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Old 05-03-2010, 07:45 PM   #1
PlasticCarsRock
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Default Where to get ignition switched power for two axuiliary power outlets

I'm installing two auxiliary cigarette lighter/power outlets, hidden under the dash to power a permanent power wire for a window-mount gps and a thermometer which will be mounted in the pocket by the stereo. Obviously, for the ground, I can just put a self-tapping screw into the center console framework, but what about the positive? Neither of these devices draws very much power. I'd like it to be switched (on and off) with the ignition. Is there a positive wire from the fuse box that I can tap into (where the extra load of a normally functioning gps and thermometer back-light won't blow the fuse)?

Thanks for any suggestions!

I have an aftermarket stereo, with separate amp: since I'm not using the radio power wire to run an amplifier (the built-in one is turned off), would it be a good idea to tap into the switched power wire for the radio?

Also, if anyone has a suggestion for how to run the gps power wire, it would be appreciated. I'd like it to come out of the defroster, near the middle, and from there it will go to a window-mount, and to the gps (the mount starts right near the base of the window). It's a mini-usb plug, so it doesn't need a big hole or anything.

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Old 05-03-2010, 07:47 PM   #2
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Default Re: Where to get ignition switched power for two axuiliary power outlets

Orange wire coming from ignition switch as it is a heavier gauge than that coming from your radio or other accessories

PS: Tapping into a fuse directly is never a good idea, tapping into the back of the fuse box onto the appropriate wire is OK at best. Just be sure to always fuse each additional accessory individually

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Old 05-03-2010, 08:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: Where to get ignition switched power for two axuiliary power outlets

route the USB cable through the edge of the defroster opening in teh dash cover. Might have to file a notch for clearance. Then you can drop it right down to wherever you want it.

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Old 05-03-2010, 10:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: Where to get ignition switched power for two axuiliary power outlets

Quote:
Originally Posted by getz_999 View Post
Orange wire coming from ignition switch as it is a heavier gauge than that coming from your radio or other accessories

PS: Tapping into a fuse directly is never a good idea, tapping into the back of the fuse box onto the appropriate wire is OK at best. Just be sure to always fuse each additional accessory individually
Thanks.

My intention was to tap into a wire at the back of the fuse box, but I guess the orange ignition wire is best? Where does that go (where is the best place to tap into it)?

Each adapter will have its own 10A fuse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc
route the USB cable through the edge of the defroster opening in teh dash cover. Might have to file a notch for clearance. Then you can drop it right down to wherever you want it.
Thanks. I figured I could do something like that, but I wasn't sure if it would be possible (if there was too much stuff in the way).

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Old 05-04-2010, 12:12 AM   #5
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Default Re: Where to get ignition switched power for two axuiliary power outlets

Its a bit tight but it can be done. Just remember this, the I/P panel will not tolerate much more loading than it already has. Your proper approach for extra power in the car is to run a new cable from the positive terminal on the end of the engine compartment fuse box and install a separate fuse panel in the car powered by this new wire. the new wire should also be fused at the fuse box connection point with an inline fuse. The stereo amp can then be powered from this new aux fuse panel.

The internal wiring of the I/P Panel will not tolerate much of an increase over the stock loads without failing. The panel is expensive and a pain to replace. A couple of 1 amp chargers is enough to do it in.

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Old 05-04-2010, 01:00 AM   #6
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Default Re: Where to get ignition switched power for two axuiliary power outlets

If you want to be sure to have enough power and never overload the fuse panel, you could use the switched orange wire to trigger a relay that would provide power straight from the battery with an in-line fuse holder. Something like this, with the orange wire going to terminal 85, and your accessories going to terminal 87:

http://www.classictruckshop.com/club...h/foglites.htm

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Old 05-04-2010, 01:45 AM   #7
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Default Re: Where to get ignition switched power for two axuiliary power outlets

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahimsa1 View Post
If you want to be sure to have enough power and never overload the fuse panel, you could use the switched orange wire to trigger a relay that would provide power straight from the battery with an in-line fuse holder. Something like this, with the orange wire going to terminal 85, and your accessories going to terminal 87:

http://www.classictruckshop.com/club...h/foglites.htm
Thanks. I'm familiar with how to use a relay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Its a bit tight but it can be done. Just remember this, the I/P panel will not tolerate much more loading than it already has. Your proper approach for extra power in the car is to run a new cable from the positive terminal on the end of the engine compartment fuse box and install a separate fuse panel in the car powered by this new wire. the new wire should also be fused at the fuse box connection point with an inline fuse. The stereo amp can then be powered from this new aux fuse panel.

The internal wiring of the I/P Panel will not tolerate much of an increase over the stock loads without failing. The panel is expensive and a pain to replace. A couple of 1 amp chargers is enough to do it in.
Thanks. The amps (about 800 watts RMS, combined) are already powered directly from the positive terminal on the battery with high quality 4 gauge wire (fused at 100 Amps, to a 3 farad capacitor, to a distribution block, to both amps). This takes all of the amplification load off of the interior fuse box. Also, the only significant load on this additional wiring is the fairly large screen gps (which, at times, will be active, and charging its internal battery at the same time); the thermometer power wire is just for an led backlight, so I don't think the load from that is significant.

However, I do, at times, use a computer power adapter (65 watts) which can draw a max of 8 amps. (The computer, which normally uses a 150 watt adapter, can easily draw 8 amps for an extended period.) This is less than the rating of the cigarette lighter, but I'm guessing it's only designed to provide that amount of power in short bursts?

How about this: I want switched power for the GPS and thermometer, so short of hooking up a relay, in addition of the additional wiring, I need to hook this up to the existing wiring, somewhere. Is the orange wire from the ignition the best place? To compensate for this additional load (and the fact that the computer adapter is probably pushing it, under normal circumstances), I'll run a separate, fused wire, for the OE cigarette lighter. Can I get an add-in fuse box cheap, from somewhere local (radio shack, FLAPS, etc), or would I be ok simply running a single wire straight from the under-hood fuse-box terminal to the cigarette lighter? (I doubt I'll be adding anything more in the future, and even if I did, it shouldn't be any significant additional work to add a fuse-box at that time.)

Is this a good idea, or is it really in my best interest to hook up the gps/thermometer to the new power source as well (with a relay)? (Even without the draw of a radio amp...)

Thanks for your suggestions!

...
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Last edited by PlasticCarsRock; 05-04-2010 at 01:54 AM..

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Old 05-04-2010, 05:12 AM   #8
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Default Re: Where to get ignition switched power for two axuiliary power outlets

A couple of people have suggested using the orange wire at the ignition switch or the back of the fuse box, but you'd be better off using the brown instead. The orange only works on ignition, but the brown works on accessory as well. This would be ideal for the inverter, but If there's not a lot of current involved, the yellow provided for the radio will do; it's powered by the brown through the fuse box.

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Old 05-04-2010, 08:37 AM   #9
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Default Re: Where to get ignition switched power for two axuiliary power outlets

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasticCarsRock View Post
Thanks. I'm familiar with how to use a relay.



Thanks. The amps (about 800 watts RMS, combined) are already powered directly from the positive terminal on the battery with high quality 4 gauge wire (fused at 100 Amps, to a 3 farad capacitor, to a distribution block, to both amps). This takes all of the amplification load off of the interior fuse box. Also, the only significant load on this additional wiring is the fairly large screen gps (which, at times, will be active, and charging its internal battery at the same time); the thermometer power wire is just for an led backlight, so I don't think the load from that is significant.

However, I do, at times, use a computer power adapter (65 watts) which can draw a max of 8 amps. (The computer, which normally uses a 150 watt adapter, can easily draw 8 amps for an extended period.) This is less than the rating of the cigarette lighter, but I'm guessing it's only designed to provide that amount of power in short bursts?

How about this: I want switched power for the GPS and thermometer, so short of hooking up a relay, in addition of the additional wiring, I need to hook this up to the existing wiring, somewhere. Is the orange wire from the ignition the best place? To compensate for this additional load (and the fact that the computer adapter is probably pushing it, under normal circumstances), I'll run a separate, fused wire, for the OE cigarette lighter. Can I get an add-in fuse box cheap, from somewhere local (radio shack, FLAPS, etc), or would I be ok simply running a single wire straight from the under-hood fuse-box terminal to the cigarette lighter? (I doubt I'll be adding anything more in the future, and even if I did, it shouldn't be any significant additional work to add a fuse-box at that time.)

Is this a good idea, or is it really in my best interest to hook up the gps/thermometer to the new power source as well (with a relay)? (Even without the draw of a radio amp...)

Thanks for your suggestions!
The issue is this. Use the existing wiring to operate an appropriately sized relay and power from the new source. The radio is on a single 16-18 gauge internal wire in the I/P panel that is part of the Chime circuit which does draw a large amount of power. The I/P panel is fed from the 30 amp IP BAT fuse in the UHJB and none of the wiring down stream of the IP BAT fuse will handle sustained loads approaching 30 amps. The terminal on back of the I/P panel will fail. The issue is not with the external wiring, its with the wiring that is inside the I/P panel. This place ( http://www.allelectronics.com/ ) sells low cost small relays that will handle the currents you are dealing with. Use the highest coil resistance when you have a choice and do not exceed the contact rating with your loads. Also place a opening arc suppression diode across the coil or you will burn up the ignition switch.

Yes, if you actually have the drawings and experience to calculate the loads you can tap into the existing wiring but the potential exists for future problems. The sticker price of the I/P panel is 650.00 and it is not DIY repairable, I have tried. Inverters draw high current and the specifications are for the average not the peak values. You can branch of of your 4ga amplifier feed for an interior aux panel.

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Old 05-04-2010, 01:54 PM   #10
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Default Re: Where to get ignition switched power for two axuiliary power outlets

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
The issue is this. Use the existing wiring to operate an appropriately sized relay and power from the new source. The radio is on a single 16-18 gauge internal wire in the I/P panel that is part of the Chime circuit which does draw a large amount of power. The I/P panel is fed from the 30 amp IP BAT fuse in the UHJB and none of the wiring down stream of the IP BAT fuse will handle sustained loads approaching 30 amps. The terminal on back of the I/P panel will fail. The issue is not with the external wiring, its with the wiring that is inside the I/P panel. This place ( http://www.allelectronics.com/ ) sells low cost small relays that will handle the currents you are dealing with. Use the highest coil resistance when you have a choice and do not exceed the contact rating with your loads. Also place a opening arc suppression diode across the coil or you will burn up the ignition switch.

Yes, if you actually have the drawings and experience to calculate the loads you can tap into the existing wiring but the potential exists for future problems. The sticker price of the I/P panel is 650.00 and it is not DIY repairable, I have tried. Inverters draw high current and the specifications are for the average not the peak values. You can branch of of your 4ga amplifier feed for an interior aux panel.
Ok. I guess I'll run it off of a relay (even though with the cigarette lighter gone, and no radio amp, I'm sure the load is acceptable). I think you may have misunderstood me, however: I planned to run the OE lighter (for the laptop power inverter) with a direct connection to the UHJB. I would only be running the gps and thermometer back-light off of the ignition.

I will not tap into the amp power feed because I don't want to start stripping it in random places, in case I eventually use it in a different car (the only place I could tap in, without stripping it, is in the trunk). Not to mention, running a wire to the UHJB is much easier than tapping into the amp feed, anywhere.

Please explain a bit more about the diode, and why I need it... (this would just be for the gps and thermometer). (I know what a diode does, of course... but why is it necessary in a DC system?) I've used plenty of relays in cars without ever having trouble because I didn't use a diode, but I guess maybe I've just been lucky? I guess I will use an OE relay (one of the ones used in the UHJB for radiator fan, horn, etc) because I have a few spares. What kind of diode should I use? I assume I can get one in radio shack? (I know it's cheaper online, but I'd like to complete this project this evening or tomorrow, if possible, and even in radio shack, stuff like diodes is pretty cheap).

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Old 05-04-2010, 02:26 PM   #11
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Default Re: Where to get ignition switched power for two axuiliary power outlets

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasticCarsRock View Post
Ok. I guess I'll run it off of a relay (even though with the cigarette lighter gone, and no radio amp, I'm sure the load is acceptable). I think you may have misunderstood me, however: I planned to run the OE lighter (for the laptop power inverter) with a direct connection to the UHJB. I would only be running the gps and thermometer back-light off of the ignition.

I will not tap into the amp power feed because I don't want to start stripping it in random places, in case I eventually use it in a different car (the only place I could tap in, without stripping it, is in the trunk). Not to mention, running a wire to the UHJB is much easier than tapping into the amp feed, anywhere.

Please explain a bit more about the diode, and why I need it... (this would just be for the gps and thermometer). (I know what a diode does, of course... but why is it necessary in a DC system?) I've used plenty of relays in cars without ever having trouble because I didn't use a diode, but I guess maybe I've just been lucky? I guess I will use an OE relay (one of the ones used in the UHJB for radiator fan, horn, etc) because I have a few spares. What kind of diode should I use? I assume I can get one in radio shack? (I know it's cheaper online, but I'd like to complete this project this evening or tomorrow, if possible, and even in radio shack, stuff like diodes is pretty cheap).
update: I figured out why I should use a diode: when the ignition is turned off, the magnetic field in the relay coil will decrease (increasing in the opposite direction), inducing a current in the relay coil, opposite to the original source current. (Not sure why I never thought of this... as a physics major at Cornell, I've taken several classes in electricity and magnetism.) I suppose this (very small) reverse current might not be good for the ignition. I'll get an appropriate diode from radio shack.

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