Bohemian Biker Blog

12 Volt Accessory Cable Kit Component Polarity and Amp Ratings

by on Jun.20, 2009, under Application


12V Accessory Cable Kit

Swapped emails with the supplier of our 12 Volt Accessory Cable Kits concerning the amp ratings of the individual component cable assemblies and decided to post the results.

Considering this kit is included with the Global Solar SUNLINQ line of Portable Solar Chargers (6.5, 12, and 25 Watt), the components are meant for relatively light amperage applications…mostly…charging handheld electronics. As I’ve discussed in other posts, there are other applications for which the components of this kit are suited.  For example, coupling a 12 volt cell phone charger to a Battery Tender Quick Connect using the power port cable assembly and in some cases the 8′ extension cable.

These two components fit nicely into this application because the SAE 2 Pin on the end of the Battery Tender Quick Connect basically replicates the SAE 2 Pin on the output of one of Global’s Portable Solar Chargers.  Specifically, the protected “female” socket side of the SAE 2 Pin connector on the end of the Quick Connect is “hot” (+) positive.  Therefore, the “exposed” male pin of the SAE 2 Pin connector on the power port assembly leads to the centerpost of the power port socket…which must be “hot” (+) positive.

Now let’s look at an application in which things don’t work out similarly well.  Someone might have the idea they’d like to couple the power plug assembly to the output of their Battery Tender…such that they may insert the power port plug into the cigarette lighter socket of a vehicle of which they’d like to maintain the battery.  NO GO!  Won’t work!  Think about it…  If the protected “female” socket side of the SAE 2 Conductor Connector on the  “Battery Tender Quick Connect installed on your motorcycle’s battery is “hot” (+) positive…the “exposed” male pin on the output of your Battery Tender must be “hot” (+) positive.

Now back to out power port plug – remembering we were saying above…the SAE 2 Pin end of these components is meant to be plugged into an SAE 2 Conductor connector with a “hot” (+) positive “protected” female socket.  So, we have a “polarity” issue here to which we must pay close, careful attention.  Stop and think thing through…thoroughly…before you start coupling connectors together. 

The power port plug has an integral 2 amp fuse, so that component’s amp rating is pretty evident.  This is ample capacity for many applications – charging most handheld electronics, etc.  When you get into attempting to power something like a portable air compressor, it’s a different story.  Even a tiny air compressor may draw 7 or 8 amps, or more.  So, this power port plug would not have the rating to be used in an application such as this.  In fact, even the heavier duty power port plugs we handle (stand-alone…without SAE 2 Pin)…are fused at 5 amps…which would still be less than an application such as this might require.  Obviously, power port plugs must be available for this application…because there are miniature compressors employing them…stretched to the limit as they may be.  

What about that 12 volt power port!  It’s rated at 7 amps max.   In most cases borderline unacceptable for the air compressor application we discussed above, but providing plenty of capacity for handheld electronics.  But, think about it this way…that Battery Tender Quick Connect installed on your motorcycle battery probably has a 7.5 amp fuse.  So, the 5 piece accessory kit’s power port cable assembly fits nicely into that parameter.

Heated gloves might be OK plugged into one of these power ports…but as always…check the manufacturer’s specifications.  Obviously, stacking up multple pieces of heated clothing is going to put you over the maximum amperage rating.

Speaking of heated clothing…often employing COAX connectors…we’re prompted to talk about the “male” COAX “barrel” connector x SAE 2 Pin adaptor that comes as part of the 5 piece accessory kit.  Once again…7 amps.  So, maybe OK for gloves…but not much more.  Now this brings me to an application that I discuss in another post – using this adaptor to facilitate the maintenance of your battery via the COAX “female” heated clothing pigtail you might have installed on your motorcycle’s battery.  I cannot condone this practice, but figuring that won’t stop some…here’s the problem.  It’s the same polarity problem.  Once again, the polarity is opposite what you need to couple the SAE 2 Pin end to the output of your Battery Tender.   

But…alas…I came up with an easy fix…a “rig” of sorts.  Again, I cannot condone this practice…and for that reason…I sell the components as a “do-it-yourself” kit.  Basically, I provide you with the components to assemble what I call a “Hot Socket” Adaptor.  That is, there is continuity between the “protected” female socket at each end.  Therefore, there is a “female” socket to accept the “hot” (+) positive pin of the SAE 2 Pin connector on the output of your Battery Tender…and the respective Adaptor conduct leads to a “hot” (+) positive “protected” female socket at the other end…to accept the “exposed” male pin of the SAE 2 Pin on the COAX cable.  Now, the male COAX end of the COAX Assembly has the correct polarity…and can be coupled to the “female” COAX end of the Heated Clothing pigtail installed on your motorcycle’s battery.  This does the trick for those that wish to avoid having more than (1) pigtail dangling from their battery.

About those Battery Terminal Clamps (component of the 5 piece kit)…  Same situation…  The “exposed” male pin of the SAE 2 Pin of this assembly leads to the red handled (+) poitive alligator clamp.  Therefore, opposite of what it should be…to be coupled to your Battery Tender output SAE 2 Pin.  This assembly carries a 15 amp rating, but remember you’d still be limited by the lower amperage rating of (for example) the 8 foot extension.

This being a post covering a lot of components, topics, and issues…I will no doubt be adding to it in the future…

Please post a comment, email us at , or feel free to call us at 302-562-1706 with any questions or concerns.

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


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