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Old 07-12-2018, 07:12 PM   #11
autostaretx
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Default Re: Hack in USB Charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by rollerbearing View Post
In automotive applications the return path is often the vehicle chassis ground. The point being that wire gauges that may be seemingly too small are not necessarily.
Many of the Sprinter's wiring harnesses (including and especially those in loom covers) do bring the (brown) negative wires back to a semi-central location, instead of quickly tying to the frame. Take a look at the collection on the firewall near the T1N starter battery's negative attachment.

The T1N service manuals include maps of where the ground points are located.

--dick
p.s. the headlamps do go to frame near the lamps, not far away.
..and the two "cigar sockets" ground up under the hump behind the instrument cluster
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Last edited by autostaretx; 07-12-2018 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 07-12-2018, 08:36 PM   #12
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Default Re: Hack in USB Charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by autostaretx View Post
Many of the Sprinter's wiring harnesses (including and especially those in loom covers) do bring the (brown) negative wires back to a semi-central location, instead of quickly tying to the frame. Take a look at the collection on the firewall near the T1N starter battery's negative attachment.

The T1N service manuals include maps of where the ground points are located.

--dick
p.s. the headlamps do go to frame near the lamps, not far away.
..and the two "cigar sockets" ground up under the hump behind the instrument cluster
I certainly agree with you. And I expect that would have been given engineering consideration.
Just wanted to illustrate Vic's point about single conductor in free air and why a smaller gauge wire may be perfectly fine.

This is also one of the reasons wires shouldn't be coiled - the local heating goes up unpredictably. And it is also worth keeping in mind when hunting down wire to wire shorts. Shorts can often occur where high current carrying wires have crossed or run parallel - the heat melting the insulation. Look for those and you may find your short.
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Old 07-15-2018, 04:59 AM   #13
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Default Re: Hack in USB Charging

Can never have enough 12v and USB outlets !
I don't really have any suitable " recess mount " areas in the right places that I want to locate the various outlets. I chose to use " surface mount " types instead. If you search your favourite online store, ie. Amazon, eBay etc. " motorcycle usb " . You will be presented with a veritable smorgasbord of devices. The ones I used come complete with waterproofing, switch, fuses, wiring, multiple outlets, voltage readout, and handlebar mounting bracket. The switch is great for preventing parasitic loads. You can mount these things to any convenient surface. ( may need to do your own modification to the existing bracket ).
Also, I have been particularly unimpressed with the design of the t1N interior lighting assembly.
I feel the large exposed + ve copper bar is just asking for trouble. Particularly if you have any type of metalized ( reflectix, rattletrap etc. ) insulation above the installed light.
I covered the offending part with 7mm ( inside diameter ) split convoluted tubing. Remove a small piece of the underside of the tubing to prevent possibl binding at the switch location. Disregard the wiring colours in the photo.
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Old 07-15-2018, 06:18 AM   #14
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Default Re: Hack in USB Charging

These USB outlets are the greatest providing me four years of solid performance so far. I've got two recessed into cabinets by the counter and bed. These run off the coach batteries. They are unswitched and the drain (from the blue light) is minimal (at least with solar). These outlets charge high demand items better than most gas station socket to USB adapters will.

Two matching VMs are switched using metal toggles. They make great nightlights so the switch is needed. Love the 'vintage' led readout.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rollerbearing View Post
This is also one of the reasons wires shouldn't be coiled - the local heating goes up unpredictably. And it is also worth keeping in mind when hunting down wire to wire shorts. Shorts can often occur where high current carrying wires have crossed or run parallel - the heat melting the insulation. Look for those and you may find your short.
So true. On the job, I always uncoil the spare AC length and run it free to avoid the induction unknown. The heat coming off 50' of 12gauge coiled with a 15amp load is quite tangible.
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Old 04-23-2019, 01:59 PM   #15
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Default Re: Hack in USB Charging

I changed my method for installing the USB unit in the interior light lense. I now solder the added wiring to the unit bar and switch terminal.

The modified light unit can easily be plugged into any interior light position. This particular unit was modified to provide power for my dash camera. It puts USB power up by the rear view mirror right where I needed it.

USBadapted02a.jpg

USBadapted02b.jpg

Some tips if you haven't soldered to larger pieces before.

As always when soldering clean the surfaces very well.

Use proper rosin core solder.

You'll need a decent sized solder gun or iron. A pencil type might not provide enough heat.

First apply solder to the larger part and the wire separately. This referred to as "tinning". After both parts are tinned, hold the two pieces together to melt and join them.

The above technique avoids excessive heating of the parts to be soldered. It is important to not overheat the small negative switch post or the plastic can be distorted/weakened.

If soldering isn't possible, the wire tap method I show on the beginning posts is fine. It just isn't as convenient if you ever want to move things around.

I used Solder Wick with added black shrink tube for the negative conductor. I did that mostly because it was in with the solder gun kit. It is quite flexible and easy to solder.

Not shown is the LED lamp array which I use instead of an OEM style incandescent lamp. The OEM incandescent lamps run very hot and use more power so changing to LED addresses that issue.

vic
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Last edited by Aqua Puttana; 01-14-2020 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 01-14-2020, 05:32 PM   #16
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Default Re: Hack in USB Charging

NCV3 Interior Light Info

Thanks goes (again) to Manwithgun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by manwithgun View Post
I second all of the info posted by Aqua above. The RED wire on the NCV3 dome light is a constant +12vdc that is fused. This can be spliced/tapped to source power. By then creating your own ground point to serve as the negative, you pretty much isolate the usb load from the BCM that “controls” the dome light switching function. If there are any solid brown wires in the headliner, this would likely be a factory grounding point that can also be used. Add your own switch to open and close either the positive + (red) or negative wires feeding the USB port since most that I have used are internally illuminated.

I have used these for compact switches where space is limited, and their larger big brother when space allows. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/stores/node/1...eb_19858731011
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Last edited by Aqua Puttana; 01-16-2020 at 05:59 PM.
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