Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Well well well

Looking at that bargain socket I had on eBay, it turns out that perhaps it wasn't quite the bargain I'd thought or maybe it was... Allow me to explain.

It transpired that the 4 pole plus an earth connector is not a Nema standard socket. That's bad because each time I need a plug its going to be a special order. It's good because nobody is likely to want to steal something with a non standard connector.

The standard socket is $80. I paid $20. The standard plug I have no idea of the cost of. The plug for my non standard connector is about $25. Even if I have to carry a spare, I'm still under the cost of just a socket for the standard plug!

Thinking around corners, I realised that if I installed a 15A male socket then I'd be able to use light cables as well. Following that thought yet further, I don't really need to use the socket I bought. Here's why...

15 amp cable, 50 feet long is about $40 at Lowe's. A 30 amp cable, 50 feet long is $150. Two 15 amp cables in parallel is much cheaper to use and less desirable to thieves. 50 amp cord, 50 feet long is $300. That's all getting a bit ridiculous!

Clearly I've been barking up the wrong tree with the idea of a 30A cable. Indeed, looking at the costs it makes solar look more affordable! It needs a slight redesign. Even buying the wire as wire then adding the plugs has no significant price advantage.

I know I'm definitely on the right track not using 50A cable. That stuff is about $3 a foot. Even 30A cable is about $2 a foot and that's off eBay! Strangely, ready made cables seem cheaper than putting my own together.

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