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MC4 Connectors


Chris Hobson
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Hi 

Today I spent rewiring a small solar system putting in a battery disconnect, a combiner box and a PV DC disconnect. This involved putting in new solar cable etc. My friend bought MC4 connectors but not enough. I had some left over from my install so I took them along. I thought  that the advantage of MC4 connectors was that the internal parts slot into one another and allows for some variation of cable thickness. For instance you get MC4 connectors for 4-6mm2 or 5.5 to 9 mm OD and they should all connect with one another. It appears they don't. Since the MC4 connector on panels are standard surely they should follow suit. MC4 connector that I was supplied last year would not fit the combiner box supplied 2016. Am I missing something or am I expecting too much. Mike and silver and other installers what gives. 

P.S. I do know that the male metal parts fit into the female plastic exteriors and visa versa. 

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Im always careful not to mix the male metal silver connector into the male plastic housing... made that mistake once. Check the panel pin layout. Mc4s should be standard just the quality varies...

Sent from my SM-G800F using Tapatalk

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I could never fit the Tenesol panel connectors into anything else. I bought a box of another make, replaced them, problem sorted.

Maybe I got the connectors wrong, but 2 solar guys and I tried, no luck at the time.

Maybe it is just because it is from 5-6 year ago.

The connectors I had looks nowhere near as solid as yours Mark.

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it all depends on "quality" if you bought the Chinese MC4 or the original genuine MC4 from Europe. there is some pretty poor quality connectors out there that the main guys sell, just to undercut the rival.... 

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High quality branch connectors... heavy as anything... nothing like the cheaper ones I buy or those from Rubicon. These are overkill I think...

Chris... did you get the male contacter and the female housing mixed. Happens to me...

Sent from my SM-G800F using Tapatalk

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6 minutes ago, Mark said:

One looks very different - almost like a very old model... or MC3?

NO idea, both are about 5-6 years old, brand new at the time.
The top ones came with the panels, the bottom ones I bought to replace them.

I like yours more.

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13 hours ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

The one we are chatting about, looks like this from the side. MC4 or am I missing something?

 

Tenesol connector.jpg

Those aren't MC-anything. They are Tyco connectors. They have a male and female side for the panel, and then they have a different male and female for the other end. You are supposed to know how it works based on the colour on the connector (blue or red). The little ridge on the connector is rotated 90 degrees on the other end of the cable. This is to ensure that you can never accidentally plug it into the wrong end of anything.

I too have screwed this up, buying the wrong connectors. I took a file (and my pocket knife) and removed the ridge. Not the best solution in the world, but does the trick.

Tyco connectors are also harder to find, cost more money, and as I indicated, you need 4 different bags of stuff and then you have to use the right one on the right end. I've only seen it on Tenesol panels.

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