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Old 10-04-2015, 12:24   #1
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What is a 2-pin round DC power connector useful for?

I have one of these 2-prong DC connectors in my cockpit. Is there any way I can get an adapter to plug useful stuff into it (like modern tablets) or is this type of power connection very much obsolete?

Presumably it was once used for some kind of GPS device.

It looks exactly like this:
Plug & Socket 2 Pin 2/3 Amp - Boat Electricals

Except I don't have the cap with the male prongs, just have the female pronged socket.

Wikipedia has some male-to-male adapter images in the first picture on this page:
DC connector - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Apparently they're also called coaxial power connectors (but when I google for that I get a lot of incompatible coaxial cables like those used for TV video and such).

On Amazon I found a male USB to female coaxial DC power connector:
Amazon.com: StarTech.com USB2TYPEM 3 Feet USB to Type M Barrel 5V DC Power Cable: Electronics

Maybe that would work? But I would still need a 2-pin male to coaxial male.
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Old 10-04-2015, 13:03   #2
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Re: What is a 2-pin round DC power connector useful for?

Just get rid of it and put in a standard 12v power outlet. No need to mess around with fragile and expensive adapters that you'll always be mislaying or running out of.
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Old 10-04-2015, 13:05   #3
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Re: What is a 2-pin round DC power connector useful for?

The problem is two-fold; connecting to your outlet and getting the right voltage for your devices. If your devices are USB then they'll need 5V instead of 12V.

For the second part, any 12V car adapter will do. But most of these expect a cigarette lighter for power. You could easily build an adapter from your socket to cigarette lighter, but you lose the water resistance. If you want to get a little more extravagant you could get a fully potted charger like this one (DC-DC Converter Module 12V To 5V, 5V 3A Duble USB Output Power Adapter 15W) and wire it into your adapter (not a recommendation for a particular unit, just an example of non-cigarette lighter 12-5V charger for USB).
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Old 10-04-2015, 13:10   #4
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Re: What is a 2-pin round DC power connector useful for?

That is an older power plug for something like an Autohelm auto pilot, or radar. I have 2, 1 each for Auto pilot, and radar.
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Old 10-04-2015, 13:13   #5
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Re: What is a 2-pin round DC power connector useful for?

Since it is in the cockpit, if you replace it with a standard cigarette lighter, I would get one made for use on a motorcycle, or specifically for use on a boat. These will usually be better sealed, and have a water resistant cap. If it is somewhere that it is really exposed to splashing, then you want it to be really water-proof.

Good luck.
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Old 10-04-2015, 13:17   #6
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Re: What is a 2-pin round DC power connector useful for?

As poorly designed as these things are for a power socket, the suggestion to install a standard cigarette lighter socket instead of what you have makes the most sense because it is a "standard". Many devices come with plugs to plug into these sockets.

If it is at all exposed to the weather, you'll do best to go to a marine store and get one that's made for use on a boat and has a cover.

If changing the socket stumps you, get some help. The center conductor should be the positive, the outside, the negative.
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Old 10-04-2015, 17:11   #7
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Re: What is a 2-pin round DC power connector useful for?

As others have said - replace it with a good waterproofed "cigarette lighter" type socket with a cap. I just did exactly that in my cockpit.
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Old 10-04-2015, 17:20   #8
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Re: What is a 2-pin round DC power connector useful for?

Good points, probably should just replace it. But I don't actually have a need for aux power in the cockpit currently, so I was mostly thinking about it as a low priority, low-effort (ie, not another project to add to the list) if I wanted to charge a tablet that I'm using for backup nav.

And I was curious what these kinds of 2-prong power outlets were ever used for. (did a cf search but didn't find much). And whether they were ever general purpose outlets or were always a very custom, device-specific power source. Sounds like it's an old obsolete standard that was never general purpose.
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Old 10-04-2015, 17:31   #9
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Re: What is a 2-pin round DC power connector useful for?

Actually the 2 pin socket is far superior to any cigarette plug/socket I have ever seen in my experience.

They just aren't compatible with many items unless you buy extra plugs and you replace the clips or cigarette type plug on the add on equipment.

I have owned several boats with them installed and liked them so much I have bought more. Every cigarette plug/socket has been removed and been replaced with something superior.
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Old 10-04-2015, 20:30   #10
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Re: What is a 2-pin round DC power connector useful for?

the were often used for hand held spot lights. before battery powered ones were bright.
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Old 10-04-2015, 20:32   #11
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Re: What is a 2-pin round DC power connector useful for?

Easy to build an adaptor if you don't want to replace. I have a few that I use for things with cigarette lighter style connectors, but most stuff Ive swapped to 2 pin...its a better connector which is more secure, water resistant, and less prone to corrode.

Careful with the metal housing versions as they can short to the housing if the wiring is poorly installed or gets worn/damaged.
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Old 11-04-2015, 08:34   #12
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Re: What is a 2-pin round DC power connector useful for?

Electrical Connector Waterproof Ch Plate Brass
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Old 11-04-2015, 08:39   #13
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Re: What is a 2-pin round DC power connector useful for?

Our 1989 Hunter came with an adapter that has 3 cigarette lighter sockets on one end and the two prong on the other. I do not know if it was original or from a PO. We use it in the cockpit, but added usb adapters in the cigarette lighter sockets..
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Old 11-04-2015, 08:42   #14
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Re: What is a 2-pin round DC power connector useful for?

Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Actually the 2 pin socket is far superior to any cigarette plug/socket I have ever seen in my experience.

They just aren't compatible with many items unless you buy extra plugs and you replace the clips or cigarette type plug on the add on equipment.

I have owned several boats with them installed and liked them so much I have bought more. Every cigarette plug/socket has been removed and been replaced with something superior.
+1 And the plugs are still readily available.

e.g. https://whitworths.com.au/main_itemd...AbsolutePage=1
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Old 11-04-2015, 08:52   #15
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Re: What is a 2-pin round DC power connector useful for?

I also have seen this type of connector used for removable cockpit speakers. as well as other apps. think it makes a better connection
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