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Author Topic: SmartPlug Install. A few tips..  (Read 3162 times)

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Rick Allen

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SmartPlug Install. A few tips..
« on: May 05, 2015, 04:28:34 PM »

After noticing a few burn marks on my 10 year old Marinco shore power cord, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase a new SmartPlug 30A 50í cord and boatside inlet. Iím sure everyone has seen Mainsailís great article on this product.

I, of course, was too lazy to take advantage of the special C34 pricing offered earlier this year. So I purchased the cord and the inlet from Catalina Direct at a great price with no shipping as I live just down the road from their warehouse. (Will Call is Goood..)

A few comments regarding installation:
My particular Catalina had very little extra wiring length available after I removed the old inlet, and trying to squeeze my 250lb rear end into the port lazarette was a sight to behold. I ended up paying a kid walking by the marina 5 bucks to snip a cable tie holding the romex wiring away from the edge of the coaming to give me some extra purchase. So be prepared for a long reach!!
After trimming each of the wires to the required 5/8Ē (Do not trim back any more than this!!) the wire inserted quite nicely into the back inlet. SmartPlug could not have made this easier for amateurs. The instructions are very easy to follow and everything fit perfectly.
I then slid the inlet unit into the existing hole and realized I had completely forgotten the supplied Rear Mounting Gasket!!! You must slide this on BEFORE attaching the wires to the unit. Itís an easy step to miss.
So after installing the gasket and reattaching the wires, the inlet fit perfectly into the existing hole and was secured by the existing screws. No drilling!

My only tiny complaint was the screw for the Strain Relief Component on the back of the inlet. It could have been a little beefy-er as it could be easy to strip. Not a big deal.
Anyway, the SmartPlug is a great and long overdue product and I feel much safer with it installed.

A few photos (sorry the boat was dirty that day..)

 
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Rick Allen, C34 IA Commodore
Former owner of "PainKiller", 1988 C34 MKI, Sail#746, std. rig, wing keel.

KWKloeber

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Re: SmartPlug Install. A few tips..
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2015, 06:57:30 PM »

Rick,

That's a GREAT testimonial! 
The best part is that I have always found SmartPlug stands solidly behind its product, even if there's some user error involved. 

Just a tip for anyone doing the retrofit kit -- be SURE to precisely follow the cable sheath stripping instructions -- don't strip any more length than in the instructions.

Also a reminder that the Catalina group purchase deal is still good - and it includes a free weather cap for your cord (with the purchase of a retrofit kit, or a cord + inlet.)


Cheers,
Ken
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Solstice

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Re: SmartPlug Install. A few tips..
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2015, 03:42:10 AM »

I also installed the Smartplug on my 355 a couple of weeks ago (thanks Ken!) and I agree that the installation is very straightforward and it is clearly a well made product. However, I do agree that the strain relief is the weakest part of the SP. As there is already 'strain' on the plastic backing from the 3 wires, having the backing plate screw into plastic threads is not ideal. I do plan on sending them a note as an FYI although I have a feeling they probably already know. Plugged in for the first time yesterday--highly recommend!
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anaisdog

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Re: SmartPlug Install. A few tips..
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2015, 10:22:51 AM »

thanks on posting these!
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britinusa

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Re: SmartPlug Install. A few tips..
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2015, 08:29:15 AM »

I'm installing the Smart Plug on Eximius this week. (Thanks Ken, ready for the extra shore power cord end.)

The easy to follow instructions sound like the process is easy (hope I don't find a tiewrap holding like Rick)

Curious - is there a benefit to using Loctite on the screws of the boat inlet electrical connections?

I read that there's a risk if the screws come loose.

And if so, which of the 4 types of Loctite is recommended?

Thanks.

Paul
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Paul & Peggy
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KWKloeber

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Re: SmartPlug Install. A few tips..
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2015, 08:46:28 AM »

I'm installing the Smart Plug on Eximius this week. (Thanks Ken, ready for the extra shore power cord end.)

The easy to follow instructions sound like the process is easy (hope I don't find a tiewrap holding like Rick)

Curious - is there a benefit to using Loctite on the screws of the boat inlet electrical connections?

I read that there's a risk if the screws come loose.

And if so, which of the 4 types of Loctite is recommended?

Thanks.

Paul

Paul,

I wouldn't say there's a "recommended" LT, because SP is silent on using it.  I think it would be difficult to keep it from getting in between the plates/screw head/copper conductors?  I wouldn't think that a permanent (red) LT would be the thing to use.

Is that non-committal enough?   8)
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Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore.  Dream.  Discover.   -Mark Twain

britinusa

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Re: SmartPlug Install. A few tips..
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2015, 11:10:24 AM »

I sent an email to loctite asking.

No response yet.

Did read that as heat is used to melt it to assist in releasing a loctite'd screw, that it might not be worth putting it on in the first place.

Paul
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Paul & Peggy
1987 C34 Tall Rig Fin Keel - Hull # 463

See you out on the water

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