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5818 posts

Uber Geek

  #1543319 28-Apr-2016 11:57
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Jaycar sell simple, water resistant DC connectors.  I've used them in marine applications and they performed well.


I also noticed these (3A rated) but I haven't used them.


247 posts

Master Geek

  #1543324 28-Apr-2016 12:08
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I'm not really sure how that is a problem, as only the socket will be live? The only time the long pin on the RCA connector will be live, is when it's in the RCA connector, and it won't short anything in there.


The other problem is, the DC barrel jacks, is there only seems to be PCB mount jacks, and no flush mount jacks I can find.



I thought you were taling about using RCA's at both ends of it.


are panel mount DC sockets - gets ones where the pin is recessed quite a way like that since it will reduce the chance of the outside of the barrel shorting the pin to the casing if you fumble it, but they are not the ideal plug for the output end of something because that chance does exist.


Whatever you do, get some few 100mA polyfuses inline with it so you dont have to worry about stuffing about with blown fuses etc.


Something like this   -not bought those ones, got mine locally but saves hassle since they will come back on if you just disconnect the short for a few seconds so they cool down.





Thanks for the links, the fuses are a good idea. For the RCA, I was planning on puting and RCA male on the end of the lights, and four female sockets flush mounted on the box. I guess the barrel mount ones are normally used in reverse, with the male jack on the device, and the female plug coming from the power source.


1151 posts

Uber Geek

  #1543863 29-Apr-2016 09:50
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I'm looking to make a small Solar/Battery system to power things during blackouts/camping etc......


I want to be able to charge phones, maybe have a couple small lights, and most importantly, charge camera batteries. .....


One simple solution which cost me zero $$ and few hours of fun: 


Pre-requisite - RC Li charger. I had different models already (e.g. IMAX B6), hence the solution was easy. Imax B6 operates from up to 18DC - hence you can use many sources to power it up - e.g. Car on board power or in my case - old IBM laptop PS (18V).


End result: 3-in-1 device: Flash Light + 2xUSB 1A Charger + Battery Power supply for my cordless drill/screwdriver.


Components - all recycled from the old obsolete stuff:



  1. Dolphin Flash Light without the battery. 4.8 Bulb on board. Used as a body for the project and as a Flash Light in the 3-in-1 end product;
  2. 10 x Li-Ion 18650 batteries from failed laptop packs. (note: sometimes one pair in the 2P3S pack fails but the rest 2 pairs are good in my case ~ 3.5 Ah/pair remaining capacity) (Note: I have Professional tools to test laptop packs standalone and see what the condition and the remaining capacity is and Professional Battery Capacity Testing tools, but you can use cheap IMAX or other RC chargers to load test the Li capacity with 10% accuracy); Batteries were reassembled into 5P2S configuration - that is 7.2V nominal output (8.2V Max) with 11Ah capacity if new - in my case - about 9Ah left.
  3. Switch from some toy model - to switch LM7805 off when not in use;
  4. LM7805 Voltage regulator - fixed 5v @ 1A output - to feed USB and 4.8V original bulb; Got it from some old transformer type network power supply;
  5. 2 x USB ports taken from the front of an old PC;
  6. LM35 Temperature sensor (optional and only required if batteries are charged by IMAX charger) - those were a gift from Texas Instruments;
  7. Few wires ending up with 3 small plugs (power; temp sensor, balance charging) sticking out of the flashlight body - to be able to charge batteries without dismantling the flash light, to quickly test the condition of the batteries inside using one of my portable "baterryless quick test Li probe" (you can use voltmenter instead) and to power “cordless” drill which is 7.2V rated.


End result: charges couple of phones at once easily and you can have the light on at the same time and if the need be - use the cordless drill to make a milk shake while camping :-)

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