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Old 05-24-2018, 10:09 PM   #1
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USB equipped A/C Power Outlets

After seeing the Kadey Krogen 50 Open at the Palm Beach boat show recently, I noticed they have added USB power jacks to many of the power outlets around the boat. I was curious about the parasitic drain of the USB ports and according to Leviton T5632-W outlets draw less than 50mw when no device is plugged into USB ports, which I think isn't too bad. Still pretty nice to only need a USB cable and no wall wart.

https://www.amazon.com/Leviton-T5632...B+power+outlet
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Old 05-24-2018, 11:17 PM   #2
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I have installed these on about half my outlets.
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Old 05-25-2018, 12:00 AM   #3
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I put some in at my house and had one get REALLY hot as a failure mode.

I was very much not impressed with that and decided to just use plug in USB power supplies.
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Old 05-25-2018, 12:14 AM   #4
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I left my AC outlets alone and just added USB duplex outlets in strategic areas.
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Old 05-25-2018, 12:20 AM   #5
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USB equipped A/C Power Outlets

I put in about 5 usb AC outlets in my boat. I did run into one problem however. The PO had put in some extra outlets on the starboard side of the saloon. The wiring runs down the side of the saloon where the ER vent is. A couple months ago when I got myself into some really bad sea conditions (my fault) I was taking green water over the bow and waves were breaking against the starboard side of the boat. The ER vent opening is normally about 5í above the waterline, but LOTS of sea water got into the vent as the waves hit the vent. This water ran down the vent chase where these outlets were installed. They got drenched with salt water. The original outlets werenít bothered, but the USB outlet that was there got fried. It took a while to figure out what had gone wrong and why a whole circuit of my AC in the saloon was not working.

I replaced that outlet with the original and all was fine. The only point is that those home USB outlets are not really very hardy in a marine environment. Iíve had no problems with the others that I have installed but I will be very careful about installing any more.

I never did think about the parasitic power draw however. That is something that I may need to check out.

Edit: Ignore the power drain issue. I think the outlets have about 50mw of power drain per hour. If my math is correct, all 4 outlets would only draw about 5 watts of AC power per day. That may amount to about 6 watts per day of drain on my batteries via the inverter (really rough guess there). So If Iím right, all 4 will only drain a 1/2 amp of current from my batteries each day. So, not enough to be concerned about.
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Old 05-25-2018, 12:23 AM   #6
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We have an adapter that plugs into an outlet. It has 4 USB ports and an outlet to replace the outlet that it is plugged into. We also have a 12 volt outlet that has 2 USB ports built into it. I believe it is made by Marinco.
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Old 05-25-2018, 12:51 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Comodave View Post
We have an adapter that plugs into an outlet. It has 4 USB ports and an outlet to replace the outlet that it is plugged into. We also have a 12 volt outlet that has 2 USB ports built into it. I believe it is made by Marinco.


I considered getting a permanently installed 12v dual usb charger. I have a 12volt outlet (cigarette lighter type) in the PH and it would be easy to swap out. However, the Marinco only supples 2.1 amps total between the two USB ports. This is less than the 2.4 amps that an iPad wants to charge. Plug in two phones, or an iPad and a phone, and the usb outlet will only deliver a bit over 1 amp to each and likely get really hot in the the process.

Blue Seas makes a ďfast chargeĒ dual outlet that will output 4.8 amps between the two USB ports. That is something I have considered but I think will just stay with the plug in adaptor since when it burns out, it is easy to replace.
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Old 05-25-2018, 01:11 AM   #8
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So far it seems to work out ok, have not found it running hot. It is enough to charge while we are using the ipads. We also plug them into the 120 volt adapter I spoke about in the previous post at night. Between the 2 it has met our needs. I was replacing the 12 volt outlet and wiring to upgrade them so we can run a chest freezer off the 12 volt outlet so I went with the Marinco in order to get the 2 USB ports at the same time.
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:35 AM   #9
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We installed several of the USB AC outlets in our boat. dhays summed it up nicely; no real issue with power drain. Loved the convenience.
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Old 05-25-2018, 09:06 AM   #10
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Funny timing, I was looking at this one yesterday as Iím contemplating the same things. Thoughts?
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0748...ZFXIDSU7&psc=1
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Old 05-25-2018, 09:14 AM   #11
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I installed these last year and they are still working well. I chose them because Leviton was a name I recognized, the ratings were mostly favorable and the price was attractive. So far, so good

https://www.amazon.com/Leviton-T5632...ct_top?ie=UTF8
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Old 05-25-2018, 02:39 PM   #12
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I put 12V-powered USB outlets all over the boat. Some things I've found:

- The ones that run off 120VAC will introduce a parasitic load. Not much, but if it's enough to keep the inverter powered up, when otherwise nothing is drawing 120VAC, then you've added the inverter's parasitic load, too. That's a big deal for us, trying to stretch our time on the hook between generator runs.

- Be sure to get the ones that have at least one USB plug with at least a 2.1A capacity. Modern USB fast chargers may need even more. Anything less and you're wasting your money.

- Be sure to use the "right" USB cable for your device. I have some cables which are wired internally to be recognized as "fast" chargers for our Android devices. Otherwise the device may think it's a slow charger. But again, look at the Amp rating on the cable; I've overheated them using a lower-amp cable on a device which will accept higher fast charging.

- Beware of lighted outlets. They can be too bright at night. Ours have a small blue LED which is sometimes too much, but at least the rubber outlet cover blocks most of it when not in use. I've actually had to put a tiny square of electrical tape over the ones in the master berth.

- You can never have enough USB ports in all the places you'll want one. Especially with guests and passengers who almost always show up with a dying battery. And don't forget the cables (your guests will!) There are now at least 4 common USB device formats, with possibly 2-3 more less common but still out there.
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Old 05-25-2018, 04:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryM View Post
I installed these last year and they are still working well. I chose them because Leviton was a name I recognized, the ratings were mostly favorable and the price was attractive. So far, so good

https://www.amazon.com/Leviton-T5632...ct_top?ie=UTF8
me too...

have 3 aboard at common charging spots, not enougj parasitic to kick on my inverter....

none run hot....

wall warts are just as fire prone if not more so...

my android fast charge seems to be in the wall wart, not the cable....
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Old 05-25-2018, 05:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryM View Post
I installed these last year and they are still working well. I chose them because Leviton was a name I recognized, the ratings were mostly favorable and the price was attractive. So far, so good

https://www.amazon.com/Leviton-T5632...ct_top?ie=UTF8
I just ordered 2 of them for our aft cabin.
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Old 05-25-2018, 05:12 PM   #15
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I bought one of these, https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1, and wired it direct to 12VDC. It's fixed in place at the helm and is the central charging station on the boat.

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Old 05-25-2018, 05:27 PM   #16
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CaptTom,
That is a very good caution on the USB cables vs. fast charge loads.
I have a couple of the Blue Seas dual-USB outlets and they charge/run my stuff OK.

But the one problem I've had was letting the smoke out of one of those low ampacity cables, melted the end off at the USB plug -in.

So I am going to make sure I have more of the right kind of USB cables on board for my stuff and my guests with dead cell phones!

Hang up and boat!
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Old 05-25-2018, 06:03 PM   #17
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I have found a good and low cost replacement cable store called FiveBelow and all their products are $5 or less... 3', 6' and 10' cables are $5 each. Plus they even work with Apple products and lightning cable jacks.

https://www.fivebelow.com/store-locator
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Old 05-25-2018, 06:33 PM   #18
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I dont know enough to comment for myself, but I just had my (non-nautical) kitchen remodeled and asked the electrician to install these devices at each location and he advised that they couldn't be in a GFI protected circuit, which eliminated most of my kitchen (and all of my boat.
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Old 05-25-2018, 06:53 PM   #19
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AlaskProf: this is possibly because the low draw of an idle outlet might be seen as a leak.

GFI/GFCI outlets test power leaks from hot to ground, not hot to neutral.

He might not want to put them near "damp" environments like kitchen counter outlets but near beds at staterooms or in the salon would be ok.
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Old 05-25-2018, 07:04 PM   #20
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work fine in my GFI circuits.
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