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DIY: Adding a power outlet.

  #1  
Old 12-13-2012, 01:10 PM
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Default DIY: Adding a power outlet.

One of the first things I noticed about the interior of my 2001 Accord was how few cigarette lighters... I mean, power outlets there were. (i.e. there was one.) My truck has two in the front and one in the back while the Nissan has three in the front plus one in the glove box and one inside the center console and two more in the back!

Obviously, we can no longer be expected to function as a society with only one power outlet. So, I decided to install another one. At the same time I installed a panel-mounted USB port so I could plug my mp3 player into my head unit without having an extra wire dangling off the dash board. (My hed unit has rear-mounted USB ports.)

Since my phone inevitably ends up in this space, I decided it would be a good place to install a charger outlet.



First, I took out the radio and clock so I could access the space behind them and figure out where I could mount an outlet without it rubbing on anything. Then I marked where I would install it.



Next step, drill the 3/4" hole for the USB port.



As you can see here, the USB port has a tab to prevent it from spinning.



So I filed a small slot to orient the port.



using a needle file.



Here is front and back of the USB port.





Continued in next post...
 

Last edited by Random Cheese; 12-13-2012 at 01:40 PM. Reason: Fix picture links
  #2  
Old 12-13-2012, 01:17 PM
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The power outlet requires a 7/8" hole. I used a wood bit at a VERY slow speed to drill it. This kid of bit can really tear-up plastic if you aren't careful.



Even at a slow speed, the hole was a little ragged. I cleaned up the edges with a deburring tool.




At this point, you just drop the power outlet through the hole and screw the two pieces together. Looks like this...





Next step is to figure out where to get power from. I chose to use a fused constant-on feed to the radio. In my car it is White/green and is located on the top left of this plug.



I hooked into it with a solderless connector-



A grounding lug is conveniently located at the rear of the compartment here...



Hot wire to the center, ground wire to the outer prong, snap cover back into place and... viola!



Total elapsed time- one hour.
USB port- $15
Power outlet- $8
Electrical connectors- <$1
 

Last edited by Random Cheese; 12-13-2012 at 01:42 PM. Reason: fix photo links
  #3  
Old 12-16-2012, 12:18 PM
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nice tutorial with good fit and finish.

i've also added a 3.0A dual USB power socket in the center console to allow for cables to be hidden and also located closer to the driver.
 
  #4  
Old 12-16-2012, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by keep_hope_alive View Post
nice tutorial with good fit and finish.
Thanks, whenever I do something like this I want it to look like it came from the factory. I'm trying to figure out how to fit another USB port and outlet into the center console compartment so I can leave my ipod or phone plugged in but completely out of sight. So far, it looks like there isn't enough clearance.

If anyone has done that, I'd love to see how and where they did.
 
  #5  
Old 12-19-2012, 11:41 PM
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Simply buy a dual USB socket.
 
  #6  
Old 12-20-2012, 12:57 PM
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I considered installing a dual USB port in the front cubby, but what I'm talking about is installing a power outlet and a USB port inside the armrest storage compartment between the front seats. I haven't taken it apart yet but, from the outside, it looks as though there isn't enough clearance for them.

Making a styrene insert is certainly an option. I guess it just boils down to how much time I'm willing to spend on the project.
 
  #7  
Old 02-08-2013, 06:11 PM
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I have considered putting a charge port up in the glasses flap in the roof as i put my iphone up there when i am driving. Because it is always connected through bluetooth to my stereo i can use the music from it and have handsfree calling without ever touching my phone. I would like to be able to charge my phone while it is up there. I would have to get a 12 volt iphone or universal cigarette lighter charger and take it apart and wire it into the map lights and boom...Done. Also while it is up there it keeps me from texting and driving which i seem to do alot
 
  #8  
Old 02-08-2013, 08:10 PM
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Where did you get the usb and extra DC sockets? I can't find anything comparable...

Also, I took apart my center console as I've wanted to add a socket in there too, but the cup holder is in the way if you were to mount it in the front of the compartment. The only space is in the back or on the floor of the compartment.
 
  #9  
Old 02-11-2013, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Jethead102 View Post
Where did you get the usb and extra DC sockets? I can't find anything comparable...
I got the outlet from my local AutoZone. I think it was about 8 bucks. The USB port I got from an electronics retailer... I want to say "sonic" ? It took some doing to find the right kind of port... I think the keyword to search for is "Flush Mount USB."

I ended up putting a power port and USB port inside the little compartment under the stereo and now my mp3 player lives there and my GPS power cord has a permanent home.
 
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