rewire a car power adapter

This old topic is closed. If you want to reopen this topic, contact a moderator using the "Report Post" button.
I have a car charger for an ipod that plugs directly into a cigarrette lighter. I was wondering if there was a way to bypass the lighter and hardwire the charger directly into my power system? I am trying to cut down cable clutter, plus I would like to free up the lighter for other power needs. So can I cut the end off of the power cable and wire it directly? Is this safe? And is it doable for someone with not a lot of car audio/electrical experience? Any advice or links would be greatly apprecited.
The easiest way to do it in my opinion is to buy an extender for your cig lighter plug. It should just be a male plug, a female receptacle, and quite a bit of wire in between them. You cut that in half, throw away the male part, hardwire the wire connected to the female part into the switched (or constant, your choice) 12V system in your car. You could use the wire running to the stock cig lighter, or any other switched 12V lead in the dash (like the red wire running to the headunit). Then you simply plug your ipod charger into that female receptacle you just wired up, hide the whole mess in the dash somewhere, and run the wire that goes to the ipod out through some inconspicuous/convenient hole. All the advantages of hardwiring the ipod charger itself, but it's completely reversable and you don't have to mess with any of the circuitry inside the ipod charger (if there is any). Just make sure you get the polarity right when you're hardwiring that female plug. You can use a voltmeter on the stock cig lighter to figure out which of the two contacts is + and which is -, and then use an ohmmeter on your cut-in-half extender to figure out which of the wires is connected to which of the contacts in the receptacle.
be sure to use a fuse. For such a low draw application, you can just use tap one of the lines to the headunit, and use an inline 1 A fuse. You can either add annother cig lighter ack, or just open up the charger and solder on the wires and stick it somewhere in the dash.
Stocker said:
LOL or, you could get yourself a panel-mount 12V power outlet (some even have a pretty silkscreen or embossed springloaded cover) and mount it in a convenient flat surface in the dash or console or wherever. Run a couple hidden wires and call it a job.

Not sure what you're laughing about, your solution is the exact same thing except with a panel mount outlet sitting somewhere visible (which he wants to avoid) instead of a hidden outlet sitting behind the dash somewhere...
okay smart guy, who said OUTSIDE the dash? and then the charging cable is still intact. ;)

To answer the OP's question directly: If you don't mind the loss of the cable for use in any other location, you can safely cut the connector and wire it directly to the car's electrical system, assuming you get the polarity correct ***AND*** assuming it is just a connector. You might be astonished at how small a voltage regulator can be, which will fit inside the connector for your cable.

Use a fuse as was mentioned. I reccomend wiring into a switched curcuit instead of risking draining your battery in the event of a fault (or forgetfulness). Such a low current draw device, you *might* consider tapping into the switched power for your radio/headunit.

happy now, sr20dem0n
:angel: :D

The charging cable stays intact my way too, all that you destroy is the little cheap 12V outlet extender cord thing that you need to cut in half, then you just have to drill a small hole for the ipod cable to run through the dash (or find a joint where it can squeeze through). You're right, you never said you had to mount it in a visible spot, I just assumed that's what you meant because I don't see the point in buying one with a pretty silkscreen or embossed cover if you're just going to hide it inside the dash. ;)

In case someone doesn't know what kind of cable I'm talking about, it's just one of these:

Cut it in half, use the receptacle like you would a normal cigarette lighter plug, hardwire the wires coming out of it to the switched 12V system in your car, and hide the whole mess in the dash. Any switched 12V lead you can find in the dash is going to be fused, so there's no real point in fusing it again unless you're just anal (nothing wrong with being anal :)).
This old topic is closed. If you want to reopen this topic, contact a moderator using the "Report Post" button.