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Thread: 12v outlets

  1. #1
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    Default 12v outlets

    I seem to be getting more 12 volt stuff in my life as I get more solar.

    If I want some plugs in my jeep, boat, or trailer so I can trade lights, etc when not in use, are cigarette lightness sockets the "standard"? They seem awfully 70's (50's?) and clunky.

    I see other options and wondered if there was any other plug system I should be looking at.

    The cig lighter plug is nice because I can easily open them up and add to whatever load cord I want.

    Thanks

    Tom

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 12v outlets

    nothing wrong with the dated cig plugs/receptacle. but they are limited in their current carrying capacity 3-5 amps at best. Powerlet type connections are considerably better(imho) also called BMW plugs-good to around 15 amps
    Last edited by the_gr8t_waldo; 08-17-2018 at 10:23 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 12v outlets

    The cig lighter plug is common as a type. Many phone/device chargers,etc already have the male end that fits them.

    That said, you can use a two-prong plug and receptacle, such as this one: Screen Shot 2018-08-17 at 11.15.37 AM.jpg


    You can also purchase USB receptacles:




    None are better or worse; its what suits.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 12v outlets

    I have some nice water proof ones on some fishing kayak electronics. I'd like to buy some more but I don't know the trade name for them.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 12v outlets

    Cigarette lighter plugs seem to be losing favor in the automotive industry. Fewer and fewer people smoke. I've noticed that even when they are installed on the new models, they don't include the cigarette lighter itself. My 2015 GMC Sierra pickup (Same as the Chevy pickups) provides USB ports and even 120 VAC outlets. While they look very much alike, recently manufactured "cigarette lighter" sockets are designed not to accept a cigarette lighter, but rather only the "cigarette lighter" 12 VDC jacks. The jacks will fit in the cigarette lighter sockets, but not the other way around. Vehicle manufacturers are moving away from providing lighters in vehicles and most lighters sold now are aftermarket items. The primary reason is that cigarette lighters in cars can cause fires if they get stuck and "cook off," instead of popping out when they are fully heated. It's also one less item that cuts a few bucks off the price of the product without the consumer noticing in most instances these days. All of which to say that the "cigarette lighter" socket is in a transitional phase today, but will likely go the way of button hooks and buggy whips in a decade or so, replaced by 12VDC USB ports and 120 VAC "wall socket" plugs. I expect 12 VDC accessories will soon start being manufactured with USB jacks instead of clunky "cigarette lighter" plugs, giving rise to another generation of USB jack to "cigarette lightr plug" adapters. Given that most boats last longer than cars and trucks, I'd be installing a smaller USB port rather than a "cigarette lighter" socket these days. (The "cigarette lighter" sockets also have a way of turning into a pile of rust in the marine environment.) In the mean time, if you have "cigarette lighter" sockets, as they say, "Smoke 'em if you got 'em."

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 12v outlets

    The off road crowd seem to use Andersen plugs for larger currents. It's a bigger market so I'd look in that direction for developments.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 12v outlets

    These used to be the norm on boats, bu I donít think you can even buy them anymore. Does anyone know for sure?

    They have caps that screw on when not in use.

  8. #8

    Default Re: 12v outlets

    The two things I need power outlets for are the charging base for my hand held VHF and my cell phone. My VHF's already come with "cigarette lighter" type adapters. I have used an adapter for "cigarette" outlet to USB outlet to charge my cell phone in the past.

    I checked the cell phone wall chargers I have (to plug into 120 V AC house current). The output is 1-2 amps at 5 V. If I wire a USB outlet to a 12 V source, will I damage my cell phone when I plug in to charge?

    I notice that the USB outlet pictured also lists a 5 V output.

    Thanks,

    Frank K.

  9. #9

    Default Re: 12v outlets

    A little research and I have answered my own question:

    See this link: https://www.jamestowndistributors.co...lug+%26+Socket

    The input is 12 V but the output is stepped down to 5 V.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 12v outlets

    I've been researching new cars a bit and noticed that on a number of them you can order an optional "Smokers Package". Guessing that means adding a lighter and ashtray somewhere.

    For the very few electrical components I have on Marianita I built a small panel so everything is hardwired (running lights, anchor light, GPS and USB port).
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

  11. #11
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    Default Re: 12v outlets

    "Seadog" still makes a metal deck connection.

    https://www.defender.com/category.js...C328%7C3908565


  12. #12
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    Default Re: 12v outlets

    Good choices. Thanks everyone!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: 12v outlets

    The film/video industry (and handicap scooter folks) use 4-pin XLR connectors (look like microphone connectors) for 12V power. They double up on pins for pos and neg.
    Pros: locking, secure connection with good strain relief. Will even support a reasonable load -- small GPS unit, light, etc. Straight and right-angle versions available for cords. Many panel mount options, too. Silver or gold-plated contacts available.
    Cons: Not waterproof at all, and not easily available at standard boating outlets. No OEM gear will come wired that way, so you'll always have to modify.

    I still use lighter plugs, so far... except for the video gear.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: 12v outlets

    Interesting, there are some 15 amp fused cigarette style plugs and sockets on Amazon. Will be plenty for anything I want to do off the battery. And I can use the usb plugins where needed.
    Last edited by bluedog225; 08-20-2018 at 11:17 PM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: 12v outlets

    the typical cig plug/recp. has it's own, built in amp limitation. that being the plug...the center contact on the plug has a rounded pin and the mating surface in the recp. is flat. they presents a contact area, so small that it couldn't possibly pass 15 amps (all this at 12volts).

  16. #16
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    Default Re: 12v outlets

    We use the traditional "cigarette lighter" connection for two reasons; the 12V adaptor for my CPAP uses the male connector, as does our cell phone charger. I did add another female socket above my side of the V-berth so I needn't run the CPAP cord out to the helm. I agree with your "clunky" observation.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: 12v outlets

    The Ham radio guys that I've been getting involved with seem to be/have moved to Anderson Powerpole connectors. These are genderless so any plug can get plugged into another one.

    https://www.jaycar.com.au/45a-anders...r-set/p/PT4406

    These plugs have decent current carrying capacity and are commonly used to run various radios in the Ham world so I presume would run most of the loads you'd find on a boat.

    Cheers,
    Rex

  18. #18
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    Default Re: 12v outlets

    Genderless plugs now? (joking)......thanks for the link.

    I don't doubt I'm wrong on this but the amazon listing seems to indicate at least 10 amps and a 15 amp fuse.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07CQ...XIRL6C1F&psc=1

  19. #19
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    Default Re: 12v outlets

    I think it was Bruce Bingham wrote that he'd replace "cigarette style" plugs with two prong plugs that he bought at Radio Shack.
    basil

  20. #20
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    Default Re: 12v outlets

    sorry Blue..i just got back to this after a trip, without computer access. I didn't mean to suggest that you miss read the advertising
    Quote Originally Posted by bluedog225 View Post
    Genderless plugs now? (joking)......thanks for the link.

    I don't doubt I'm wrong on this but the amazon listing seems to indicate at least 10 amps and a 15 amp fuse.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07CQ...XIRL6C1F&psc=1
    I too have read the listings and such and yes, they do tout the figure of 15a often. I was saying the 15amps is either hopeful...or just a seller trying to bilk buyers with fictitious figures. it is the internet after all, and a healthy supply of skepticism helps
    Last edited by the_gr8t_waldo; 08-31-2018 at 10:11 AM.

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