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Old 05-28-2016, 09:19 PM   #1
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Charging iPads, etc

While anchored last weekend our daughter had a friend aboard, so there were a few more iphones, gopro's and ipads to charge than normal.

Someone gave us a small device charger with 4 USB ports that plugs into a 12v socket, but I noticed it had a disproportionately amp hour gobbling effect on the smartgauge.

Compass Marine did a quick test which explains why;

iPad Charging - How Much Energy? Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com
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Old 05-29-2016, 12:07 AM   #2
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Great article. The next thing I want to do is add 12v USB outlets to the Pilothouse. I have a 12v outlet there but don't want to get rid of it.

Need to figure out how to splice into its 12 supply so I can power both.
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Old 05-29-2016, 05:01 AM   #3
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Good article. Feel better about my unscientific guess that the inverter was not the most efficient way to charge all of our tables, laptops, phones, flashlight, handheld radios etc. A couple of years ago I installed three of the Bell 12 volt charging stations direct wiring them into the 12 volt system. They are well used.
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Old 05-29-2016, 07:57 AM   #4
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I have six kids

At last count I've installed 12 two port USB receptacles along with six or so of the cigarette style receptacles.

It's like being in an Apple store, but the arguments between kids has gone away.

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Old 05-29-2016, 09:05 AM   #5
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slightly off thread, but as to 110v charging, I have a duplex outlet (110v) which is not fed by the inverter, but is live only when the generator or shore power is engaged. I have several 110v chargers plugged in for my drill batteries, handhelds radios and spotlights. At anchor these are charged whenever the generator is turned on. Seems to work well without using our house battery bank.
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Old 05-29-2016, 04:39 PM   #6
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Thanks interesting Murray. I hadn't seen this article before. I had taken to charging using the inverter because it's faster, and we only have the one DC USB adapter. My wife and I use our iPads a lot when we are cruising.


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Old 05-29-2016, 10:05 PM   #7
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You can buy a 12V receptacle similar to the shape of the cigarette lighter which has several usb ports. It's inexpensive too.
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Old 05-29-2016, 10:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bilge53 View Post
You can buy a 12V receptacle similar to the shape of the cigarette lighter which has several usb ports. It's inexpensive too.
Just a heads up...in the article it's pointed out that some divide the charge between the USB ports, and some give a full charge to both...something to watch out for.
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Old 05-30-2016, 05:40 AM   #9
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Watch the combined draw of all the devices you are charging. When I installed the multiple outlet ports (total of 5 ports) I found that the boat's wiring to an existing 12 volt outlet was not sufficient. Needed to install larger wiring.
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Old 06-22-2017, 09:07 PM   #10
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Bump...

Any wisdom gained over the past year? New charging devices?
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Old 06-22-2017, 10:29 PM   #11
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Personnally I am using cigarette lighter outlet to charge when cruising and also have a portable battery pack (canadian tire 50$) that has a cigarette lighter outlet when I am at anchor. The portable battery pack has enough power to charge our 2 tablet and two cell phone during 4 days minimum and we never stay 4 days at anchor without moving.

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Old 06-22-2017, 10:57 PM   #12
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I use a USB 3.0 hub that uses a 12 volt power supply (cut off the power supply and used its connector) hardwired to a fused 12 volt source through a switch. It has 9 ports for charging. It is velcroed to a spot at the helm so everything gets charged there. It is also the point where my indoor cell booster antenna is located so the phones while charging are near the the best cell signal. I haven't measured the current draw but that probably depends on the number of devices attached. I do know my current draw at anchor without any freezer/refrigerator/heater running but with anchor light, 4 radios, and a chart plotter running in energy saving mode is about 4.8 amps including the charger with an Iphone attached.

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Old 06-23-2017, 09:32 AM   #13
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Just found out that Compass Marine's website is moving and the old link will fade away soon.

Here's the new link to the one in the original post on this thread;

https://marinehowto.com/ipad-charging-how-much-energy/

https://marinehowto.com/
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Old 06-23-2017, 12:03 PM   #14
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These converters are handy for all sorts of applications since they have an adjustable output voltage and will handle input voltage from up to 60V. If you want to power your USB charging ports, power a network hub, 9VDC device, this gizmo is inexpensive and provides a regulated voltage so you don't need to worry about high charging voltages creating a problem with your device. Just need to check the power (amperage) requirements to make sure you're within its power range, and adjust the output voltage with a multimeter. Need to take care to get the polarity correct, but in many cases you can simply cut off the wall wart adapter cord and connect it to the converter.

They're availble on Amazon or eBay.
Try https://www.amazon.com/DROK-Converte...+Input+4.5-60V

I use them to power devices without the 110V wall wart. Eliminates the need to keep the inverter powered up along with the accompanying standby losses since they can be powered directly from the boat's 12VDC. There are similar, smaller converters available with fixed 5VDC output that can power USB-type devices.
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Old 06-23-2017, 01:48 PM   #15
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Charging station. Most of our boats have circuit panels where some of the ac panels (120 or 240v) are not fed by the inverter. These panels only provide electricity when the generator is running or the shore power is connected. Water heaters, ac units and refrigeration are the typical uses for these isolated branches. I added one, actually just a branch off of my refrigeration to create a charging station at which I charge all sorts of battery operated devices from IPADs, cameras, spot lights, hand held radio to our laptop computers. What we do is let these items remain plugged in except if we are using them away from the charging station. Thus everytime the generator is turned on the units are charged. We find that doing this with our IPADs and laptops as well as phones results in them rarely being charged off the inverter or 12 v battery sources.
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Old 06-23-2017, 02:57 PM   #16
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I have a small 300-400W inverter that powers a charging station for my navigation and personal laptops. I also have a USB hub which provides multiple 2.4A and 1.2A USB ports for phone and tablet charging cords. Numerous 12V power outlets throughout the boat allow the use of several 2-port Scosche 2.4A chargers. They've been very reliable compared to the other brands I've tried.

I also have a portable jump start battery pack that provides portable power for a dink ride, bow or cockpit use.

Like Bay Pelican, I have some items like a rechargeable flashlight and portable VHF radio that remain plugged into the 120V AC outlets so they get charged only when the generator runs or we have shore power. They seem to like that charging pattern. If they need more electrons, I can easily plug them into the inverter circuit.
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