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Old 04-26-2021, 10:00 PM
jliltd jliltd is offline
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Rancho San Lorenzo
Posts: 1,158

(EDIT: If yiu get an SAE connector as described here with colored wire leads, don't trust the colors of the wires. They change positive/negative positions depending on what side of the charging circuit they are on. Many of these are designed for solar cells so the colors would be opposite for a battery. So check polarity and don't go by the red/black color of the wires.)

I always install a 2-pin SAE type receptacle. The same design most battery chargers use.

Here is the type I use:

Here is one I put in an RV-3:

Here is one I put in the belly of a Husky:

Every charger out there worth using has the same 2-pin SAE connector on their cord. Makes it very easy. On my RV-8 I leave the EarthX battery on a Li-Fe charger at all times in the hangar.
Jim Ivey
(and a few more airplanes)

Last edited by jliltd : 04-28-2021 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 04-27-2021, 12:54 AM
scsmith scsmith is online now
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ashland, OR
Posts: 2,945
Default Powerlet

When I built my -8, I installed a Powerlet socket in one of the cockpit bulkhead pillars. This is a very high quality socket and plug solution. Way better than a 'cigarette lighter' socket and plug. They are commonly used on high-end motorcycles for plugging in heated vests, intercoms, and other portable systems. Mine connects to the battery through a 15A breaker.

Because the rest of the world has so far refused to outgrow the crappy 'cigarette lighter' socket, I do have an adapter in the airplane for that too. Where I worked we had an inside joke that the ISS had hinged panel covers above the instrument racks that revealed row after row of cigarette lighter sockets, essentially becoming the de-facto standard 12V power connection. Of course this is not true, but sometimes it seems like it. Too bad, the Powerlet is a much better system.
Steve Smith
Aeronautical Engineer
RV-8 N825RV
IO-360 A1A
WW 200RV
"The Magic Carpet" Flying since Sept. 2009
Hobbs 700
1/4 share in 1959 C-182B (tow plane)
LS6-15/18W sailplane SOLD
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VAF donation Dec 2020
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Old 04-27-2021, 06:05 AM
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olyolson olyolson is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: St Louis, MO
Posts: 1,070
Default Charging connector


I never even knew these existed, I have my battery in the aft baggage compartment so this will make life much easier.

Thanks for posting!
RV-8, Aerosport IO-360M1B, MT 3 blade, AFS 5500
RV grin every flight
"Sure is nice to have smart friends"
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Old 04-27-2021, 07:59 AM
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Nihon_Ni Nihon_Ni is offline
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
Posts: 363

I used the same type of connector as Jim. I put it in the forward baggage area of my RV-8, and used an AWG 10 wire to supply power to the Main Bus via a 30A fuse. You can see it on the left side of this picture, connected to my ground power unit, and the thick red wire running to the fuse block. I'm essentially running power backward through that slot in the fuse block in order to power everything else on the ground.

It's been useful in the building process to check each component as I install them. Although I always check continuity with an ohmmeter, I did find an issue when I wired my map lights in series but they wouldn't illuminate under power event though there was continuity.

I plan to use the ground power for panel updates once the plane is flying. I'll have a separate connector to charge my EarthX battery.
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Rob K

RV-8 N884RA under construction
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Old 04-27-2021, 08:34 AM
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RWoodard RWoodard is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Brighton, Colorado
Posts: 469

I also really like the Powerlet ports for charging and for a ground power input if your power requirements are within the specs for the port (15amps, I think).

If you're searching, many people refer to these ports as "Hella Ports/Plugs". This is technically incorrect because Hella is just a manufacturer. I've purchased different brands and styles of the plugs and ports on Amazon. I don't know what other brands of motorcycles use them, but they've been OEM equipment on both my BMW motorcycles, but weren't installed on either of the Goldwings I've owned.

EDITED TO ADD: Wow, Rob K, that's some nice looking and tidy blade fusebox wiring. Nice job!
Rod Woodard
Brighton, Colorado (CO12)
RV-3 IO-320
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Old 04-27-2021, 07:51 PM
David Z David Z is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Thunder Bay Ontario
Posts: 751
Default Industry Standard

Is there a common type of plug that's industry standard for 12/14 volts? Something that the average FBO will have available?

Not that I'm planning on flying away with a dead battery either, but the ability to fix something on the road or the extra cranking power would be fantastic.
Empennage Passed Pre-close Inspection
Wings mostly done
Fuselage at the "porcupine stage"
Dash 8 day job is financing the RV8
Donation till September 2022
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Old 04-27-2021, 10:07 PM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 12,792

Originally Posted by David Z View Post
Is there a common type of plug that's industry standard for 12/14 volts? Something that the average FBO will have available?

Not that I'm planning on flying away with a dead battery either, but the ability to fix something on the road or the extra cranking power would be fantastic.
An FBO is most likely goign to have either the single-pole Piper plug or the three-pin Cessna plug. Or most likely, if they have a start-cart, they’ll have both....the trick for homebuilders is that the Piper plug is also used in big trucks, and you can buy the sockets Waaayyy cheaper from a truck parts store than buying the aviation-unique Cessna style.....
Paul F. Dye
Editor at Large - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
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Old 04-28-2021, 07:04 AM
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wirejock wirejock is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Estes Park, CO
Posts: 4,662
Default Piper plug

Where is the best place to tie the plug into the system?
Larry Larson
Estes Park, CO
wirejock at yahoo dot com
Donated 01/01/2021, plus a little extra.
RV-7A #73391, N511RV reserved (2,000+ hours)
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I cannot be, nor will I be, held responsible if you try to do the same things I do and it does not work and/or causes you loss, injury, or even death in the process.
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Old 04-28-2021, 07:52 AM
lr172 lr172 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Schaumburg, IL
Posts: 6,537

Originally Posted by wirejock View Post
Where is the best place to tie the plug into the system?
That is what I did on my planes. 14 ga wire directly to the battery, through a 15A fuse and to a female connector that shields the hot pin from accidental shorting to ground. Mine are well protected and also have a rubber cover on the 10, as it is in the baggage area and wanted to avoid any metal parts getting into the connector. You want to be able to put a charger on the battery without turning on the electrical system. At least I wanted that. Then make a pigtail on the male connector. On the 6, the connector is just tie wrapped to the engine mount and accessible through the oil door.

Even if you have a battery problem on the road, you can buy a 10A battery charger and extension cord at 1000's of different stores.

Remember if the battery is dead (left master on for example), you can't engage the contactor and therefore MUST have direct battery access. If you are really concerned, you could wire in a 15A switch before the connector.

N64LR - RV-6A / IO-320, Flying as of 8/2015
N11LR - RV-10, Flying as of 12/2019

Last edited by lr172 : 04-28-2021 at 07:59 AM.
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Old 04-28-2021, 08:23 AM
ssokol ssokol is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Cupertino, California
Posts: 120
Default Anderson trailer connector

When I first got my 6A I spent some time learning how to hot start an injected engine. The learning process unfortunately entailed draining the battery a couple of times, and getting at the battery to jump start the engine was nearly impossible.

I ended up modifying a set of 4 gauge, 500 amp jumper cables to create a short pigtail from the battery to an Anderson connector which was accessible from the oil access door on the top cowl. I put another Anderson on the remaining section of jumper cable. When I drained the battery (which I did a few more times before I got the whole hot start sequence down) I could just connect the jumper lead to the pigtail and jump start.

I still cary the jumper whenever I go on cross country trips, but it mostly gets used to keep the battery topped off.

Heavy Duty Jumper Cable:
Battery Lugs for 4 AWG Cable:
Anderson Connectors:
Steve Sokol
Cedar Park, TX

RV-6A N101PR at 40XS
Open Flight Solutions - Maker Of FlightView EFIS
(VAF Supporter / Advertiser)
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