Bohemian Biker Blog

SAE 2 Pin Extension Cable Assemblies

by on Apr.20, 2009, under SAE 2 Pin

SAE 2 Pin extension cables offer some flexibility by providing for distance between the power source and the load – a couple different models to meet the circumstances of various applications.  For example, the lighter model makes for easy routing “on the go”…say from your Battery Tender Quick Connect “pigtail” up into a tank bag or backpack.  Where the sturdier model might be more appropriate for applications warranting greater durability.

“Y” extension cables expand the possibilities with respect to power sources, as well as loads.  “Y” cables facilitate combining multiple power sources in “parallel” to provide more capacity.  On the other hand, they also allow you to distribute power to multiple loads.

Hopefully, that word “parallel” rang a bell from back in the day when you learned about “parallel” vs. “series” circuits.  So, here’s a little refresher for those that haven’t thought about electrical circuits for a while.

Series vs. Parallel Wiring of Power Sources

Although each battery, solar cell, panel or module has a rated voltage and amperage, they can be wired together in such a manner as to obtain varying results.

Series Circuits/Series Wiring or Connection of Power Sources

A “series circuit” is one in which the circuit components are connected “end-to-end” providing a single path for the flow of current through all the components.

Series wiring (or connection) of power sources is accomplished by connecting the (+) “positive” of one power source to the (-) “negative” of the next.

Wiring power sources in series will result in increased voltage.  When power sources are wired in series, the voltages are additive.  Power sources wired in series will provide a total voltage equal to the sum of voltages of each individual power source.

Wiring power sources in series does not result in increased amperage.  A series circuit will have the same current throughout the circuit.

Parallel Circuits/Parallel Wiring or Connection of Power Sources

A “parallel circuit” is one in which two or more circuit components are connected like rungs of a ladder, providing separate paths for current through each of the components.

Parallel wiring (or connection) of power sources is accomplished by connecting the (+) “positive” leads of the power sources together…and then (-) “negative” leads with each other.

Wiring power sources in parallel will result in increased amperage.  When power sources are wired in parallel, the currents (amperages) are additive.  Power sources wired in parallel will provide a total current (amperage) equal to the sum of currents (amperages) of each individual power source.

Wiring power sources in parallel does not result in increased voltage.  A parallel circuit will have the same voltage throughout the circuit.

So, back to the possible applications of our “Y” Extension Cable…

Basically, as I mention above…the “Y” Extension Cable would allow you to combine the power from (2) power sources.  That could be (2) batteries, (2) portable solar chargers, or a combination of the two, i.e., a portable solar charger and a battery.  The beauty of the portable solar charger and battery combination is that the battery provides energy storage, while the portable solar charger provides power generation.  There is the  benefit of the battery being there as a relatively “level” source of power (as long as the battery isn’t drawn down too low)…even while the passing of a cloud may impact the portable solar charger’s output.  Portable solar chargers usually have internal diodes to prevent the “back-flow” of power, during shading.

By-the-way, our Global SUNLINQ Portable Solar Chargers come with an SAE 2 Pin connector on the end of the output cable.  The component cable assemblies that make up the included 5 piece accessory kit, have SAE 2 Pin connector ends, as well.

SAE 2 Pin extension cables, in general…

Extension cables also provide flexibilty with respect to orientation…which can be of key importance in the case of  portable solar chargers.  The ability to not only reach positions of maximum sun exposure, but orient for maximum exposure is  critical to attaining the full power generating capability of portable solar equipment.

When it comes to maintaining the charge of a battery…on board anything from a boat, to lawn tractor, ATV, motorcycle, or anything else with a 12 volt battery…SAE 2 Pin extension cables can prove to be very handy.   They can allow you to plug the Battery Tender into a wall outlet (keeping the unit safe and secure…as well as out of the weather)…and then potentially reaching the battery…in a driveway, in a shed, etc.   Generally, we’re talking current levels of milli-amps…sometimes a little more than 1 amp…so these distances and conductor sizes aren’t an issue.

While we’re on the topic of current levels, let’s talk about wire sizes and amperage ratings.  The lightweight 8 foot extension cable that comes as part of the 5 piece accessory kit (available separately, as well), has 18 AWG conductors and is rated at 10 amps.  Basically black lampcord (along the lines of SPT-1…but not marked as such), this cable is flexible and easily routed.

The standalone 8 foot extension cable is jacketed with a black sheath, therefore of heavier weight…and not quite as flexible…but more durable.  This cord has 16 AWG conductors, but is rated at 10 amps, as well.

I’ll take up these topics with respect to the “Y” extension cable in a future post, along with a more in-depth discussion of it’s potential applications and respective current load implications.

In addition to being very careful with respect to the current loads vs. amp ratings and polarity of various cables and adaptor assemblies, it’s always a good practice to keep close tabs on charging batteries – checking connections, giving the cords a feel, often.

And…always following manufacturer’s specified procedures…including the use of safety glasses, and attention to the issue of vapors and need for proper ventilation.

Deltran not only produces a high quality Battery Tender, but provides sturdy cables, connectors and clamp assemblies.  Deltran Battery Tenders  also come with thorough instructions.  When it comes to battery maintenance equipment – it’s best to stick with an industry leader – for safety’s sake, as well as performance.  Considering both Harley-Davidson and BMW put their name on Deltran Battery Tenders, most people would no doubt agree…Deltran is the industry leader.

We welcome email at: bohemianbiker@bohemianbiker.com
These products are available through our new e-commerce website at:  www.solarcapitalist.com  
Here’s a link to the page listing them: http://www.solarcapitalist.com/sae2pinextensioncords.aspx

Solar Capitalist LLC is our sister company handling products such as the cables discussed above, Deltran Battery Tenders, as well as Portable Solar Chargers – Capitalize on the Sun’s Energy !

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