For many of you who have been following us through our trials and tribulations, you know that getting through the ETL certification process has been a difficult (and expensive) journey. Well, all of our hard work and patience has finally paid off. As of October 12th we have been officially blessed with the ETL mark and are now for sale internationally. With having this mark, it states that we meet or exceed all test parameters set forth by the Underwriters Laboratory for electrical plugs and receptacles.
For us, this is very good news. We have continually come up against responses from OEM manufacturers and international dealers “What about your certifications?”, now we have an answer that everyone can get behind. “Yes we are certified and yes you can buy them” and we have seen a dramatic increase in our sales numbers by now having passed this milestone. Now that we have started this process with our 30amp combo kits and individually packaged units, we move on to our molded cord-sets and then shortly after, the 50amp line.
With SmartPlug products out on the market for quite a few months now, we’ve been getting some feedback and questions regarding how everything works. I’ve chosen this blog to highlight the cable strain relief system within our boat-side connector and how it does such an effective job of reducing the stresses on the wiring connections.
One thing that most people (Men) historically have a problem with is reading the instructions. Then when there’s a problem we (Men), usually go rooting around in the trash to find them. For our product, it is very important to pay attention to the instructions while doing the installation of the SmartPlug boat-side connector. As seen below, we have designed a three jaw system to grab the outer jacket of the wire and by holding the wire securely in place we eliminate any stresses on the internal electrical connection.
As shown in the pictures below you can clearly see the difference between a proper and improper installation. In a proper installation all three points of the jaws will contact the outer insulation of the wiring. If you strip the outer insulation too far back the jaw system cannot grab the wire correctly and the individual conductors cannot hold the wire in place securely. The measurements specified in the installation instructions should be adhered to for proper function.
If you have any additional questions about features of the SmartPlug feel free to contact the SmartPlug team at email@example.com.
Recently here at SmartPlugs we thought an installation video might be a good idea if any of you out there had questions about how to make our system work on your boat. Coming from an installer’s background (that’s what I did for 15 years before this) I was the obvious choice for the starring role. During the video shoot I discovered something that really suprised me. I had always thought that a molded cord-set would be impervious to corrosion…… but NO!!! Take a look at the pictures posted below and tell me what you think. It should be fairly obvious which picture was the old molded cordset (less then 2 years old) and which one we went out and purchased on the day of this video shoot.
Just another reminder how important tinned wire is in this harsh marine environment. ABYC recommends the use of tinned wiring throughout the boat. Here at SmartPlugs we are determined to use only high quality materials to surpass your expectations. Our new molded shorepower cord coming out the first of next year will include tinned wire, giving you more than just a year or two of trouble-free operation.
Check your shorepower!!!
It’s that time of year again. As the temperature drops and the rain sets in, we must not forget to winterize our boats. Just a few last chores to do before you can button your boat up for the winter and switch your attention to cold weather sports. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you make it though the winter and hopefully avoid costly repairs.
1. Check you dock lines. Too many people take for granted that just because your boat’s securely tied up today, it will still be secure tomorrow. All too many times have I seen dock lines break when the winter storms roll through.
2. For you sailors out there, make sure your sails are secure. Just last week at Elliott Bay Marina there were 4 boats that lost foresails because they weren’t secured well enough. That can be a very costly fix.
3. Check your bilge pumps and float switches. Some preventative maintenance done before the weather gets bad can really help you sleep at night. Nobody likes to worry about their boats.
4. CHECK YOUR SHOREPOWER CONNECTIONS!!! With the weather intensifying, your boat will be moving around at the dock much more so than usual. Also with the increase in precipitation/snow, you really need to keep an eye out for signs of failure. You should check each end of the cord for discoloration or scorching. If you see any signs of failure, you need to replace your cord-end immediately. There could be larger issues inside the cord that you can’t see.
One last thing to think about. As you do button up your boat for the winter, there seems to be a universal train of thought that you should leave a couple of space heaters on inside the boat to keep the chill off. Remember, depending on which space heaters you use and how they’re set, you could be maxing out your shorepower capacity. When you stack that electrical draw on top of precipitation and boat movement, that could spell disaster for your shorepower connection not to mention your entire boat.
Next week I’ll talk about the upcoming SmartPlug installation video we just shot and what I found inside a fairly good looking shorepower cord.
Check your shorepower plug!!!!!
My name is Aaron Smith and I work in the Research and Development Division of SmartPlug Systems. When I was asked to write this blog, I found myself wondering, “what would people want to read about??” “What do I have to offer that would be interesting?” I figured I should start out this first entry as an introduction to who I am and what I’ve done.
For the last 15 years I have spent countless hours troubleshooting marine electrical and electronic issues of all kinds. I have worked on some of the finest boats ever built and some not-so-nice-ones too. I have been fortunate enough to travel, through work, to some very unique places on the planet. Now, I have settled here for the long haul, to make a difference in what SmartPlug Systems is out there doing.
About a year ago, I shut down my own marine outfitting business and started here with SmartPlug Systems because I believe in the product…not just because it’s a better idea, but also because it’s truly making a difference in the marine industry. I hope that between our short-term goals of providing better shore power connections to the marine market and our long-term goals of being a part of the growing infrastructure in automotive and trucking industries worldwide, I will have much to share from the technical side of SmartPlug.
Next week I’ll concentrate more on shore power safety and winterization for boats. The temperature is dropping and the electrical load on your boat is climbing!
Check you shore power plug!!