What sort of plugs to 12 v appliances have?

Submitted: Saturday, Mar 19, 2005 at 10:44
ThreadID: 121851 Views:4238 Replies:2 FollowUps:0
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Dumb question of the week i know, but before we put 12 volt outlets in the BT, we want to get the right fittings. The lights we got for the wind up caravan were cigarette lighter plugs. I have read about 12 v applicance plugs with the positive and earth plugs in a T shaped alignment. What is the fitting for example on a 12 v TV like? Can 12 volt fans be purchased with the T fitting rather than the cigarette lighter type? What 12 v applicances are others using in their vans? Thanks, Motherhen

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Reply By: Noosa Fox - Friday, Mar 25, 2005 at 04:01

Friday, Mar 25, 2005 at 04:01
Almost all 12 volt appliances come with Cigarette lighter plugs, and our 12 volt LCD TV also has a fuse inside its plug. I have a Winegard TV antenna that comes with its own 12 volt cig out let so we use that for TV.

The lights and other 12 volt appliances that we have, have all had the cig plugs cut off and rewired with the 2 pin T type low voltage plugs that are available from any electrical shop. We find these plugs give a much more positive connection than the Cig plugs.

Some of the other members have converted their cords to the Hella Type push in plug that is similar to a Cig plug but more positive and many have a waterproof cover to go over them.
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Reply By: MattandLana - Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 11:53

Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 11:53
We've always used the Hella type because they have a much less bulky plug than the T-style and because the socket takes up less dash/panel space. The Hella plug/socket looks like a slightly undersized cig lighter plug/socket but as Noosa BT says has a nice positive action.

Yes beware if you are cutting off a cig lighter plug that if it contains a fuse you may want to replace it with an inline fuse. Usually the fuse in the cig. lighter socket is much lower ampage than the 20A or so used to fuse the cig lighter socket, so you may decide to install an inline holder rather than rely on the main fuse for the socket. (You can get inline holders for the modern "spade" type fuses as well as for the older glass tube fuses, to save you having to carry several types of fuse.) How do you tell? Usually if the cig lighter plug has a fuse in it you access it by unscrwing the metal tip. If the tip doesn;t unscrew, the plus is probably not fused.

If you adopt the Hella sockets, then before you cut off the plug from your appliance, check that it is not in fact a dual-use plug. Some of the better 12V applicances come with a plug which has a removeable collar, so that with the collar on it fits into a normal cig lighter socket, and with the collar removed (and stowed safely somewhere to get lost forever) it plugs into a Hella-type socket.

One advantage of the Hella socket is that you can get them with little spring-loaded flip-up caps to keep dust etc out, although I wouldn't call them 100% weatherproof.

Note modern cars (eg. 100 series Toyota) now come with extra "12V accessory" sockets which is just a standard cig lighter socket without the heat shielding.

Steve I'd be interested to hear why BTi use the T-pin plug and not the Hella style? Is it because space is not an issue on a caravan wall and because the bigger plug is probably more robust over the years?
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