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Multiple 12v Outlets In Automobile


BGunner01
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As I get more and more involved in this really fun hobby, I find myself needing more and more 12-volt outlets in my old Grand Am cachemobile. Plugging one "1-to-2 pigtail" into another "one 1-to-2 pigtail" to yield three outlets probably isn't the best way to do it any more. Plus, my lovely wife (who doesn't really enjoy GC as much as I do) needs an outlet to plug in her flashing "I'm With Stupid" arrow sign. -_-

 

Seriously though -- Is there an easy yet correct way way to plug in say, 2 GPSRs, a laptop computer, a cell phone charger and an MP3 player? I guess that would be 4 or 5 outlets. These items aren't big power users but probably need to utilize some type of fused connection so I don't accidentally short them all out at once.

 

Would appreciate any advice or experience you guys can offer...Thanks!

 

P.S. You now also see that when I have all these things plugged in, there isn't really enough room in the front seat for my wife and her sign anyway. :P

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The Trisonic TS-532KK delivers one high current jack and three low current jacks. It comes with a removable slidemount that could be screwed into a dash or just left dangling for easy removability. I have a handful of these that are in service, but not in an auto.

 

Units with three outputs are rather more easy to find.

 

Many of the types of devices you describe can be powered/charged via USB. So if you run your laptop on an inverter, you could probably get cables to charge your cell and mp3 player (and select GPSes, or just use a USB-powered one for car nav..) from that if your have USB ports on the laptop in sufficient abundance.

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Well for myself, I went to Radio Shack and picked up a three socket 12 volt power port and hard wired it into the battery at the fuse block under the hood, with a 30 amp inline fuse.

 

I also have hard wired into the battery at the fuse block a 400 watt 12 volt - 110 volt converter for my laptop, also with a 30 amp fuse. (I think it is a 30, might be more.)

 

The three way socket had a couple mounting holes to get it up off the floor and the converter just sits on the tunnel in the pickup or the floor in the car.

 

Check what watts you need to run your laptop. I had a 50 watt converter but the new laptop needs a 75, hence I went big and got the 400 watt. It will also let me use a printer and a laminator if need be. Yes, I do pack them with me. Just incase. -_-

I can also plug in the charger for the rechargable batteries, cordless drill, charger for the hand radios, etc.

 

Just be careful where you run the wires through the firewall. Put your inline fuse as near the battery as possble, that way if you do get a short, it will pop the fuse near the power source and prevent a fire in the firewall area or under the dash.

 

Logscaler.

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Well for myself, I went to Radio Shack and picked up a three socket 12 volt power port and hard wired it into the battery at the fuse block under the hood, with a 30 amp inline fuse.

 

I also have hard wired into the battery at the fuse block a 400 watt 12 volt - 110 volt converter for my laptop, also with a 30 amp fuse. (I think it is a 30, might be more.)

 

The three way socket had a couple mounting holes to get it up off the floor and the converter just sits on the tunnel in the pickup or the floor in the car.

 

Check what watts you need to run your laptop. I had a 50 watt converter but the new laptop needs a 75, hence I went big and got the 400 watt. It will also let me use a printer and a laminator if need be. Yes, I do pack them with me. Just incase. -_-

I can also plug in the charger for the rechargable batteries, cordless drill, charger for the hand radios, etc.

 

Just be careful where you run the wires through the firewall. Put your inline fuse as near the battery as possble, that way if you do get a short, it will pop the fuse near the power source and prevent a fire in the firewall area or under the dash.

 

Logscaler.

 

I would also put a fuse on both the positive and negative sides. Just remember that everything will be on even when the vehicle is turned off. If you forget to turn everything off you might have a dead battery the next morning

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Well for myself, I went to Radio Shack and picked up a three socket 12 volt power port and hard wired it into the battery at the fuse block under the hood, with a 30 amp inline fuse.

 

I also have hard wired into the battery at the fuse block a 400 watt 12 volt - 110 volt converter for my laptop, also with a 30 amp fuse. (I think it is a 30, might be more.)

 

The three way socket had a couple mounting holes to get it up off the floor and the converter just sits on the tunnel in the pickup or the floor in the car.

 

Check what watts you need to run your laptop. I had a 50 watt converter but the new laptop needs a 75, hence I went big and got the 400 watt. It will also let me use a printer and a laminator if need be. Yes, I do pack them with me. Just incase. :ph34r:

I can also plug in the charger for the rechargable batteries, cordless drill, charger for the hand radios, etc.

 

Just be careful where you run the wires through the firewall. Put your inline fuse as near the battery as possble, that way if you do get a short, it will pop the fuse near the power source and prevent a fire in the firewall area or under the dash.

 

Logscaler.

 

I would also put a fuse on both the positive and negative sides. Just remember that everything will be on even when the vehicle is turned off. If you forget to turn everything off you might have a dead battery the next morning

 

one thing i have done for the hard wired multi outlets is to install a heavy duty toggle switch so i have a master off switch :(

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Hard wiring to the battery would be the best thing along with an inline fuse. Knowing the power consumption of each unit is a must to figure the power (current x voltages) or to find the current (power or watts divided by voltage), ohms law. The current draw will dictate the fuse size and also the wire size. It is important to use the right gauge wire. If the gauge of the wire is to small it could catch fire. Even if there is a fuse inline. Remember the higher the gauge number the smaller the wire. A 30 amp fuse may require a 10 gauge wire. I hope this helps along with the rest of the responses. Happy Hunting.

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The best thing to do is intall an auxilliary fuse block on your firewall. Form there you can hardwire in as many 12v outlets as you need, putting them wherever is the most convenient place.

 

Make sure the auxilliary fuse block is wired to the battery with the proper guage of wire, and an inline fuse...and use a fuse block with fuses on each circuit.

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Some cars nowadays have two "cigarette lighter" plugs. It's kind of funny, the original reason for one is way down (far less people smoke), yet another end of demand for them is way up (the topic of this forum for example). One of our cars, a 2002 Saturn LW200 station wagon, has one in the front dash and one in the back of the cupholder area. So you could put one of these two or three jack "extension cords" into each and instantly have 4-6 outlets. We haven't tried an extender yet, but it's been an easy way to charge a cell phone and still run the GPS without batteries.

Edited by hairymon
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