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Old 04-16-2020, 12:45 AM   #1
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Recommendations please - flush mounted 12v USB plugs

Looking for recommendations on ‘value’ (best quality for a reasonable price) flush mounted dual (more 3. 4?) usb charging ports.
Since I’ve added a couple of tablets to my helm’s navigation suite (ram mounted on a plastic bar running athwartships just above the helm), I’d like to put two dual port usb chargers (one on each side - away from - the compas) to power the tablets (I don’t like running chords from the current cig lighter style plug that already exists on the gauge board). The extra plug on each will be used for phones which I also mount up on the bar.

The plugs don’t need to be fancy with voltmeters, but should have waterproof covers for when I secure the helm at the end of the day. While I don’t mind cutting a ‘cigarette plug’ cord and then wiring to the 12v under the helm, I’d prefer long (4 ft) non-terminated cables mostly to cut out that extra connection to extend the cig plug wire.

Seen plenty of these online, but am looking for hands on testimonials for good ‘value’ products.
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Old 04-16-2020, 12:49 AM   #2
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I have one of Marincos USB and 12volt outlet.
Dual USB Charger and 12V Receptacle
Part # 12VCOMBO
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Old 04-16-2020, 07:33 AM   #3
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Excellent information on this topic on the “Marine How To” website. The review is posted in an article titled: “i-pad charging”. Hope you find it useful!
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Old 04-16-2020, 09:19 AM   #4
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Be careful when it comes to USB ports intended for charging.

There are a million standards. And, the standard matters a lot -- maximum charging current can vary from as little as 2.5W for USB 1.0) to as much as 100W (USB-C + USB-PD). They aren't just generational, e.g. USB 1.0 vs 2.0 vs 2.1 vs 3.0 vs 3.1. They are also, so some extent, manufacturer proprietary.

If the advanced standard used on a port doesn't match the advanced standard expected by the device, the fallback is to a baseline standard -- that can't provide nearly as much power.

There are, literally, about two dozen standards (and likely counting).

This article might provide some sense of the landscape:
-- https://www.digitalcitizen.life/fast-charging-standards

This is why, when it comes to charging ports, I prefer a good old "cigarette lighter" ports (absent the cigarette lighter), e.g. DC auxiliary power ports.

Somehow this 1950s tech, very slowly fading as it is, is somewhat future proof, in that it allows the use of manufacturer specific chargers as the standards change.
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Old 04-16-2020, 09:19 AM   #5
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Greetings,
Mr. JH. Welcome aboard.
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Old 04-16-2020, 09:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gkesden View Post
Be careful when it comes to USB ports intended for charging.

There are a million standards. And, the standard matters a lot -- maximum charging current can vary from as little as 2.5W for USB 1.0) to as much as 100W (USB-C + USB-PD). They aren't just generational, e.g. USB 1.0 vs 2.0 vs 2.1 vs 3.0 vs 3.1. They are also, so some extent, manufacturer proprietary.

If the advanced standard used on a port doesn't match the advanced standard expected by the device, the fallback is to a baseline standard -- that can't provide nearly as much power.

There are, literally, about two dozen standards (and likely counting).

This article might provide some sense of the landscape:
-- https://www.digitalcitizen.life/fast-charging-standards

This is why, when it comes to charging ports, I prefer a good old "cigarette lighter" ports (absent the cigarette lighter), e.g. DC auxiliary power ports.

Somehow this 1950s tech, very slowly fading as it is, is somewhat future proof, in that it allows the use of manufacturer specific chargers as the standards change.
Good info.

Also keep in mind that these things draw power even when nothing is plugged in to be charged. This is called "quiescent (or idle) current". It can vary widely between manufacturers.

It may not matter to you depending on your battery bank size, but I have measured as much as 2-3A of quiescent current on some of the cheapo Asian charging ports. Others are in the uA range. This matters if you plan on sprinkling them throughout your boat.

If you can find the specifications on the particular one(s) you are planning to install, it would be good.
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Old 04-16-2020, 09:44 AM   #7
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I got mine on Amazon for $14 each. I bought 2 and installed them on my bridge. Crusty did the same.

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Old 04-16-2020, 12:04 PM   #8
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Like this one? Amazon has them.
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Old 04-16-2020, 12:37 PM   #9
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a year ago I would have said dual USB port and then you can use whichever cord you want. NOW, I am actually leaning more towards old style cig lighter plug. The reason for this, most USB styles do not support the higher amperage needed for tablets or even some of the phones now (Galaxy Note). So using the cig plug allows for more options for different power requirements. Also, make sure you are wired correctly and properly fused for the increased power pull from the devices...
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Old 04-16-2020, 12:46 PM   #10
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I have done what Crusty and ASD did, my boat isn't that big but I replaced standard wall plug in with the same with two USB ports added. I only have five wall mounts on my boat so it wasn't a big deal. And I added two cig lighter plugs if for no other reason than if standards change over time, and they will, I can always find an adapter for the cig plug.
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Old 04-16-2020, 02:43 PM   #11
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I use the old cig. outlet for my devices. The actual plug is a dual,. Scosche. recommended by CMS on his site.

I installed a dual port usb outlet on my wife's side. It is Blue Seas unit.
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Old 04-17-2020, 01:59 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the great info.

I already have a cig plug on the 'front' of the helm and run dual usb off of it, but the positioning isn't optimal for the way I want to have the tablets/phones set up for the Admiral and myself.

I'm not sure if my use of the word 'charge' is really what I was trying to say. All our devices get charged every night while cruising (we have a 3Kw inverter that supplies all our AC house loads - minus the biggies like AC) so the usb's would really only need to supply enough amps to keep the devices from really draining down in use (we all know how much the screens suck up when they're on all the time), not keep the devices at 100% charged.

I did get a recommendation for this unit, looking good to me so far, though I'd really prefer a 'vertical' vice horizontal type plug. While this horizontal unit would be more water proof while in use, I was more concerned with it's tightness when not in use, i.e. nothing plugged in.
https://www.defender.com/product3.js...792&id=3789735
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Old 05-24-2020, 11:29 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the recommendations. I ended up going with the Scanstrut ROKK Charge+. Very easy installation and no issues to date.
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Old 05-25-2020, 09:19 AM   #14
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I installed a Blue Seas dual usb plug on my dashboard - 2.4 amps each port - and use it for my Navionics app on my iPad. Even with that, the iPad slowly lost power throughout the day, until I found a more robust power cord. Since then it's been just fine, all day.
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Old 05-25-2020, 11:11 AM   #15
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To me, those embedded USB plugs do not charge as fast as the pucks and cords that come with devices. I only use the picks now after months of sampling.
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Old 05-25-2020, 12:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
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I installed a Blue Seas dual usb plug on my dashboard - 2.4 amps each port - and use it for my Navionics app on my iPad. Even with that, the iPad slowly lost power throughout the day, until I found a more robust power cord. Since then it's been just fine, all day.
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Old 05-25-2020, 03:40 PM   #17
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I got a blue sea and seadogs. Blue sea cost more but looks like it came from the same factory as seadogs.
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