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Old 02-16-2009, 01:57 PM   #1
Helmet Head OP
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Electrical - hard wiring iPod/iPhone charger?

Not the end of the world if it can't be done easily, but I would like to eliminate one link of cable in terms of charging my iPhone (same charger as dock-connector iPods) and hard-wire the charger directly to my Centech fuse block. Currently, I have a cigarette-plug iPhone charger going into a cigarette-plug outlet connected to the Centech. I would like to eliminate the outlet and just wire the charger directly to the Centech, both to eliminate clutter (it's all in the really-small-as-it-is 'glovebox' of a KTM 990 Adventure) and reduce connections.

So, the questions:

Does anyone know how to do this? I don't think it's as simple as just cutting the dock connector off the end of the iPhone charger and plugging the stripped wire into a hot connector on the fuse block (or is it?). The iPhone/iPod charger seems to have a little chip inside (yes, I pried it apart... ). Is this is some kind of regulator to keep the battery from getting overcharged...? I'm assuming one could protect the phone from fluctuations in battery current via the fuse on the Centech (just use a fuse that's smaller than whatever amperage will hurt the phone, no?), but I think there is also a danger to overcharging. I'm a little out of my depth here electrically. I have no fear of electrics and tinkering with them, but not an advanced understanding.

If anyone has done this, or knows (for sure) how to, I would love to hear it.

(This would be so simple if someone made a hard-wire charger cable for the iPhone/iPod as is made for so many GPS's and radar detectors, but extensive googling has turned up nothing...).

TIA...
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Old 02-16-2009, 03:07 PM   #2
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Yes, it most likely has a voltage regulator in it.

Why not just solder some leads to the places where it contacts the cigarette lighter socket and then run that through the fuse block?
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Old 02-16-2009, 03:46 PM   #3
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This should give you a base line to go from, I'm sure your voltage may differ.

Ok, I have documented a few things over the years, bit never really got around to making a how-to. This one is easy and takes about an hour from start to finish. Most of the new Garmin GPS' are all mini-USB powered. On the positive side, Garmin has really enhanced the battery restraints and they don't blink off as much as the older models, but having the unit hard wired is still the best way to go.

BUT, the new USB units are very voltage sensitive...so you have to build your own cable. Right now, there is no cable made commercially, although I assuem Cycoactive may have something in a while...but it will be $30 minimum. This will cost you next to nothing and is pretty easy to DIY.

First, this is AT YOUR OWN RISK. I have tested it and it works great on my Garmin H model powered via USB!

Second, this is for four strokes only (unless you have a 2S with rectified power).

Ok, lets do this!

First, you need to get your 12-13 volts on your bike down to 5v with a tolerance of no more than .05 v. Good thing for us, you can the voltage regulator you need from Radio Shack for less than $2!

This is the one you need:



The wiring diagram is on the reverse of the package...but it is about as simple as it gets. Voltage in, voltage out and a ground. The middle tong wil not be used and can be snipped clean.

Here is the VR up close:



Ok, time to get some work done. Normally my workbench is quite a bit more organized, but my son was working on his RC car...so chaos rules for this photo session. You will need a soldering gun, solder, paste and lots of hands...or a soldering rig like the one pictured here:



You will need to sacrifice a mini USB cable of some type. Seems like everything comes with them now and they can be had on Ebay for $3 shipped. I used an old phone charger which fit the bill perfectly. Mini USB has a standard pinout, but you don't need to worry about it much...all you need is the power and ground (red/black). They will be the outside wires:

http://pinouts.ru/Slots/USB_pinout.shtml

Here we are ready to solder:




First, get your wires cut and keep the exposed copper to a minimum. You dont have a ton of soldering room to work with, but you are not building circuits...so robot accuracy isn't required...just try to keep the solder to a minimum. The close up pics make this look pretty ugly, but these are pretty clean connections:



As you can see, the middle tong is not needed and can go away. It is a second ground...so just snap it off at the circuit.

Once wired, you can verify that you have the right power coming out. The VR should handle up to 30 volts, but I know tht will never happen...BUT spikes about 12 do happen, so I tried 17 volts in as I cannot imagine a worse case scenario on the RFS. Here are are hooking up power...this is where lots of fingers/hands comes in handy:



You really need a multimeter to make sure you have the correct voltage. If you don't have one, pick one up at Harbor Freight...this little cheapie works great and is around $20!

Here you can see we have almost 18 volts coming in:



And here you can see that on our output cable, we have nearly a perfect 5 volts coming out. FYI, the .04 volts is well within the USB spec and likewise within the Garmin spec:



Now the connection is done...but it is delicate. Time to make it offroad worthy and I go to the Gorilla. Yeah, this stuff...but any epoxy will work:



This "hardening"process is critical to stabilizing the connections and will give you years of trouble free service. I usually set the connections up like below...and basically cement them all in allowing the glue to surround the connection. Here we are all set and ready for the glue..use some weight to hold the system in a static position:



Once the glue or epoxy has set up, you just need to finish the job. I have gobs of shrink tubing of all shapes and sizes and it works the bext...but you could just use a quality electrical tape and wrap it well. I used three different sizes of shrink tube here..the center section was 1/2":



Once you get it heated up, you are done! Your finished product should look something like this:



As for power options from the bike, I prefer a full-time power and you have that feeding the backlight with similar gauge wires. This is ideal, but not all bikes have that power. In that case, I highly recommend running some 24 gauge wires right to the battery. In either case, wire a small .5 amp fuse in line just be on the safe side.

If you have any questions, please shoot me a PM.

I am planning on thrashing my bike hard this spring, so I will have ample opportunity to check out the longevity in some real-world conditions. I will post back the long term testing!
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Wylie screwed with this post 02-16-2009 at 04:14 PM
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:01 PM   #4
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Wylie - that's awesome! Thanks for the very detailed reply. I'm sure I can adapt this to the iPhone without much difficulty. Cheers!
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:39 PM   #5
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Thanks,
I just copied and pasted it from another web site. Yep just apply ohms laws and you're rollin. I have plans of doing this with my GPS and building a mount to illiminate some vibrations.
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Old 02-16-2009, 07:12 PM   #6
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Found it!

Man, coincidences. After searching via google for weeks, the very day I post this, I find what I'm looking for totally by accident. I was packing up my compressor and remembered the Powerlet-to-SAE plug was toasted. I went online to look for a replacement and found this:

http://www.powerletproducts.com/prod...ry-harness/254

So it does exist as a pre-made product after all!
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Old 02-23-2009, 07:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duck
Yes, it most likely has a voltage regulator in it.

Why not just solder some leads to the places where it contacts the cigarette lighter socket and then run that through the fuse block?

That's what I do for all of my sat radio/ipod power supplies hard wired to my cars. Do a good solder job and you are all set.
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:05 PM   #8
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bump

The pics are not working for me, is this a problem on my end or the other end?

I'd like to hard wire a power supply for an iPhone 3GS (5V input) and a Garmin nuvi 660. The Nuvi runs off a direct 12V supply, and I can buy a hard wire kit from eBay for like $10 that has an inline fuse (I use this in my car), ignore the lack of waterproofing, I'm not concerned with that because I'm keeping the nuvi in the tank bag map holder.

The iPhone needs a voltage regulator and pics of this setup would be very helpful to wire one together. I'd like to run both wires to a very small tank bag and possibly use quick disconnects. I'm not concerned with switching the power off the ignition for now.

Thoughts?

Edit: I could also go the stupidly simple route and buy a typical iphone car charger with the built in voltage regulator and just hack the housing and hard wire it to the battery to eliminate the cig charger end. Amazon sells this thing for $10... http://www.amazon.com/Apple-Original...ata/B002FK9JLO
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Old 04-21-2011, 01:59 AM   #9
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Just buy the waterproof USB outlet from the guy in Vendors section for like $15, then you can just plug in your white USB cable or whatever else USB you want to use at anytime.
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:19 AM   #10
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the Igadgets ( Iphone and Ipod touches)

wont charge on a USB port powered on only pins 1 and 4.

they require a smaller voltage on one of the other pins to allow charging.

Ive been using the above voltage regulator for a long time for my older gps unit, but it wont charge an Iphone.
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:53 AM   #11
Cumminsman76
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I just had a problem of my iPhone cable draining my battery when left pluged in to the live outlet. It looks like the Powerlet plug stays live all the time. Anyone have problems with it?
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mouthfulloflake View Post
the Igadgets ( Iphone and Ipod touches)

wont charge on a USB port powered on only pins 1 and 4.

they require a smaller voltage on one of the other pins to allow charging.

Ive been using the above voltage regulator for a long time for my older gps unit, but it wont charge an Iphone.
Indeed. I was going to solder some resistor bridged to the middle pins in order to be able to charge my Iphone. Finally I stumbled upon this to solve the problem:
http://www.benl.ebay.be/itm/160895751414
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