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Old 11-30-2011, 12:17 AM   #1
mossberg
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Default Wiring a socket and usb charger

I bought a Magnadyne charger with dual 12v sockets and dual usb ports.
Click the image to open in full size.

I'd like to mount it using the brackets to the underside of the top of the little cubbyhole under the radio on my 2001 Accord EX. Of course, while I'm at it, I may as well get rid of the power cord, so I guess I should buy a female socket that terminates with a leads instead of a socket plug.

Any guides on doing this? Any advice on how to mount the device? I suppose I'll need to drill a couple of holes, and that will mean removing the housing around the stereo (no way to drill a hole that far back in the cubbyhole without removal, I don't think).

In the end, I want it to look like this:
Click the image to open in full size.

The other potential issue is that once I've wired it all up and gotten that cable out of the way, I still have cables for the devices I would connect to the Magnadyne charger (GPS cable, USB cable for phone) creating clutter. Anyone have a more elegant solution? I suppose I could gut the Magnadyne, and see if the innards fit inside the dash and run all the cables out from the dash.
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: Wiring a socket and usb charger

I just realized I don't even need a female socket. I can just cut the plug off this charger unit.
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: Wiring a socket and usb charger

Remember to have an appropriate fuse (either inline or close) if you choose to cut off the male part.
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: Wiring a socket and usb charger

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeshmo View Post
Remember to have an appropriate fuse (either inline or close) if you choose to cut off the male part.
I looked up the Magnadyne instructions. They say to connect it to a fused 20A source, so yeah, what you're saying as well.

Does that mean I'll need to connect it to the circuit board rather than simply connecting it to the wiring for the cigarette lighter?

Any good sources to learn the basics of wiring?
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Old 12-04-2011, 12:22 PM   #5
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Default Re: Wiring a socket and usb charger

No no no, you don't need a circuit board. Just use an inline blade fuse holder, you can find them in walmart or auto parts shops and simply crimp them into the hot 12v line. DC wiring is pretty simple, anything special you want to know?
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Old 05-19-2012, 06:49 AM   #6
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Default Re: Wiring a socket and usb charger

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeshmo View Post
No no no, you don't need a circuit board. Just use an inline blade fuse holder, you can find them in walmart or auto parts shops and simply crimp them into the hot 12v line. DC wiring is pretty simple, anything special you want to know?
OK, I had to postpone this little project, but I'm coming back around to it.

1. Since the charger is rated for 20A, perhaps I should connect it to circuit other than the 12V cigarette lighter plug circuit, which might be a lower amp rated? My thinking there is the charger would be able to supply more power to charging electronics (like my phone) if connected to a power powerful circuit. Am I thinking about this correctly?

2. I want to connect the charger to a switched circuit (as opposed to an always-on circuit), so that it's not always drawing current. I don't drive my car every day, so I don't want the battery drain, nor do I want the indicator light on the charger attracting thieves (see bright red light in pic in first post).

I picked up an ATM blade type fuse holder and some ATM 20A blade fuses. Also picked up some quick disconnects.

Not sure how to proceed, so suggestions are more than welcome!
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Old 05-19-2012, 03:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: Wiring a socket and usb charger

FWIW, I have this exact same device:

Quote:
Since the charger is rated for 20A, perhaps I should connect it to circuit other than the 12V cigarette lighter plug circuit, which might be a lower amp rated?
You'll need to the check the rating of the fuse on your existing lighter socket and also the wire gauge running to the lighter. In the case of my Civic at least, the lighter socket is rated at 10A and the wiring is like dental floss - maybe 22AWG or something. If you *really* need more than 10A on these sockets, you'll need to home-run some new wiring back to the fuse box or the battery.

12VDC @ 10A (120W) is more than enough power to run my full-size Thinkpad laptop DC adapter off the lighter. If you're only running some USB devices and a phone charger/radar detector, you can replace the 20A fuse on the back of the device with a 10A fuse and connect it to original lighter wiring.

10A is *not* sufficient to run an actual cigarette lighter safely.

Quote:
2. I want to connect the charger to a switched circuit (as opposed to an always-on circuit), so that it's not always drawing current. I don't drive my car every day, so I don't want the battery drain, nor do I want the indicator light on the charger attracting thieves (see bright red light in pic in first post).
Battery is safest route. You can also find switched circuits at the fuse box and use an add-a-fuse to piggyback the charger. Only caveat here is the "add-a-fuse"-type devices are only rated at up to 10A.
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Old 05-19-2012, 04:46 PM   #8
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Default Re: Wiring a socket and usb charger

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axatax View Post
FWIW, I have this exact same device:
Where did you mount the charger? Did you hard mount, or just use the velcro? I found the adhesive they used with the velcro to be very cheap and it came right off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axatax View Post
You'll need to the check the rating of the fuse on your existing lighter socket and also the wire gauge running to the lighter.
I'll check the wire gauge later, but in looking at the Helms manual for my 6th gen Accord, it looks like the fuse for the accessory power socket is a 20A fuse (fuse #9). The audio unit shares this fuse. It's located in the passenger side under-dash fuse box. BUT, the cover of the accessory socket has "12V 10A" written on it.

How does that work? Is there a fuse further downstream of the passenger side fuse box that limits the accessory socket to 10A? If there is, it isn't drawn into the circuit diagram. But I'm sure I'm missing a simpler explanation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axatax View Post
In the case of my Civic at least, the lighter socket is rated at 10A and the wiring is like dental floss - maybe 22AWG or something. If you *really* need more than 10A on these sockets, you'll need to home-run some new wiring back to the fuse box or the battery.

12VDC @ 10A (120W) is more than enough power to run my full-size Thinkpad laptop DC adapter off the lighter. If you're only running some USB devices and a phone charger/radar detector, you can replace the 20A fuse on the back of the device with a 10A fuse and connect it to original lighter wiring.
OK, so given your explanation of how much power I'm getting at the accessory socket (120W), I have more than enough power to charge my GPS device and a phone. So I can just replace the 20A fuse in the charger with a 10A fuse and connect to the accessory socket wiring. As far as the connection, do I simply cut open the wire leading to the connector that plugs into the accessory socket, strip off some of the housing and connect the red and black wires, respectively, and wrap it up with some electrical tape or heat shrink tubing? No need to solder the wires together, correct?

I guess the charger's power cord does not contain a fuse in the male plug, just the fuse on the back of the device? If that's the case, why do the instructions state that if you cut off the plug, you need to connect to a fused power source? Shouldn't the fuse on the device itself be sufficient protection?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Axatax View Post
10A is *not* sufficient to run an actual cigarette lighter safely.
I don't plan to use a cigarette lighter, but this is good to know. Seems kind of silly that they set it up this way, when a larger fuse and slightly lower gauge wire would have made the socket more functional.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axatax View Post
Battery is safest route. You can also find switched circuits at the fuse box and use an add-a-fuse to piggyback the charger. Only caveat here is the "add-a-fuse"-type devices are only rated at up to 10A.
The accessory socket itself is switched, and since it sounds like it has sufficient power and makes for the easiest installation, I'll just use that.

Thanks for the info, and apologies in advance for all the newbish questions. Never messed around much with electrical stuff before.
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:42 AM   #9
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Default Re: Wiring a socket and usb charger

Quote:
Where did you mount the charger? Did you hard mount, or just use the velcro? I found the adhesive they used with the velcro to be very cheap and it came right off.
I'm not actually using it in a car, but for a small solar power setup in my house.

Quote:
The accessory socket itself is switched, and since it sounds like it has sufficient power and makes for the easiest installation, I'll just use that.
Agreed - I'd just hard-wire into the original lighter socket in your case. You'll not exceed even 10A with a GPS and phone charger.
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Old 05-21-2012, 08:38 AM   #10
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Default Re: Wiring a socket and usb charger

Thanks for the help.
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