Any ideas on this connector?


#1

So, I picked up an assortment of what appears to be odds and ends from some line of garden accessories. I was mostly interested in the solar panels(ghastly green plastic housings; but 12v panels and the price was right); also included were some 12v water pumps, presumably supposed to drive little fountains or the like.

All the panels have an attached power cable terminated in a 2 pin female connector, keyed, and threaded. The pumps have a matching male, shrouded, with an O-ring and a nut matching the threads on the female connector. The shroud on the male connector is 1/2inch across.

Ideally, I’d like to keep the existing connectors on the solar panels, it would save me a lot of tedious cutting and splicing and heatshrinking; but I cannot find anything about what they are. They look a lot like somebody’s cheap take on DIN or XLR; but definitely aren’t that(too small for full XLR, too big for mini-XLR; keying is different, 2 pin DIN wasn’t a thing and had a thinner metal shroud). 12v IEC 60906-3 seemed plausible; but it doesn’t look right.

Anyone know if this thing has a name or a source? Am I just looking at the misbegotten offspring of some obscure proprietary ecosystem that died and was sold off for scrap(that would explain the price…)

If these are a loss; anyone have a favorite for weather resistant low voltage applications?




#2

I’m pretty sure I had a bike light with that same connector. Circular connectors are weird, though. They make a million different types.

Try sending an email to reps for Switchcraft and Amphenol. There’s somebody out there that can identify it, I bet.


#3

No idea, but that looks a bit like something used for camping/caravaning/marine stuff. Lemme check a bit…

ETA: Found a shitload of IP67/8 connectors that would work, but they all have a notch/lug keying rather than that flat side that’s throwing me. Still looking.

FETA: Wow, there’s a lot of different sorts.

http://www.digikey.com/en/resources/connectors/index has got a really good set of filters that you might be able to play with and find the right one.


#4

Cut the male connectors off the pumps, use them to attach things to the solar panels, and attach new standard connectors to the pumps if and when you decide to use them.

If you have an electronics surplus store in your town (like HSC in Santa Clara or Sacramento) you can bring a panel in and ask them.


#5

Radioshack taught me there’s literally tens of thousands, if not millions of connectors used in EE. I’d say, find an electronics shop of some kind and start there.

That thing, looks kind of like one of the connectors for a 1980s “backpacking CB radio” we sold a connector kit for when I worked at the rat shack. The thing was mostly BNC connectors, but there was a two-prong thingy for connecting to your 48v SLC battery pack.


#6

@john_c Amphenol indeed might know; hopefully they’d be OK with my distinctly modest order quantity…

@M_M thanks for the suggestion on Digikey; I’ll grovel through there and see if I can turn anything up.

@d_r Your suggestion is eminently sensible; but unfortunately I have 15 panels and only a couple of pumps. Thanks to those two, I at least know what the male connectors look like; but I can’t cannibalize my way out of this one. I don’t need to get all the panels up and running immediately(this is sort of a back-burner project in general; and I’m not trying to go off-grid or anything); but I don’t have anywhere near enough connectors.

@LDoBe I’ll have to see if there are any survivors of the Heroic Age nearby. Retail electronics has really been gutted in terms of selection and expertise of late. It’s a bit of a wait; but the Swapfest might have something; I certainly can’t think of a more logical supply of people who might know within IRL range.


#7

Another idea: get some rod the diameter of the pins, cut it to size, mold some male plugs (for example with instamorph) then insert the rods into the molds.


#8

Looks to me like a close cousin of the water resistant connector system that came with our cheapo LED deck lights.

Aliexpress is full of those, for not too much money. Our stuff required this two-pin notched style, but there are a few others, and a bunch of compatible accessories you might be able to bodge into something useful.

Hope this helps. The lights work great, by the way.


#9

Those do look quite similar; though for reasons that elude me the ‘flattened’ keying on my units seems to be vastly less common than the ‘notch’ style keying; and threading the shroud of the male connector and putting the connecting nut on the female connector(as in your image) seems to be way more common than a smooth shroud with connecting nut and threaded female connector(as on my connectors).

Truly, low budget Pacific Rim injection moulding works in mysterious ways.

If I can at least find something of the right diameter; and with the threads on the right side, I can probably brute-force the keying, this isn’t the world’s most heroic plastic. I’ll have a look through the variants to see if there is one with the threads on the opposite side.


#10

Well, it was 70-some pages in; but this looks to be approximately the only connector in the universe with the threads on the right side. Even has the ‘flattened’ style keying.

Worst case, they appear to only be sold in pairs; so I’m assured of having something that will interconnect. No idea why this variant was so rare. Let’s see what the supply chain gods feel like bestowing upon me.

Thanks for your suggestions.


#11

FWiW the Phillips branded LED rope lights I got from Target seem to use connectors like yours. The female is seemingly exactly yours in different colored plastic, with one edge flattened. I’m looking at the extra bits that I disconnected to string the ropes together. the ropes with the male connectors are outside and it’s cold, but the little threaded storage cap provided to fit over the female end when disconnected from the rope isn’t flat on one side, but has the notch-style.

What I’m saying is that a male with a notch is compatible with a female with a flat, going by what I have. So maybe that widens your options. maybe. Also, searching for “Rope light connectors” might give you what you need. They sell a lot more of those than outdoor solar panels and pumps, I imagine.

The cords attached to these connectors have strings of alpha-numerical jargon printed on them that I could copy for you if you knew any of it was relevant.


#12

Ask on Reddit /r/whatisthisthing. Seriously. I bet you get an answer within hours if not minutes. It’s obviously some sort of interlocking weatherproof connector but beyond that I have no idea.


#13

Honestly it looks like a really appropriate connector for the purpose; if the pins were solid rather than formed from tubes, and the shell was metallic, it’d be pretty similar to any number of milspec and aerospace connectors.

I didn’t say that before you found a source for them since it’s a spectacularly unhelpful comment.


#14

That looks exactly like the connector for the lawn mower I used to use 30 years ago that I no longer have and can remember nothing about.

sorry


#15

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