge UV resistant copper stranded wire reasonably? I've checked on the sources mentioned, and so far didn't find any.

Lwiddis

Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area

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Posted: 12/06/19 10:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

10 gauge wouldn't be my choice for long runs. 7 feet is the max for 10 amps with a 2% drop WindyNation says at https://www.windynation.com/jzv/inf/choosing-right-wire-size


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watts solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL pole for flags. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, USF&WS, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet - 11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560)


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