Over the past 3-4 years we have seen an increase in demand for high-quality custom made cable solutions supporting Portable Power Stations / Solar Generators. We have a full workstream setup to make these cables, and we only use high quality 4mm and 6mm core, flexible silicone cable, with glued heat shrink and the cables are made by hand and each one is QC'd for bad joints and continuity. Some of you may notice that some of our cables are made with audio cabling. The reason we use this cable is for its flexibility and durability. Speaker power cables are designed to handle 1000W + in tough environments. People walk on them, they are used indoors and outdoors and are rolled up and unpacked daily. This makes them a great fit for other portable DC applications. All cables we use are UL4703 rated which means that the cable is UV stable and suitable for use in the Australian sun.
Here is a few reasons why we are seeing an increase in demand for our cable solutions:
1. Stock options in the box to not cover all use-cases
Ecoflow includes a 1.5m solar charge cable (MC4 to XT60 or XT60i) and a 1.5m car charge cable as standard (Cigarette to XT60 or XT60i).
PROBLEM: When using this cable with a solar panel, sometimes its not practical to position the solar panel within 1.5m of the Power Station as this will lead to a scenario where the unit is in full sun which is not recommended.
SOLUTION: CPP hand makes both MC4 extension cables in 1.5, 3m, 5m and 8m. If you don't want to use an extension we can custom make a MC4 to XT60/XT60i cable to a specified length. These are guaranteed for workmanship for 2 years.
PROBLEM: I have a solar panel I already bought elsewhere. It has an Anderson connector. How do I connect it to the Power Station?
SOLUTION: CPP makes Anderson to XT60/XT60i cables allowing you to plug and play with your existing panel. These are available in a variety of lengths.
2. Mass-manufactured cables see higher fault percentages
PROBLEM: One of the most common issues with stock / cheap cables is the cigarette plugs melting causing damage to the cable and the vehicles socket. This is because the plastic used in the connector is not a thermoplastic that is designed to handle high temperatures. A cigarette socket is often a poor connection. A corroded, dirty or damaged socket can cause heat buildup which causes the melting.
SOLUTION: CPP has sourced replacement cigarette plugs which use a high temperature thermoplastic. This can be made at a number of different lengths.
3. The Difference Between XT60 (Yellow) and XT60i (Orange) Connectors
Ecoflow has a system whereby the third pin on the XT60i connector is used to enable higher currents to flow to the Delta Max and Delta Pro power stations. This allows solar (or other stabilised DC DC source) to charge at upto 15a. The middle pin on the connector is shorted to the negative to enable this. Standard XT60 connectors can be used on these power stations, but charge rates may not be as high as they could be. These XT60i connectors can also be used on the River range, however the charge rate will be the same as the XT60.
The only thing that should not be done is using the XT60i with the cigarette socket adapter. The connectors in this scenario are only designed for 8a or below, and as above allowing 15a through this connection will lead to melting.
CPP can make all of our cables with either the XT60 or XT60i connectors. Its best to reach out to us if you have questions about this.