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Old 07-20-2015, 07:26 PM   #1
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How to add USB Chargers in-dash, powered by 12v.

To start, be careful of your power source. Know when it is live and when it is not. If you kill your batteries (or worse) because you did something wrong, I am not responsible.

How I added Two 3A USB Charging Ports in dash, to my fleetwood bounder.

3A is alot of power. Enough for just about any power hungry portable device out there. It is strong enough to provide power to ANY of the following devices:
  • Tablet (Android or apple irrelevant)
  • Cell Phone, make irrelevant
  • GPS
  • Satellite Radio
  • 5v battery storage units
  • ANY Device which needs 3a of 5v power or less, with a USB interface

These USB ports will ONLY power devices, they will not transmit data, or interface with anything. This is not a 'hub'. It is power only. Do not expect to interface two devices together, or get vehicle information, or anything other than clean 5v power lol.

I like them, because they do not occupy my 12v socket should I ever need it for something or another. And it eliminates clutter.

Materials list:
  • In-Line Fuse Holder, and fuse
  • PC USB Port(s)
  • 12v to 5v stepdown transformers. I used one per port for max charge, but you could splice two ports to one at reduced charge speed.
  • Wiring - Small stuff will do. I think I used 18 or 20 guage.
  • Connectors - For your splices.
  • Optional - Heatshrink tubing.


For those of you who are wondering. I got the 12v to 5v transformers from ebay.

1pcs DC DC Converter Regulator 12V TO 5V 3A 15W CAR LED Display Power HG | eBay

These are the same thing. I used both ports over 4 days of driving 1300 miles and worked great.

Ok so right to it then!

Most PC USB connectors will have a connector that looks like this:



It is a 10 connector header, 5 connectors for each usb port. See the connector details below:



So, as you can see, we need the red and black wires. The white and green can be cut and isolated.



Next, make your harness. Attach your terminal connectors to your fuse holder, connect the wire that will run from the fuse holder to your transformers.


Add in your transformers, 1 or 2 however many you like. Make sure to wire the fused side to the 12v side of the transformer. Connect the 5v output directly to the usb header you made.

For the negative terminals, I attached the two together as with the positive, and found a good ground location.

Now, you should have something that looks similar to this.




Before you connect up the positive wire, remove the fuse. This will help prevent fire if you did something wrong.

First, find your power source. It can be any 12v source that has space available on the line (circuit fuse size). I tapped mine into the Main battery disconnect in my Fleetwood Bounder's BCC. In the image below, if you attach your terminal to the terminal in the bcc, you will have power when the coach main battery is ENABLED. When power is cut, you will lose power to these ports. I chose to wire it that way, as the only time I would use those ports is when I am travelling, and need quick access at console. I dont need it when parked, as ill be using my 110v ports.


Wire up your contraption, and install it in the dash. For my ground I was in luck as I had a ground-bar already in my dash. I added my ground terminal to it.



Insert fuse. If fuse doesnt blow within 10 seconds, chances are you didnt short anything, and thats good. Be sure to use a fuse of appropriate size. I used a 10 amp.

CLEANUP:

Tie off your wires, and secure them so they dont move. Watch out for points where they may rub and give the wires a layer or two of electrical tape to keep them safe.


And then, you are done!

Plug something in, and enjoy power!

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How to build and install in-dash usb charger No 12v socket used. Direct wired.
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Old 07-21-2015, 06:50 AM   #2
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Nice and thank you for one of the graphics (I needed that for my reference folder)

There are several companies that sell 12 volt USB ports designed to simply be dash mounted, at least one also includes a 12 volt ACC outlet (with separate power leads) in the same housing)

You listed two 12 volt to five volt transformers

Transformers are for AC DC it is either a voltage regulator or a converter. (difference in how they work) a converter may also be a switching regulator. This ... however.. Is a nit.. So don't sweat it.
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Old 07-21-2015, 08:23 AM   #3
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How to add USB Chargers in-dash, powered by 12v.

Our dash had 2 cigarette lighter outlets. Replaced one with a dual USB port. Simple install.
http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Sea-Syste...B+port+12+volt
I am in the process of adding 2 more ports back in the coach. Those will require more work as I will need to tap into. 12 volt source somewhere.


Steve
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Old 07-21-2015, 10:54 AM   #4
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The main difference between what the OP provided and the USB ports mentioned above is the amperage available. The USB ports are definitely less work, neat and clean! But the Amazon port shown has a max of 2.1 amps. Superk's will provide either 3 amps or 6 amps total, depending on if you wire it with one or two regulators. Overkill if you want to recharge your cell phone. But very important if you want to run a Windows tablet full time as a Silverleaf VMSpc monitor. I know, since that is what I want to power. 1 amp ports won't cut it, as it will slowly drain the tablet battery as you drive.

I did about the same thing as Superk.
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Old 07-21-2015, 01:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
Nice and thank you for one of the graphics (I needed that for my reference folder)

There are several companies that sell 12 volt USB ports designed to simply be dash mounted, at least one also includes a 12 volt ACC outlet (with separate power leads) in the same housing)

You listed two 12 volt to five volt transformers

Transformers are for AC DC it is either a voltage regulator or a converter. (difference in how they work) a converter may also be a switching regulator. This ... however.. Is a nit.. So don't sweat it.

You are absolutely correct. The worst part is I actually know that. I guess it got lost in translation lol. It is a good point, and will certainly make finding them easier!
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How to build and install in-dash usb charger No 12v socket used. Direct wired.
Restoration and modernization of 1999 Fleetwood Bounder 34v
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Old 07-21-2015, 05:46 PM   #6
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The USB ports in my care support either 2 or 2.5 amps. They make higher amprage ones

For my "Glass Dash" (which is a different program) I use the inverter to power the brick to power the laptop.. Same as I'm doing right now.
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Old 07-21-2015, 06:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superk View Post
You are absolutely correct. The worst part is I actually know that. I guess it got lost in translation lol. It is a good point, and will certainly make finding them easier!
I noticed the same thing he just beat me to posting about it
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Old 07-22-2015, 01:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
The USB ports in my care support either 2 or 2.5 amps. They make higher amprage ones

For my "Glass Dash" (which is a different program) I use the inverter to power the brick to power the laptop.. Same as I'm doing right now.
While this is a great start for a do-it-yourselfer, it has its limitations of course. One of the greatest things this project has, is the simplicity of design, and cost of implementation. Its also a suitable alternative for coaches who have no inverter, and who REALLY dont feel it necessary to start a large generator for one or two devices.

Its really simple. Simple to make, simple to use, simple to repair if ever a fuse blows or a 'transformer ' fails lol.

Some newer coaches have USBs built in. They have no need of this. To those who do, please enjoy. It would be great to see some adaptations and variations of this idea if anyone else has or will be doing this!
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How to build and install in-dash usb charger No 12v socket used. Direct wired.
Restoration and modernization of 1999 Fleetwood Bounder 34v
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Old 07-22-2015, 03:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superk View Post
It would be great to see some adaptations and variations of this idea if anyone else has or will be doing this!
In that case, my install is here. It was very, very simple but is not the high-powered type ports some have discussed in this thread.
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Old 07-22-2015, 06:10 PM   #10
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They sell these USB charging plugs on amazon $12.00 a simple clean install.
Name:   ImageUploadedByiRV2 - RV Forum1437610198.254837.jpg
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Old 07-23-2015, 02:23 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Tha_Rooster View Post
They sell these USB charging plugs on amazon $12.00 a simple clean install.Attachment 100853
I looked that up out of curiosity. They seem to be pretty versatile. Apparantly they can plug in a lighter socket OR be used as a wire-in. They are NOT fused however. If not used in a lighter socket these plugs WILL need to have an inline fuse installed.

3a is quite a bit. For my needs, I wouldnt be able to use both ports at the same time as one device would get no power lol.
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Restoration and modernization of 1999 Fleetwood Bounder 34v
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