Cigarette lighter cable and polarity

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Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:46 pm

Cigarette lighter cable and polarity

Post by W9LCL » Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:59 pm

I'm confused (just ask anyone who knows me). I have a Kenwood HT which I like very much. It has a jack for use with the cigarette lighter cable. The center pin of the jack is marked + and the outer ring -. This is the same as the cable I have. So far OK. Makes sense. So then I bought a new (1500mAh) battery, which also has a jack. This one is marked the opposite: center pin - and outer ring +. The jack on the battery is marked "CHG" (charge). I have been told that to use this HT in my car, the proper procedure is to connect the cable to the jack on the battery rather than the one on the HT itself. This doesn't seem right as the polarity would seem to be backwards. I like the HT and battery too much to ruin either one doing something stupid.

Question (1) Should the cable go to the radio or the battery?
Question (2) If I wanted to charge the battery (not attached to the radio) using my car's lighter socket (center +), would I need to get a cable that reverses the polarity (and not mix the two cables up)?
Question (3) More philosophically, why would a manufacturer reverse the polarities from those on the HT the battery was designed to fit? And, should I forget the cable all together and just charge both batteries from household AC?

I am not being a wiseguy, and am very serious. As I said, I am easily confused. Any input? 73s to all.

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Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 11:35 pm
Location: northwest wisconsin

Post by k9yli » Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:31 pm

No confusion.. every thing is exactly as it seems.
you need a cable with center pin plus, and proper size to run the radio off the cigar lighter.. you can remove the battery for this if you want to.

you also need a cable that has center minus to charge the battery, as most HTs had chargers that would not B0TH charge the battery AND run the radio, due to lack of current capacity.
Ifd you make up cables, make sure you have some bright color coding to prevent mis-wiriing.. I think most had different SIZE connectors for battery charge or in the rig power connector. idiot proof.................

you can not run the radio using the charger cord , as the jack in the battery opens the output of the battery to the HT.

other than that WYSIWYG

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