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Thanks, Harry, that’s very sweet. I might just take you up on that. I’m overdue for a visit!
Are pin terminals and ferrules the same? I’ll need it on 8AWG wire.
Not quite.

A ferule is essentially a thin copper tube the length of the exposed / stripped wire. It crimps down onto the wire usually from multiple directions and there is a special crimp tool that I do not own for 8 awg. Usually ferules are used for lighter gauge wire like 14 - 18.

What you could also do for a lighter wire is to crimp on a deutch connector pin.

A pin terminal is sort of like a ring terminal - except instead of a ring sticking out on the end, it is a solid "pin" roughly wire size. The more common terminals are insulated - so there is a nylon insulation that is pre-molded onto the terminal.

The type that I use are a heavy duty / non insulated type that is crimped on - and then heat shrinked for insulation. The largest that I have is for 10 awg. I have seen 6 awg but have not found a good source.

Since you have 8 awg, then my approach to this would be to crimp on an 8 awg, non insulated ring lug and cut off the ring. What is left on the wire end will be essentially a ferule - just quite a bit heavier duty. I have those in stock and the related tool.

I use the panduit pro tools setup and it will never come off.
 
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Not quite.

A ferule is essentially a thin copper tube the length of the exposed / stripped wire. It crimps down onto the wire usually from multiple directions and there is a special crimp tool that I do not own for 8 awg. Usually ferules are used for lighter gauge wire like 14 - 18.

What you could also do for a lighter wire is to crimp on a deutch connector pin.

A pin terminal is sort of like a ring terminal - except instead of a ring sticking out on the end, it is a solid "pin" roughly wire size. The more common terminals are insulated - so there is a nylon insulation that is pre-molded onto the terminal.

The type that I use are a heavy duty / non insulated type that is crimped on - and then heat shrinked for insulation. The largest that I have is for 10 awg. I have seen 6 awg but have not found a good source.

Since you have 8 awg, then my approach to this would be to crimp on an 8 awg, non insulated ring lug and cut off the ring. What is left on the wire end will be essentially a ferule - just quite a bit heavier duty. I have those in stock and the related tool.

I use the panduit pro tools setup and it will never come off.
I second the Panduit tools as well as a lot of their electrical products. Many are military grade specs. There was a Panduit factory a few miles from our home in Costa Rica. A neighbor who worked there gave me thousands of zip ties, terminals, connectors and shrink tubing and tools. Inventory reduction.???
 

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2021 1500 136"WB High top
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Try Midnite Solar website for well made double pole breakers. Vetted and well made. Residential/commercial suppliers won't monkey around with cheap stuff because their installer network would be up in arms if their products don't pass code inspection. Any connector worth it's salt will have a torque value in the data sheet or on the breaker label itself.

I use this tool for fixing connectors:


Always double check the torque after the system has been working for a few days as well as every couple of months as part of electrical maintenance.
When we installed it they were securely in there. I’ll check and see if they still are.
 

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Crimped pin terminals! OK I am a little excited about this. I am definitely going to redo my connections to the solar breaker/switch. This would make it much more secure than the soldered ends. ALL of my wiring is almost done and so far everything is working.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
This is what I used, as per the layout I used from Exploristlife.com:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0746DLP7S/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

My system had 200ah of lithium (300ah now) and 400w solar. I think too much is better than not enough, since you might someday add onto the system, and really it's basically a disconnect switch.

I housed it in this:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GST347D/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
The Link above is for a 60 amp breaker is that the one you used?
If so why with 400 watts of solar or did you use the 16 or 32 amp version?
 

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The Link above is for a 60 amp breaker is that the one you used?
If so why with 400 watts of solar or did you use the 16 or 32 amp version?
My response might not be a good one. i was a complete electric newbie, following a layout with everything there -- wire size, fuse size... The philosophy of the system's designer was do it once, do it right. His system allowed for growth of the system up to 400w solar and 400ah of battery. It called for 50 amps for that disconnect switch. I bought 60 amp because there was no 50, and it was mainly a disconnect switch, so I didn't think it mattered, as long as it wasn't too small. I have added onto the system with a third battery and could conceivably add a forth someday if I end up going on month-long trips.

Here is the guy I followed on this subject: How/When to Fuse a Solar Panel Array

EDITED: this is the video for the solar disconnect.
 

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Not quite.

A ferule is essentially a thin copper tube the length of the exposed / stripped wire. It crimps down onto the wire usually from multiple directions and there is a special crimp tool that I do not own for 8 awg. Usually ferules are used for lighter gauge wire like 14 - 18.

What you could also do for a lighter wire is to crimp on a deutch connector pin.

A pin terminal is sort of like a ring terminal - except instead of a ring sticking out on the end, it is a solid "pin" roughly wire size. The more common terminals are insulated - so there is a nylon insulation that is pre-molded onto the terminal.

The type that I use are a heavy duty / non insulated type that is crimped on - and then heat shrinked for insulation. The largest that I have is for 10 awg. I have seen 6 awg but have not found a good source.

Since you have 8 awg, then my approach to this would be to crimp on an 8 awg, non insulated ring lug and cut off the ring. What is left on the wire end will be essentially a ferule - just quite a bit heavier duty. I have those in stock and the related tool.

I use the panduit pro tools setup and it will never come off.
That “Portable Solar Charging System” I am slowly working on IIRC I purchased 6 awg to fit into the Victron MPPT & the boat store where I purchased the wire (well my favorite electrical salesman there) crimped on ferules for me from his personal stock & crimper. His IIRC “hexagon” crimper looked old, but I did not catch the name of it.

I liked what @diytech wrote in post #16 regarding soldering. When building experimental aircraft, we do not solder often (some believe in it & there is some soldering (like the coax to pin on the 90 BNC (photo below), but the soldering is kept to a minimum. Also as @el Jefe noted in this hobby I own a few certified torque wrenches & have “the torque specs”. The wire is of course different & possibly the “vibration”, but I have done zero soldering in my vans. I’m not against it, just have not found a need for my basic electrical system.


Font Line Auto part Gas Engineering



I do like the idea of tinning the very tips. About the most difficult “multi-wire” install on my van was the 120vac duplex receptacle “Plug Outlet”. I hated doing those in my 1st van & I was thinking of tinning the ends. When complaining to my electrician buddy about he suggested I use CSA approved “fork crimp ends”. So I did in van #2 (way easier & better).
 

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Breakers are unnecessary for solar as the panels are inherently current limited. A disconnect is handy. Since everything in the van has a common return (-) a disconnect on the positive side is sufficient. I admit the double pole breakers look really cool.
 

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Breakers are unnecessary for solar as the panels are inherently current limited. A disconnect is handy. Since everything in the van has a common return (-) a disconnect on the positive side is sufficient. I admit the double pole breakers look really cool.
“Residentially” as I understand it in BC - Required now.

I also believe the panels I have - have an internal fuse (fuseable link) under the small termination black box.

I think the OP was looking for a “switch”. May as well be a breaker/switch if the price is right.

After all ,, All The Cool Kids are doing it now.
 

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I second the Panduit tools as well as a lot of their electrical products. Many are military grade specs. There was a Panduit factory a few miles from our home in Costa Rica. A neighbor who worked there gave me thousands of zip ties, terminals, connectors and shrink tubing and tools. Inventory reduction.???
Sometimes they go through spec changes or part number consolidations. For instance the transition to lead free, changes in the detailed shape / size of the barrel, etc.

To be honest, sometimes it is a PITA because the internal barrel size of the ones spec'd for 10 - 14 awg is different than the one for 10 - 12 awg and just enough smaller that it makes it hard to use on tin plated, mil spec 10 awg wire.

I try to use tin plated, HD versions but sometimes am forced to use the Ni plate for availability. Ni is really good but pretty expensive (can be multiple $s per part vs $0.50 / part even in bulk, and buying a box of 500 / each adds up really fast when it is $s per part.
 
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Thanks, Harry, that’s very sweet. I might just take you up on that. I’m overdue for a visit!
Are pin terminals and ferrules the same? I’ll need it on 8AWG wire.
I am not sure of the details of your parts but before you come up, look at every component and make sure that it can actually accept the size of what I am proposing. If it is limited to max 8 awg, then maybe / maybe not.

Ferules are very thin and are crimped on from multiple sides to make a sort of faceted end. Usually 4, 6 or 8 sided, but the main thing is that it does not change the size of the end much due to the design.

When a pin or ring terminal is crimped on, the terminal barrel is much thicker. In addition, it will flatten out / oval some vs the original shape. Sometimes this is too large to fit into the breaker or device.

Send a pm to me with your adr and I will send a few examples of what an 8 awg with the terminal crimped on will look like. You can buy a few with the insulation on at an auto store and strip off the insulation to get a sense of it, but those are pretty flimsy compared to what I use.
 

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That “Portable Solar Charging System” I am slowly working on IIRC I purchased 6 awg to fit into the Victron MPPT & the boat store where I purchased the wire (well my favorite electrical salesman there) crimped on ferules for me from his personal stock & crimper. His IIRC “hexagon” crimper looked old, but I did not catch the name of it.
That service is worth it's weight in gold.
 
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“Residentially” as I understand it in BC - Required now.
Residential code requires double disconnect. I dunno if it is also a breaker (current limited) I suspect it is to cover a variety of configuration (mine, for example, uses micro inverters, so the disconnect is 11kw of 240v) and faults that might not exist in a van.

I think the OP would be fine just unplugging the panels from the power box...
 

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Thanks all for your advice on the DC 2-Pole breakers.
Here a close-up of what the clamp terminals look like. The width is about 6mm or barely ¼”. It looks like the screw clamp can be tightened quite a bit, see the left clamp completely open and the right side half closed. The moving clamp is u-shaped so it will have contact with the stranded wire all around. However, I probably will crimp on a ferrule to assure the proper compression of the stranded wire.
It looks like the diameter of an uncrimped 8 AWG ferrule is just over 4mm, so it will fit into the breaker’s clamp. The crimped ferrule will be square.
I’m not relying on this as an actual breaker, I’m using it solely as a solar disconnect.

Rectangle Font Plan Floor plan Urban design

It’s a 4-sided crimp. Example here (sorry, fuzzy internet photo)
Writing implement Office supplies Azure Font Ball pen
 
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Residential code requires double disconnect. I dunno if it is also a breaker (current limited) I suspect it is to cover a variety of configuration (mine, for example, uses micro inverters, so the disconnect is 11kw of 240v) and faults that might not exist in a van.

I think the OP would be fine just unplugging the panels from the power box...
No Sorry ,, I was meaning “a disconnect

I guess the blankets are a thing of the past.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Yes something like this IMO;

You are slightly over 10amps & full panel power? Then a 15amp breaker Inthink would be perfect.

You are primarily using it as a switch.

The caveat is, in electrical design you have components where you need to consider (wire size/spec & chargers, etc). Some of this “stuff” come with multi page manuals that need to be read thru for requirements.

Before these breakers in Solar, the old school solar panel “switch” was throwing a blanket over the solar panels to “turn the power off”. Or at least that is my understanding chatting with my electrician buddy.
Yes it is my intention to use it as a switch! Thanks
 
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