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I would like to emphasize for the xx time, that those things are not meant for connecting an expensive piece of equipment for a long time.
They are meant for what it says: to lite your cigar or cigarette, while driving a car... bad idea anyway by the way... 
The bad about them is the very small contact area on the central plus tip. It is round and makes contact to a flat surface... very, very small contact area as you can imagine.
Relatively high currents have to pass through that tiny surface area. A lot of heat will be produced and charring will be the result with even more resistance hence more heat... see the picture??  On top of that the thing is spring loaded, so it will try to work itself out, like it does when using it for what it is.

So many good options are available, so why choose the worst one I ask... Cherish and respect your equipment by connecting it in a proper way and avoid problems.
If in any case, you use those things in order to get rid of your equipment, just send me a PM and I will take it of your hands. I will even pay for the P&P.
If it is already burned and dead, just throw it in the garbage container...

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Good advice! 

As someone very new to the hobby, i am surprised how prevalent the cigar lighter is! There are plenty of much more suitable connectors out there that are better suited for our application. The only plus side i can see is the convenience for when using the jump starter type power packs.

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and then to think that jumpstarter batteries are the wrong kind anyway... they are meant for short, high power bursts not for long slow discharge.

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Well the plug and socket power connector of a SwyWatcher mount takes some beating for being UNSUITABLE for the job!

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What device/s do you recommend as an alternative, as I do use the cigarette lighter type quite a lot!

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11 minutes ago, bottletopburly said:

 These are good rated at 30A solid connection   https://www.tcschandlery.co.uk/marinco-pro-plug-socket-3-pin/p9925

Whooaaa, those are very expensive. Also, most astronomy equipment would only peak at 6A.

Those plugs are a bit overkill.

The reason people go for other plugs, such as the ones I linked to, are because if an improvement in their security of connection.

Edited by Uplooker

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43 minutes ago, Uplooker said:

Whooaaa, those are very expensive. Also, most astronomy equipment would only peak at 6A.

Those plugs are a bit overkill.

The reason people go for other plugs, such as the ones I linked to, are because if an improvement in their security of connection.

Yes expensive i used one to connect my portable power box to the pier , 

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4 hours ago, Grierson said:

How about these:  

Not seeing that link, Grierson.

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6 hours ago, Waldemar said:

and then to think that jumpstarter batteries are the wrong kind anyway... they are meant for short, high power bursts not for long slow discharge.

The one I use will power my mount and two dew heaters at 3/4 power for 6 hours or more with no issues. The cigarette lighter outlet is wired direct to the battery; the jumper cables go through a circuit with a high-discharge capacitor to ramp up the current for jumpstarting, the battery by itself can't supply that much current that fast.

If those cigarette jacks, plugs, whatever, are so bad, why do most makers of dew heater controllers and mount drives use them?. For DC voltage at the current levels we use, they work fine.

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10 hours ago, Zayvin said:

Not seeing that link, Grierson.

Yes, sorry the link didn't work. It was just a thought for mike plugs/sockets. Try a Google:- 

2-8 Pins Microphone Female Aviation Plugs + Male Chassis Sockets Metal Connector

 

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I entirely agree. The cigar lighter plugs are asking for trouble.

Indeed ALL the popular conncections used in the industry are unfit for purpose, being designed to operate on stationary computers in air conditioned offices! USB, micro USB, 12 volt power plugs - all inadequate. The All Time World Champion Bad Cable was the Mk1 Lodestar mini ST4. Lucky me, I have three of those!

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice

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Until the car manufacturers unilaterally decide to change from the, old cigar lighter/new "12V" connectors, provided on almost every car; any piece of 12V equipment for optional use in a car, or jump-start pack pretending to be a car battery, is going to be provided with a matching plug.

I sail radio-controlled model sailing yachts, some with small motors to back out of reed beds. There are a few connector styles, that have been adopted by the model racing car and racing boat fraternity, and also for use in drones, where a low resistance & high current capacity is essential for peak performance. To get an idea, try googling "RC 7.2V".

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The XLR connectors as Ian suggested are absolutely fine for the job. Many are available that are slightly different, so you have to be sure to get the pared male and female parts. I use Lumberg screw-on DIN plugs, about the same principle.

12 hours ago, Luna-tic said:

The one I use will power my mount and two dew heaters at 3/4 power for 6 hours or more with no issues. The cigarette lighter outlet is wired direct to the battery; the jumper cables go through a circuit with a high-discharge capacitor to ramp up the current for jumpstarting, the battery by itself can't supply that much current that fast.

If those cigarette jacks, plugs, whatever, are so bad, why do most makers of dew heater controllers and mount drives use them?. For DC voltage at the current levels we use, they work fine.

Jumper batteries are not constructed for long slow discharging purposes, but for short high current bursts (jump-starting: to start your car when it's battery gave up, like you said), that shows in  the life span of jump starters when used for the wrong purposes and the voltage curve : they go down relatively fast to below 12 Volts. For long, low current use, other principles are needed.

The best available, but very expensive batteries are the LiFePO4 batteries. They have a very nice flat discharging curve, perfectly suited for what we use them for and they can be charged thousands of times, if taken good care of. They also don't develop a discharge memory.
Those cigarette liter plugs are cheap and kind of universal, that is why they are used, not because they are so good, cause they are not.

But of course it is always your own choice what to use, your own risk as well.

 

IMG_0012.jpg

Edited by Waldemar

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2 hours ago, Grierson said:

Yes, sorry the link didn't work. It was just a thought for mike plugs/sockets. Try a Google:- 

2-8 Pins Microphone Female Aviation Plugs + Male Chassis Sockets Metal Connector

 

Yes, I agree, they work very well also. They can handle slightly thicker wiring and are a bit easier to solder.

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Now Xmas/New year out of the way; I`m keen to get this `cigar lighter` problem sorted. I am highlighting my ignorance here but I'm still not totally sure how and where to fit in the XLR connectors/Aviation plugs. At the moment I have a Leisure battery; to this via crocodile clips I attach a double `Cigar lighter` (for Mount & Dew heater) . The Cigar lighter connectors from the Skywatcher mount and dew heater that push into the double adaptor are of course `fused`; does the Skywatcher plug and the double cigar adaptor from the battery all get discarded and simply replaced with a 2-pin xlr type connector (where does a fuse now go)?  How do I then connect to the dew heater? I'm sure this is all very obvious to most but I don't want to make an error and cause a further problem.

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