On adding inside outlet for plugging in USB - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-04-2014, 03:53 AM   #15
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It took Parkliner less than 5 minutes to put one in for me.
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:06 AM   #16
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Some Notes for the Above Posts:

1. DON'T tap into an existing wire for a 12 volt accessory outlet, especially the lights. These are usually lighter gauge wires and are (hopefully) fused for the load. Putting up to a 10 amp load on them may quickly leave you in the dark. After market accessory outlets should have dedicated wires run either from their own fuse (easy if you installed that PD-4045!), or directly from the battery with a 10 amp in-line fuse.

2. Be wary of hooking up electronics when using low end battery chargers. Many have very poor filtering and there can be some of the original sine wave still on the DC side, usually in the form of pulse DC. I have a computer that will run off of 12 VDC, but when an after marker charger was connected to the battery, it went crazy.
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:19 AM   #17
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Now back to original topic: infogypsy, look at the charging gizmo for your laptop, it will tell you how many watts of power it takes. Divide watts by 12 to get amps from your battery. You need a cigarette lighter plug that can handle that much load.

Wiring is simple. The socket you buy has a red and a black wire and maybe a fuse. Connect a short red wire and (probably 10 or 15) amp fuse to the battery's plus terminal. Run another red wire from the fuse to the socket. Connect the socket's black wire to the battery minus terminal. That's it other than mounting the socket someplace convenient in the trailer. It might be a little trouble snaking the wires through the trailer but well you need to hide the wires is up to your individual taste.

I have a question though, if you are living off the grid and not using the car to charge the battery how are you charging it? It won't last very long even just recharging your computer and running a few lights. A solar panel seems like a great (and maybe only) solution.
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:14 PM   #18
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Personally I don't think that "Wiring is Simple" or that snaking a new 12 volt line from the battery to a new accessory outlet, is a task for the electrical systems impared owner.

1. It's not a cigarette lighter socket that's needed, it's a 12 Volt Accessory Socket... they are different. The Cigarette lighter socket is designed for intermittent use, the 12 volt accessory socket is supposed to be designed for longer term use and to physically support plug in devices such as small inverters.

2. There is no guarantee that the wire colors on the, always made in china, accessory socket will be correct. You have to know how to verify which one is which. Often they are not even attached.

3. Accessory sockets usually come with short Pig-Tails, to which the longer wires have to be spliced. Doing this correctly is a whole post on it's own.

4. The fuse holder has to be placed close to the battery in order to protect the unfused length of wire. Running a long length of wire before the fuse is an invitation for a fire.

5. Knowing how to safely secure and tie off the new wires also has to be done. Loose wires lead to broken or chaffed wires and/or loose connections.

6. And, unmentioned, is that an inverter will almost always still be needed to power the computers power supply brick.

As I said, I don't belong to the "Wiring is Simple" school of thought. I have repaired too many bad wiring jobs to ever suggest that.
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Old 03-04-2014, 03:59 PM   #19
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Well, the OP's not been back yet but if he or she is reading - Bob is right, you have to know all the stuff he just posted. It ain't rocket science though and you don't need a hydraulic crimper to make a decent connection. But what ever, it's up to you. The RV shop will be glad to do it.

A note on plugging your computer charger into an inverter: This works but is wasteful of electricity. The inverter takes power to run even when it's not connected to a load and when it is connected it will waste 10 to 30% of the electricity.

Your iPad will charge off a USB port but I'm not sure your Mac will. You can get an 'accesory' plug that has a USB port. That is the best solution to charge the iPad, no inverter needed. You can probably buy an adapter to charge your Mac from a 12v accessory plug. With that, no inverter needed.

Still wondering how you plan to charge the 12v battery...
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Old 03-04-2014, 04:10 PM   #20
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Keeping in mind that the O.P. is interested only in 12v power as the recharging source:

I think that every USB port I've ever seen is a 110v connection. One can use a 12v power source/port, but only by way of an inverter. If the source is the usual cigar socket, an inverter like the one below is often used:

Or am I 100% wrongedy-wrong-wrong-wrong about that????
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Old 03-04-2014, 04:18 PM   #21
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[QUOTE=MCDenny;444793

Your iPad will charge off a USB port but I'm not sure your Mac will.[/QUOTE]

MacBooks will not charge by USB as their chargers start at 60W an iPhone only takes 5W and IPad 10W to charge thus why a USB will do it.
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Old 03-04-2014, 05:03 PM   #22
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I recently bought this. Haven't had a chance to try it yet.
PowerGen 4.2Amps / 20W Dual USB Car charger Designed for Apple and Android Devices

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Old 03-04-2014, 05:08 PM   #23
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There are USB ports that plug into 12VDC accessory outlets and drop the 12 VDC to 5 VDC for USB use. There is one in the 12VDC Accessory outlet in the Charging center I posted a pic of in post #2.

The OP mentioned a "Lap Top" computer as well. I don't know about the Mac stuff, but the only Laptop I have ever seen that would run off of 12 VDC was a little 9" net book I used to have.

Lap Tops usually require that they be powered through the 120VAC power supply. If all you have is 12 volts, there is a need for an inverter. As there is almost no other way to get there, one just has to put up with the power losses of the inverter.
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:43 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huck View Post
I recently bought this. Haven't had a chance to try it yet.
PowerGen 4.2Amps / 20W Dual USB Car charger Designed for Apple and Android Devices

Huck that will work with your phone and an iPad but at only 20w its of no help with a lap top.
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:45 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Lap Tops usually require that they be powered through the 120VAC power supply. If all you have is 12 volts, there is a need for an inverter. As there is almost no other way to get there, one just has to put up with the power losses of the inverter.
I use an Apple lap top currently but used SOB in the past. I do indeed when camping off the grid need to use a small plug in inverter to charge them up.
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:56 PM   #26
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Here's a 12v charging solution for a macbook that plugs into a 12v socket.

http://www.amazon.com/BiXPower-cigar.../dp/B00823OLUM

Don't know what in the black box but since it's taking 12v DC to a little higher DC voltage (16.5 v according to my MacBook Pro charger) it's probably not an inverter.
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:10 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCDenny View Post

Don't know what in the black box but since it's taking 12v DC to a little higher DC voltage (16.5 v according to my MacBook Pro charger) it's probably not an inverter.
Hummmm I am going to suggest it is of some sort which is what the box attached to it is probable doing. Could be wrong though!
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:23 PM   #28
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12>>>24 volt adapter.

Actually it's difficult to kick dc voltages up at any more than minimal power levels without generating a lot of heat.

Sooo devices like this are usually small scale electronic inverters that kick the 12 DC up to about 30 volts AC inside the black box and then step that down to whats needed, run that through a AC-DC converter and, in this case, you select what you need for an output.

Bottom line is that it will consume power doing that.
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