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Old 13-03-2014, 15:21   #1
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12V USB Charger?

I have a 26' Columbia that I'm not interested in installing an inverter into. They're big and clunky and being that I only plan on doing short distance coastal cruising and have minimal electrical appliances, I'm just looking for something simple. I saw a USB charger on a friends boat and would like to install something similar. Perhaps a cigarette lighter with a USB adapter like for your car? I can't find those online. When I google either the cigarette lighter or the 12V USB charger, it I don't see any boat-specific ones. Does anyone have these, if so how do you like them and where did you purchase them?


Thanks!
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Old 13-03-2014, 15:28   #2
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Re: 12V USB Charger?

Doesn't need to be boat specific. As long as y ou have a battery, jsut add a dc cigarette lighter plug and charge away. Watch your battery level, but a phone or ipad draws almost nothing, a computer is a different story.

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Old 13-03-2014, 15:29   #3
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Re: 12V USB Charger?

They are everywhere:

Amazon.com: usb car charger
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Old 13-03-2014, 15:37   #4
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Re: 12V USB Charger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReMetau View Post
They are everywhere:

Amazon.com: usb car charger


These I have, I don't have anything to plug it into. That's what I'm having a hard time finding.
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Old 13-03-2014, 15:38   #5
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Re: 12V USB Charger?

I bought a couple of cig lighter phone chargers, and was very disappointed with the output. My phone is a "phablet" and I was also trying to charge my 10" tablet.

I did an Ebay search for 2A or 3A, 12v USB chargers, and bought a couple. Talk about great!

Here's one for $6, free shipping. 2 USB ports, 2.1A and 1A output. There are tons of them like this on Ebay.

2 1A Car Charger Micro USB Cable for Samsung Galaxy S4 S3 s 3 4 Note 2 3 | eBay
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Old 13-03-2014, 15:40   #6
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Re: 12V USB Charger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SassySailor View Post
These I have, I don't have anything to plug it into. That's what I'm having a hard time finding.
http://www.amazon.com/Marine-Grade-C.../dp/B0002KRC5Y

Just make sure you following standard 12v wiring standards and don't overload the circuit.
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Old 13-03-2014, 15:41   #7
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Re: 12V USB Charger?

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Originally Posted by socaldmax View Post
I bought a couple of cig lighter phone chargers, and was very disappointed with the output. My phone is a "phablet" and I was also trying to charge my 10" tablet.

I did an Ebay search for 2A or 3A, 12v USB chargers, and bought a couple. Talk about great!

Here's one for $6, free shipping. 2 USB ports, 2.1A and 1A output. There are tons of them like this on Ebay.

2 1A Car Charger Micro USB Cable for Samsung Galaxy S4 S3 s 3 4 Note 2 3 | eBay


Thanks for your input! This is helpful. What do you plug these into? I'm having a hard time figuring that out. There's tons of USB stuff but I can't find any unit to install to plug these into.
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Old 13-03-2014, 15:41   #8
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Re: 12V USB Charger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SassySailor View Post
These I have, I don't have anything to plug it into. That's what I'm having a hard time finding.

Oh! Gotcha!

They're all over Ebay and Amazon. I'm pretty sure I've seen suitable ones at Walmart, if there's one nearby.
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Old 13-03-2014, 20:19   #9
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Re: 12V USB Charger?

I have installed a couple of Blue Sea Dual USB Charger sockets in my boat. They connect directly to 12V.

Dual USB Charger Socket - Blue Sea Systems

Howard
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Old 13-03-2014, 20:36   #10
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Re: 12V USB Charger?

socaldmax is on the money.

MAKE SURE YOU GET A LARGER CAPACITY socket (in terms of amps).

For example on a small amperage socket if you put in a dual USB adapter, it would only charge 1 iPad versus 2 at a time when both plugged in, or with one plugged in it won't charge very fast, especially if you are using it whilst it's charging.
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Old 14-03-2014, 06:30   #11
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Re: 12V USB Charger?

Cigaret lighter outlets are easy to come by and not hard to install.

But have you looked at the smaller inverters (100-300watts). At maybe 4x8inches they aren't very big and you can get one for under $50. Just as easy to install as the cigaret lighter outlet and gives you a lot more options for charging DC items and the option to run smaller AC items.
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Old 14-03-2014, 10:01   #12
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Re: 12V USB Charger?

Lots of good advice here. To sum up (and put my spin on it)

- any good boat chandlery (online or brick) will have panel mounting 12v cigarette lighter sockets. This one is available most places, and is good quality. Get two.
- Install them in your boat, with each fed from its own 10A breaker or fuse. Use #14 marine-grade wire if the run is no more than 20 ft from the plug to the panel (for max 10% v drop @ 10A, as per ABYC)

Now you have two 12v sockets capable of driving most typical portable 12v items of up to 10A each.

- buy one or two cigarette lighter-to-USB adaptor things. They are available just about everywhere for under $10 typically. Ours have two USB jacks and a sexy blue LED
- optionally buy a 75w or 100w plug-in inverter (usually under $30) for the occasional time you need to power a small AC electronic device, like a laptop's AC power supply.
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