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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How to hardwire a USB charger to your cigarette lighter

I decided to hardwire a USB charger, since I use it a lot to charge my phone and to charge my GPS.
I've decided to expose the wire in the center cupholder by the radio, since that's where I keep my GPS, and that's where I also keep my phone. (Note: I'm still waiting for the GPS clip to arrive - will post pics once I get it, but what I have in mind will be pretty nifty.)

So, you start off with a USB Hardwire kit from eBay.


I installed a female adapter on each end. The blue piece will be used to tap into the wires.


I decided to tap into the cigarette lighter under the armrest, only because the cigarette lighter by the climate control unit had two purple wires and one black..didnt know what to do with two purple wires….the armrest one has one purple and one black - simple!


I installed the blue male adapters, making sure the tapping really cut into the wires.


Next, I drilled a hole in the cupholder, and ran the wire there. I ran it from the back.
To make the hole appear less drastic, I put a nice rubber protector over around it.


A better view. The cable goes from under the cupholder, through it and comes out on top through the drilled hole.


Cupholder installed back


Next step was to hide the black transformer box. I put a double sided tape on it and placed it out of the way, so it wouldn't rattle behind the climate control unit.


After running the wires through the center console, I finally connected them under the armrest.


Here, a proof that it works - my phone is charging! (notice the lighting thingy over the battery!)


Finally, this is what the hardwired USB cable looks like…I'm VERY happy with it.


While at it, I'll also showcase how I hardwired my radar detector. Ran the wire through the driver A pillar to the fuse box.


I also installed an on/off switch in the footwell so I can turn it off when I'm driving in the city


Oh, and this is how I mute the detector…a nice and tiny mute button. No worries, the double-sided tape will be trimmed


Nice and clean dash


Modified by tomedkaz at 5:17 PM 2-26-2010
 

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Re: How to hardwire a USB charger to your cigarette lighter (tomedkaz)

Nice writeup Tommy! Thanks for sharing
This is gonna come in handy as I try to do a trick mount up for my TPMS system
 

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Re: How to hardwire a USB charger to your cigarette lighter (B.G.)

Very clean. I admire the forward thinking these types of installs take. Also thanks for including the process in the photos, always helps to know what to be looking for.
 

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Re: How to hardwire a USB charger to your cigarette lighter (RiversideR)

Good write up. I did the same thing, except I used a cigarette-plug USB device, like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Cigarett...C6I5W
I took it apart, reduced the overall size by cutting off unnecessary junk, then hid the entire thing inside the CCM. I taped power from the dash cig port, and the USB cable to someplace convenient. It works well enough.

Good stealthing on the radar. I'd like to get one, but it seems like the only good detectors are hundreds and hundreds of bucks.
 

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Re: How to hardwire a USB charger to your cigarette lighter (B.G.)

Nice how-to.

Still can't believe you ditched the spaceball...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: How to hardwire a USB charger to your cigarette lighter (Needsdecaf)

Quote, originally posted by Needsdecaf »
Nice how-to.

Still can't believe you ditched the spaceball...

Thanks

I couldnt stand the spaceball...I think it's the ugliest piece in the R's interior.
It's too damn long, awkward looking and is...umm...ricy IMO... lol
 

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Re: How to hardwire a USB charger to your cigarette lighter (tomedkaz)

Nice write up http://********************/smile/emthup.gif http://********************/smile/emthup.gif

Did you paint your center console because the color doesn't match the dash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: How to hardwire a USB charger to your cigarette lighter (850arrrsaylikepirate)

Quote, originally posted by 850arrrsaylikepirate »
Nice write up http://********************/smile/emthup.gif http://********************/smile/emthup.gif

Did you paint your center console because the color doesn't match the dash.

yup good eye.
I painted it black because i got tired of my scratched up grey and black matches the tach cover
 

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Re: How to hardwire a USB charger to your cigarette lighter (tomedkaz)

Ahh, cool.
 

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Nice write up.
I did the same thing for my radar detector only I couldnt get to my rear seat cigarette lighter so I used the CCM. Yes I generated a CEL but that was removed easily.

I went a step further ..
I installed a 1kw power inverter in my boot - so I can run any 220/240v device directly off that battery. Its great for running anything from the house - including a bar fridge
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: (Ocean Racer)

Quote, originally posted by Turbo Country »
Where'd you get the tiny mute button (and why wasn't it mounted to the front/hidden side of your improved shift knob)?

The mute button came with the hardwire kit i bought from eBay

Quote, originally posted by Ocean Racer »
Nice write up.
I did the same thing for my radar detector only I couldnt get to my rear seat cigarette lighter so I used the CCM. Yes I generated a CEL but that was removed easily.

I went a step further ..
I installed a 1kw power inverter in my boot - so I can run any 220/240v device directly off that battery. Its great for running anything from the house - including a bar fridge

That's smart. You've got pics of your setup? I could use it this summer...I go camping a lot
 

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can i get some help from anyone in here? i need some stuff online. my friend recommended this USB car charger from iSimple.. you think i should go for it? thanks.
I got my USB charger from DealExtreme in Hong Kong. Originally I had this one but when I got my Droid2 I realized it didn't have enough amperage to recharge it. So, I got this one instead and with it's full 1000ma I can recharge and use it at the same time. I cracked the case open, soldered on some longer wires and then hid it inside the dash. The USB cable exits near where I keep my phone. Works great and cheap cheap cheap.

Note: the first one says 1000ma but it wasn't, and DX is great but it takes 2 weeks for anything to ship
 

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[/QUOTE Thanks

I couldnt stand the spaceball...I think it's the ugliest piece in the R's interior.
It's too damn long, awkward looking and is...umm...ricy IMO... lol[/QUOTE]

No offense but i think the MOMO shifter looks more ricey than the spaceball. To each their own. but the spaceball was my favorite part of the interior, aside from the gauges, and the nice comfy seats, and the nice stereo, and the s*** i just love everything about the car!!
 
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