| WORKING 4WDs
EZ TRAILER CONNECTOR
Here's one we couldn't break.
We all know that car-sized seven pin and 12-pin electrical connectors just don’t last in a working environment. EZ Connectors are military-spec’ alternatives that we haven’t managed to break, or short-out.
Common multi-pin and Anderson electrical connectors don’t do well in harsh environments. These seven-pin and 12-pin trailer light and braking connectors and two-pin Anderson plugs that are commonly used for powering trailer batteries aren’t water or damage resistant.
EZ Connector is a US-made product that’s being supplied to demanding customers, including the US military and is available here from Queensland-based Mobile Energy Australia.
The initial EZ Connector release in Australia was the seven-pin model that’s designed to replace any flat or round seven-pin connector.
Since then MEA has announced a 14-pin unit.
You notice the difference between an EZ Connector and conventional connectors when you pick it up: it’s heavier and bulkier, so it needs a solid mounting bracket. Construction is moulded, fibre-reinforced nylon plastic.
Asking people to separate the two halves of the EZ Connector is a good party trick, because the male and female halves connect through the attraction of two rare-earth magnets and it takes a fair amount of effort to pull them apart.
When the halves join they can do so only when an indexed lug and slot line up and this can be done by feel, without the need to check pin alignment visually. The female (vehicle) side has seven recessed, spring-loaded brass pins that press against seven brass contacts in the male section. Two silicon O-rings ensures a water-tight connection when the two halves are joined.
A dummy plug and socket are provided for clean connector stowage when vehicle and trailer aren’t coupled, and the latest product release is a pair of connector halves with hinged closing pieces.
Also available is an additional male connector and 200mm lead, for fitment to an additional trailer.
Next product in the lineup is to be a two-pin, 100-amp-capacity connector to replace Anderson-type connectors. The two-pin model is currently being validated by the US Army.
We tested the EZ Connector by repeatedly dropping the unmounted, but connected, EZ Connector plugs and leads onto a hard surface from a two-metre height and then we kicked them around, soccer-ball fashion for a while. We dropped the coupled unit on grass and drove over it and plopped the coupled connectors into a bucket of water and ran a current through the assembly. No problem.
Then we gave the EZ Connector test set to 4WD Off Road Driver Training where it’s been bashed and dunked for the past two years, and cleaned regularly with a jet blaster, without a single instance of contamination or shorting-out.
It’s the only connector we’d buy.
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