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Old 05-01-2012, 07:51 PM   #1
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Positive post on cigarette lighter plug?

I'm trying to put together a 12V extension for my Winegard Carryout Satellite dome by installing a set of alligator clamps on the opposite end of the female cigarette plug.

May not be necessary but I want to keep everything in the correct order just in case the Carryout is current sensitive, so can anyone tell me if the center post of the outlet plug is positive or negative? I'm sure a lot of appliances to be plugged in to the 12V outlet wouldn't care one way or the other but I don't want to screw up my dome.

Thanks for any help.

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Old 05-01-2012, 07:59 PM   #2
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Center is always POS, outer/side is always NEG (on a negative ground vehicle). Your voltmeter will prove that.

Actually, 12V DC appliances (other than incandescent lights) REALLY DO care about which is + and - (unlike AC hot and neutral).
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:34 PM   #3
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Why not get a 120V to 12V like https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=11190 adapter and use a regular extension cord?

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Old 05-01-2012, 10:57 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ottffss View Post
Center is always POS, outer/side is always NEG (on a negative ground vehicle). Your voltmeter will prove that.

Actually, 12V DC appliances (other than incandescent lights) REALLY DO care about which is + and - (unlike AC hot and neutral).
Thanks. Guess my brain went on vacation again, didn't occur to me to use the voltmeter on my vehicle's power plug to check out the polarity.

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Old 05-01-2012, 11:06 PM   #5
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Why not get a 120V to 12V like https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=11190 adapter and use a regular extension cord?

fred
That was my first and most desirable approach. But I ordered a Sunforce 110V to 12V converter (which is what PPL sells along with their Winegard Carryouts), but even though it was rated at 6.0 amps (the Carryout requires 5.8 amps) it wouldn't even run my 4.0 amp bicycle tire pump. So I sent it back and started in a different direction.

If the Garmin is to be used to charge up the GPS, I would imagine it probably doesn't put out very high amperage. And the web site picture doesn't look very hefty.

I even e-mailed Sunforce to ask why their converter was so weak and they tried to tell me my bicycle air pump required more than 4.0 amps to get started. But I hardly think that little pump could pull 50% more amps just to get started than it would while running.

Thanks for the suggestion.

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Old 05-02-2012, 08:53 AM   #6
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There is a bit of advice I like to give to folks hooking up 12 volt stuff.

USE A DIGITAL MULTIMETER TO CHECK THE POLARITY (Or other polarity indicator device, I have several around here)

The center post is SUPPOSED TO BE positive. But with the invention of the plastic dash there were, many years ago, a number of vehicles that got it backwards.

Today. I expect the center post to be positive, but I'd still check.

I would also not hook clip on leads there I would find another place, there are better places, Fuse block, for example, The reason... The lighter is way too easy to short out.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:29 AM   #7
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That was my first and most desirable approach. But I ordered a Sunforce 110V to 12V converter (which is what PPL sells along with their Winegard Carryouts), but even though it was rated at 6.0 amps (the Carryout requires 5.8 amps) it wouldn't even run my 4.0 amp bicycle tire pump. So I sent it back and started in a different direction.

If the Garmin is to be used to charge up the GPS, I would imagine it probably doesn't put out very high amperage. And the web site picture doesn't look very hefty.

I even e-mailed Sunforce to ask why their converter was so weak and they tried to tell me my bicycle air pump required more than 4.0 amps to get started. But I hardly think that little pump could pull 50% more amps just to get started than it would while running.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Wagonmaster2
Actually the air pump would draw more current on start up. To be fair, you should have tried it with the Carryout. I have the Sun Force converter from PPL and it works fine.
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:08 PM   #8
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...I hardly think that little pump could pull 50% more amps just to get started than it would while running...
Actually not surprising.
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:15 PM   #9
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There is a bit of advice I like to give to folks hooking up 12 volt stuff.

USE A DIGITAL MULTIMETER TO CHECK THE POLARITY (Or other polarity indicator device, I have several around here)

The center post is SUPPOSED TO BE positive. But with the invention of the plastic dash there were, many years ago, a number of vehicles that got it backwards.

Today. I expect the center post to be positive, but I'd still check.

I would also not hook clip on leads there I would find another place, there are better places, Fuse block, for example, The reason... The lighter is way too easy to short out.
As usual, I always appreciate the excellent advice you have for us RVers. I am expecting to use the clip-on-leads to attach to the coaches battery at the rear of the coach when the satellite dome has to be placed in that position on account of trees. But I am going to check the dash outlet since I could possibly be using it in different circumstances toward the front area.

It's Forum members like you that help keep the rest of us on our toes. Appreciate it very much.

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Old 05-02-2012, 12:21 PM   #10
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I installed a 12v cigarette light plug just inside my exterior untility center compartment to plug in my Winegard Carryout. Works great. While I was at it I installed a 12v Smart Light motion/security LED light.
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:01 PM   #11
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Actually the air pump would draw more current on start up. To be fair, you should have tried it with the Carryout. I have the Sun Force converter from PPL and it works fine.
Due to surgery I've had Directv service suspended until later in the summer so I wasn't able to try the Sun Force converter on the CarryOut. Since it wouldn't run my little bike pump (about the size of your fist) I would probably been afraid it would under-power the Carryout and burn something up.

I had ordered the Sun Force from Wal Mart for $21 whereas the one from PPL is $31 and I'm wondering if Wal Mart gets a sub-quality product in order to sell for much less.

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Old 05-02-2012, 01:13 PM   #12
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Due to surgery I've had Directv service suspended until later in the summer ....
Due to surgery, you had TV service suspended? When I had my appendix out, I had DirecTV install the 'Every channel on the planet' package AND paid $8/mo extra for a couple of martian ones.

Off topic, I know... Hope your recovery is going well.
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:18 PM   #13
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Expensive

Alligator clips?

On something that will most likely be toast if you get the polarity backwards?

You can buy 12V extensions for a few bucks. Or you could go to Radio Shack and get 12V male & female connectors and make your own with x feet of zip cord.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:16 PM   #14
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Due to surgery, you had TV service suspended? When I had my appendix out, I had DirecTV install the 'Every channel on the planet' package AND paid $8/mo extra for a couple of martian ones.

Off topic, I know... Hope your recovery is going well.
Sorry, wasn't very explanative about the whole picture. The coach has been stored in the back yard for the winter months and now the doc doesn't want me doing much walking or lifting for another 2-3 months so I've just let the suspension of service run for 6 months. Talk about cabin fever, man do I ever have it and regret not getting this surgery done earlier in the winter but it's a 90 mile drive to the surgery center and winter months can get rough. However, this winter was more like fall/spring combined so I really regret waiting this long.

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