tapping into cig. lighter circuit - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old October 14th, 2012, 03:01 AM
doscazadores
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Vic Stull
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tapping into cig. lighter circuit

I have a laptop with Terrain Navigator loaded into it to get around the desert and take me to specific locations; water sources 99.9% of the time. It gets sustained power from a cig. lighter plug-in. Or at least it should because the plug just slides around and won't contact to draw current and charge the laptop. So, can I tap into that circuit since it has, or should, continuous power? Can I get at the wires behind there to make the connection? Any better ideas? I'm more than willing to listen, but need to get this done before next Saturday. Thanks for any suggestions. Vic
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  #2  
Old October 14th, 2012, 06:18 AM
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Sure, of course. What vehicle are we talking about?

As you seem to have very little electrical experience, it might not be a bad idea to find someone that does to hep you.
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Old October 14th, 2012, 09:06 AM
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I always thought the draw on a standrd laptop was too much draw or the fuse on a cigar lighter, and needed some sort of power inverter. I could be wrong.
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Old October 14th, 2012, 09:44 AM
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That cig lighter should be switched power, not continuous. Figure that laptops run about 60 watts, which is about 5 amp. Those cig lighter sockets run about an 18 awg wire which is about safe for 5 amp, but not more. I prefer continuous power on my power sockets, so I run 14 awg wires from battery or accessory panel with a 15 amp fuse to cover all my needs. for your immediate needs, go to a marine story and get a locking power port socket to replace oem. much better fit and hold. long term, replace oem wire (pos and grnd) with higher gauge (16 or 14 awg).
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Old October 14th, 2012, 11:10 AM
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Totally agree with Mark. Dont take shortcuts on stuff like this. it will turn into a worse problem.
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Old October 14th, 2012, 11:34 AM
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My cig lighter is only on when ignition is on.

How about a USB port for charging a lap top

http://www.starmarinedepot.com/Blue+...tight+Cap.html
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Old October 14th, 2012, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
My cig lighter is only on when ignition is on.

How about a USB port for charging a lap top

http://www.starmarinedepot.com/Blue+...tight+Cap.html
USB works great! I installed two of the Blue Sea 2 port USB outlets in my 90.
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Old October 14th, 2012, 01:38 PM
doscazadores
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlander View Post
That cig lighter should be switched power, not continuous. Figure that laptops run about 60 watts, which is about 5 amp. Those cig lighter sockets run about an 18 awg wire which is about safe for 5 amp, but not more. I prefer continuous power on my power sockets, so I run 14 awg wires from battery or accessory panel with a 15 amp fuse to cover all my needs. for your immediate needs, go to a marine story and get a locking power port socket to replace oem. much better fit and hold. long term, replace oem wire (pos and grnd) with higher gauge (16 or 14 awg).
Good suggestion, thanks. A friend has the same setup, except that his lighter receptacle actually holds the plug. Oh, I have a D90 ST. What I thought about later was whether the plug itself had resistance inline to drop the voltage to match the computer, but then thought about smart phones, iPods, etc., and dismissed that concern.
Anyway, thanks again. Want to get this done before bird season opens next week.
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Old October 14th, 2012, 02:32 PM
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I installed the blue sea usb plug in one of my two ports on the mud uk console last month. works great!
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Old October 14th, 2012, 03:29 PM
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This is the 12V plug to get:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/defende...57624662190639

It's made by Blue Sea Systems and you can get it from West Marine or mail order from defender.com. Like Mark said, run some decent wire to it, like 14 AWG. I like the Ancor marine-grade wire for my truck. Don't forget to fuse it.

------ Follow up post added October 14th, 2012 01:31 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanwind View Post
I always thought the draw on a standrd laptop was too much draw or the fuse on a cigar lighter, and needed some sort of power inverter. I could be wrong.
That's exactly what you don't want to do. Using an inverter to convert from DC -> AC -> DC is very inefficient. Your best bet is to find a power adapter for your laptop that efficiently converts the truck's 12VDC to whatever your laptop needs.

Here's a really shitty version of one for a Macbook Pro. I'm sure there's something better out there:

http://www.amazon.com/MacBook-Pro-15.../dp/B004ZGBPXG
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Old October 30th, 2012, 12:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris snell View Post
Bought it, installed it. Works fine. Thanks for the suggestion. A friend who had done the same thing, whose setup I'm shamelessly copying, recommended it.
Also tracked down the blown fuse that protects the circuit and replaced it. So far it's holding so perhaps it was something with the original lighter.

Thanks again, all, for the suggestions.
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