What's happening at 12 Volt Planet
Latest news for Oct 2017
Friday, 13 October 2017 | Paul
This month we're discussing your options when it comes to selecting and wiring a fusebox and talking about the differences between parallel and series connections when wiring batteries together. Enjoy!
|Fitting a fusebox between your leisure battery and your 12V circuits is an essential bit of safety equipment when building a 12V system but it can be confusing when faced with various fusebox options. Here we'll explain the main types available together with their advantages and disadvantages: |
1. Fusebox with individual power supplies for each circuit
These fuseboxes only distribute power on the +ve side of the circuit and each circuit must be fed with an individual +ve supply cable. These are inexpensive but multiple cables can make installation time-consuming and complex if you have lots of circuits.
The -ve connections for each circuit cannot go through the box so need to be taken back to a suitable common -ve connection point or directly to the battery -ve terminal.
2. Fusebox with common power supply for all circuits
These fuseboxes tidy up the input wiring by having all circuits connected via an internal busbar (essentially a metal plate), so only one +ve power supply cable is required. These make installation cleaner and quicker but they tend to be slightly more expensive than boxes with individual power supplies for each circuit.
Again, the -ve side of each circuit cannot go through the box so need to be dealt with externally.
3. Fusebox with common power supply for all circuits, plus negative connections
These boxes go one stage further and have an internal busbar for the -ve side of each circuit as well as for the +ve. This means that you only need to wire one +ve cable and one -ve cable into the box, keeping the inputs really neat and tidy.
The -ve connections for each circuit can then be taken to the negative busbar in the box, so all your connections are in one place. In this example we've used twin-core cable for each circuit which makes the installation even more tidy.
Although more expensive, fuseboxes with busbars for both +ve and -ve sides of the circuits (example no. 3 above) are the option we recommend for most installations. They keep the number of connections to a minimum, make fault finding easy (no -ve connections hidden behind carpeted linings that are difficult to access) and, when combined with twin core cable, can result in very neat wiring installations. These are available in 6-way and 12-way versions.
Battery Wiring - Parallel or Series
One topic that causes a bit of confusion is the concept of wiring batteries together so we thought we'd take a couple of minutes to provide a brief overview.
If you want to increase your battery storage capacity by wiring two or more batteries together then you need to wire them in parallel. This means joining +ve to +ve and -ve to -ve. For two 12V batteries of the same size this will double your capacity in Ah but keep the voltage the same.
If you want to increase your battery voltage by wiring two or more batteries together then you need to wire them in series. This means joining the +ve of one battery to the -ve of the other. For two 12V batteries of the same size this will double your voltage but keep the capacity in Ah the same.
Supporting TCB in Mongol Rally 2017
Monday, 27 March 2017 | Craig
We are proud to support the Taking Care of Business Team (TCB for short) in this years 2017 Mongol Rally. The team will try and cross 25 countries clocking up 20,000 miles in the process with no help or support!
TCB, short for Taking Care of Business, is a team of the Mongol Rally 2017, comprising two couples; Geoff and Chloe, and Dom and Carla, from Mansfield Woodhouse and Warsop respectively. The gang decided that they would undertake the voyage to Mongolia (and back) during the latter months of 2016 and began planning.
They spent several weeks trying to decide which model of car would best suit their needs. They settled upon the Morris Minor 1000s, and went about buying two of them, which have been named Georgina & Elaine.
The team then began preparing for the rally (work which continues to this day), deciding on which charities to support, working on the cars, route and logistics planning, fundraising, visas and more.
The charities they decided on (in addition to Coolearth, the official charity of the rally) were UNICEF, Mind and Cancer Research UK. The route that they have chosen for the outbound journey is known as 'the southern route' in Mongol Rally lore, and will see them traverse over twenty countries, and includes the infamous Pamir Highway in eastern and central Asia. They are travelling 'the northern route' on the return journey which sends them along almost the entire length of Russia.
To help them with there cars we have supplied them with the following parts for use during the rally as well as advice.
7 Core Thin Wall Cable: https://www.12voltplanet.co.uk/7-core-thin-wall-trailer-cable-6-x-165a-10mm-1-x-25a-20mm.html
Crimp Terminal Kit: https://www.12voltplanet.co.uk/120-piece-pre-insulated-crimp-terminal-kit.html
High Power LED Work Lamp: https://www.12voltplanet.co.uk/slimline-high-power-square-led-work-lamp-10-30v.html
Twin USB Power Sockets: https://www.12voltplanet.co.uk/12v-24v-recessed-twin-usb-power-socket-5v-21a.html
The rally begins on 16th July 2017 & the entire trip is expected to last around two months, with the team trying to raise donations and sponsors for their causes before, during and after the rally.
For more details on the team and to donate please click the links below:
Team Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/TCB2017/
Team Donation Pages:
We wish Geoff, Chloe, Dom & Carla the best of luck on this epic adventure and we hope you will join us in helping them raise as much money as possible for their chosen charities. We will follow their adventure throughout and keep you informed of their progress
Latest news for November 2016
Wednesday, 16 November 2016 | Paul
This month we've added an LED Brightness Guide and Technical FAQ Section to our Knowledge Centre. We've also reduced shipping charges for Highlands & Islands destinations - great news for our customers in those more remote areas!
LED Brightness Guide
One of the questions we are often asked about our range of LED lights is 'How bright are they?'. This is difficult to answer as LED lights cannot be directly compared with traditional incandescent light bulbs because they draw much less power for an equivalent light output. Most of us have a rough idea of how bright a 60W incandescent bulb is but we would probably have no idea how bright a 5W LED light would be. The brightness of LED lights is quoted in Effective Lumens and we have created a quick guide so you can compare traditional lighting wattages with Effective Lumens when deciding which LED lights are right for you.
Find out more: LED Lighting Brightness Guide
Frequently Asked Technical Questions
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We often get asked the same sort of questions in relation to various 12V topics and we thought it was about time to pull together all the answers into a handy reference guide. So we've created a 12 Volt FAQs section in our Knowledge Centre and hopefully all your technical questions will be answered!
Find out more: 12 Volt FAQs
Highlands & Islands Shipping Costs Reducing
We are pleased to announce that from 1st December we will be bringing our shipping charges for Highlands and Islands destinations in line with the rest of the Mainland UK. So regardless of whether you live in London or Jersey you'll benefit from the same low, flat rate charge of £2.95 for standard shipping on all orders up to £100 and receive FREE shipping for all orders over £100.
See our Delivery & Returns section from 1st December for full details.
We Sponsor Team Mammoth Steppe In Their 10,000 Mile Charity Rally To Mongolia
Thursday, 5 June 2014 | Paul
We're pleased to announce our sponsorship of Team Mammoth Steppe in their 2014 Mongolia Charity Rally entry. The Team are aiming to drive 10,000 miles un-aided from Birmingham to Mongolia through 3 deserts and 5 mountain ranges in a trusty LDV 4x4 van!
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At the end of their 5 week journey the team will donate the van to the Go-Help charity for use in Mongolia as there is around a 20% shortfall in the required number of ambulances in the country, and much of the terrain is rough and inaccessible without a 4x4.
In addition to supplying a vehicle to the Mongolian emergency services, any additional fund-raising will be donated to the Prince's Trust charity which supports young people in their transition from school to the workplace.
You can find out all about the team and their story at http://www.mammothsteppe.co.uk/ which includes links for making a donation. To make it even easier for you we've included one here...JUSTGIVING.
We've supplied one of our popular split charge kits for the van to keep their auxiliary battery in top condition. These kits also ensure that the batteries are separated so the starter battery will never accidentally be drained and the team will always be able to start their vehicle.
We wish Alastair, George, James & Paddy the very best of luck in their adventure and we're going to be keeping a keen eye on their progress with the live progress tracking page provided on their website.
Our Top 5 Best Selling Marine Products Reviewed
Friday, 23 May 2014 | Paul
We thought it would be interesting for you to know what others in the boating world are buying and have found useful in their projects, so here's a a run-down of our top 5 best selling marine products this year
5 Battery Isolation & Changeover Switches
The first in our Top 5 are these chunky marine battery switches. If you want to isolate the power to work on the circuit or need to disconnect in an emergency then these are essential. They are available either as a simple 2 position isolation (ON/OFF) type or as a 4 position changeover and isolation (1 ON / 2 ON / 1+2 ON / 1+2 OFF) type allowing you to switch between battery banks. These feel really solid in use, have a nice positive action and both types are rated at 300A continuous.
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4 Waterproof Bulkhead Adaptors
These adaptors are designed to take un-split convoluted sleeving through bulkheads whilst maintaining a water tight connection. They are waterproof to IP67, can operate up to 120ºC continuously and are resistant to oils and fuels, making them ideal for routing wiring harnesses through the engine compartment or other harsh environments. We also stock a T configuration adaptor for convoluted sleeving, again water-proof to IP67.
If you combine these waterproof harness systems with our range of UK-made tinned copper cable you'l have a system that will be superbly protected from the rigours of a marine environment and will give you many years of trouble-free service.
3 12-Way Fusebox With Power Buses
This fusebox has always been popular with car enthusiasts but is now gaining popularity for fitting on-board boats as well. It's a really nice piece of kit, solidly put together and with 12 circuits it should suit most small to medium sized electrical installations. There are 2 common +ve buses allowing you to have 2 independently powered banks of 6 circuits, and a common ground bus. The large, clear cover on this fusebox means it's ideal for use with with our LED 'glow' fuses that light up red when they blow to provide a clear visual indication of the fault - no more fumbling in the dark to identify the culprit!
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2 Waterproof 12V Power Sockets
If you want access to 12V power for portable equipment in the cockpit or elsewhere on deck then the usual answer is to fit a 12V cigar lighter socket. These are ideal for the job but those designed for automotive use are not generally sealed and so are prone to water ingress and corrode as a result. We introduced a range of sockets this year to solve this issue which have a tight fitting, ribbed rubber cab that fits into the socket, combined with a gasket behind the socket surround to seal against the mounting face. This makes them waterproof when not in use and their corrosion-resistant construction ensures that any moisture that does get in during use won't corrode the terminals. They're made from impact resistant plastic and available in a range of styles to suit most applications.
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1 Power Distribution Posts & Busbars
These stainless steel power posts and busbars are proving an extremely popular solution for on-board power distribution. They're tough, simple to fit and allow multiple connections, providing you with the flexibility to route power where you need it. The 10-way and 4-way ones are the most popular and are available with covers to protect them from accidental shorting. Our recently introduced 4-way dual busbar version has also been selling well and provides multiple +ve and -ve connection in a single, compact block.
12 Volt Planet Sponsors The Fire Fighters Race Team
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 | Paul
The Fire Fighters Charity (formerly known as the Fire Services National Benevolent Fund) is the UK's leading provider of services that enhance the quality of life for serving and retired fire fighters, fire personnel and their families. They offer support for people in the fire and rescue community when they are in need and over the years have helped hundreds of thousands of individuals by providing world-class treatment and support services. It costs £9m/year to keep the charity running and, with no government funding, they are reliant on the generosity and enthusiasm of their supporters.
The Fire Fighters Race Team was an idea spawned by Dave Franks, a serving fire fighter and the Team Principle, which was to take a 1978 Mini saloon, strip it down and re-build it into a full-blown racing machine which will be used to raise awareness of the Fire Fighters Charity. The car will be exhibited at various fundraising activities, shows, hill climbs & sprints and will be entered in the 2014 South East Motor Sports Enthusiasts Club (SEMSEC) race series.
Dave and his small but dedicated and hard working team are making great progress with the build and are now well on the way to getting the car prepared for the track with the body and chassis having recently been painted and vinyl wrapped. Part of the next stage of build will be to get the electrics installed and 12 Volt Planet are extremely proud to have been able to contribute in a small way by providing the wiring components and accessories needed.
You can find out all about the Fire Fighters Race Team including the latest build progress reports on their website: http://www.firefightersraceteam.com/
Dave and the team will also be exhibiting the Mini at Autosport International 2014 at the NEC in Birmingham from 9-12 January, the World's greatest indoor motorpsort extravaganza with over 1 million sq ft of exhibitors and displays. So if you are planning to attend please visit their stand, say hello and show your support.
If you'd like to support the Fire Fighters Charity then please visit Dave's Just Giving page here: http://www.justgiving.com/firefighterscharity-kent-mini
Good luck to the Team and we wish them every success in 2014!
Gift vouchers now available from £10 - £100
Thursday, 28 November 2013 | Paul
Do you know someone who's got a wiring project planned or in-progress? Perhaps a car restoration is lying under covers un-finished, awaiting some electrical TLC. Or perhaps that boat just needs the electrics finishing and it can complete its maiden voyage?
Either way, a 12 Volt Planet gift voucher will leave your friend or family member with no excuses and is a great incentive to get the job finished. Available in £10, £25, £50, £75 and £100 values they make the perfect present for the car or boat obsessed person in your life, whatever the occasion.
Visit the gift voucher page here:
New 'Guide to Relays' article now in our Knowledge Centre section.
Tuesday, 19 November 2013 | Paul
We've added a new article to our Knowledge Centre and this time we explore the humble, but important relay.
Have you ever wondered what a relay if for and how it works? Well this month we attempt to explain all (or at least most) in our latest Knowledge Centre article. Our Relay Guide gives you an insight into the workings of relays, why they are used in vehicle electrical systems and the different types available, as well as providing you with some examples to use in your own projects.
We've got more articles in the coming weeks so bookmark our Knowledge Centre page and check back soon to see what's new.
New articles added to our Knowledge Centre
Monday, 14 October 2013 | Paul
We've recently added a couple of new articles to our Knowledge Centre to help you get the most from your wiring projects:
Electrical Circuit Basics takes a look at the fundamentals of dc circuits to help you get to grips with some of the concepts and terminology used to describe how they work.
Cable Sizing & Selection provides and in-depth look at cable construction and specification and explains why correct cable sizing is so critical to get right, especially in low voltage circuits. This article also includes a handy voltage drop calculator so you can ensure you've made the right choice for your application.
We've got lots more articles in the pipeline so bookmark our Knowledge Centre page and check back soon to see what's new.
12 Volt Planet goes to TRAX 2013 Performance Car Show
Monday, 9 September 2013 | Paul
We have to admit to having a weakness for all things 4-wheeled at 12 Volt Planet so when we were invited to TRAX 2013 at Silverstone we thought we'd head over to see what it was all about.
Trax is just one of a number of annual auto-shows organised by Future Publishing but is touted as the ultimate performance car event, and if you like your cars low, loud, modified and fast then this is most definitely the place for you. Being a multi-marque show there were representations from owners clubs of all the major manufacturers resulting in 100's of cars on display ranging from the subtly modified daily driver right through to the stripped-out track day rocket, with everything imaginable in between.
Drivers had the chance to experience the Silverstone circuit for themselves with track-time sessions and there were various motorsport events throughout the day, including drift demos and racing from some of the BTCC drivers . The good old British weather did put a bit of a dampener on proceedings in the afternoon but overall it was a great show with a huge turnout. If it sounds like your thing then we recommend checking it out in 2014.
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