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Old 10-19-2008, 06:49 AM   #1
BailOut
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Post DIY Powered USB Ports

This DIY will add 2 powered USB power ports to the area of the center console that contains the 12V accessory port, and was originally IsLNdbOi's idea.

There are 2 variations on the method I will show here:

a) If you don't want the ports mounted in the existing trim hole you can just plug the complete device into the 12V accessory socket and mount/place it anywhere you want.

b) If you would like the device to replace the existing 12V accessory socket you will need a Dremel tool to cut out the existing trim panel, and you can still use this DIY as a good base for the rest of it.


Cost: $18, assuming you have the needed tools

Difficulty: Intermediate

Time: 1 hour

Materials needed: Multi-Use Car Charger with Dual USB Ports, 2x 14-16ga quick-splice connectors

Tools needed: Needle nose pliers, drill, 5/64 and 5/32 drill bits (or their metric equivalent), lineman's or plumber's pliers (for crimping the quick splices), Phillips screwdriver #3 or #4, wire cutters, exacto knife or box cutter, hacksaw

Optional items: Miter box or other straight-line cutting aid, bungee cord or a piece of rope, 5A mini-bus fuse, volt-ohm meter



1) Unpack the device and remove the 20A fuse from the back of the case using needle nose pliers. If the fuse breaks you can replace it with another one later on.

2) Remove the 4 screws and carefully open the case.

3) Gently remove the circuit board by first lifting up on the power cord at the rear of the casing and pulling it to the rear.

4) Cut the power wires for the 12V accessory socket pieces and remove them.

5) Gently turn the circuit board over and cut the power wires for the indicator light.

6) Cut the circuit board's main power wire at the half way point between the circuit board and the adapter. This leaves enough slack for easier splicing later on.

7) Reassemble the case without the circuit board, using all 4 screws.

8) Use a hacksaw to cut the case on the flat plane between the words "Do" and "Not" which are printed on the front between the accessory holes. Use a Miter box if you have one in order to ensure a nice, even cut.

9) Remove the center console's trim panels. The side pieces and gauge cluster cover will need to come off. The radio bezel will need to come out far enough to pop out the temperature control panel. Use a bungee cord or piece of rope to hang the temperature control panel up and out of the way without stressing any of its cables.

10) Pop out the rectangular cover to the right of the 12V accessory socket. Mine came out using my fingers.

11) Place the empty case piece down into the well it will reside in and line up the USB port hole with the newly-uncovered trim hole.

12) Drill a 5/64 hole just on either side of the trim hole, about 3/8" away from the hole. See the pictures for a visual aid. Go about 1/2" deep, which puts the holes into the casing behind the trim.

13) Remove the casing from the well and use a 5/32 bit to taper the holes you just drilled in the trim. This will allow the mounting screws to fit flush later on.

14) Disassemble the casing and reassemble it with the circuit board in place.

15) Place the fuse back in the rear of the case. Any fuse from 5A to 20A can be used if the original one broke when you removed it.

16) Use an exacto knife or box cutter to remove the electrical tape on the 2 wires going to the 12V accessory socket. Be careful as these are fragile wires. If you can't cut the tape then just push it towards the 12V accessory in order to give you room to splice.

17) Splice the black/red wire of the USB device to the gray wire of the 12V accessory using a 14-16ga quick splice. Crimp it down good and solid with lineman's or plumber's pliers.

18) Splice the black wire of the USB device to the white/black wire going to the 12V accessory.

19) Place the casing back into the well, carefully tucking away the excess wire.

20) Once you have the USB ports lined up use 2 of the screws that came with the unit to attach it to the front trim plate using the holes you drilled. Make them snug enough to go flush with the trim, but not so tight that they crack the plastic.

21) Test for the functionality of both the USB ports and the 12V accessory port. If either are not working check your splices. Use a volt-ohm meter to help with tracing the short if needed. Also check the main 15A accessory fuse under the driver's dash, near the OBDII port.

22) If everything works then replace the trim pieces, and you're done!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1.remove-fuse.jpg (127.5 KB, 4012 views)
File Type: jpg 2.remove-case-screws.jpg (136.6 KB, 3903 views)
File Type: jpg 3.remove-pcb.jpg (138.5 KB, 3883 views)
File Type: jpg 4.cut-under-wire.jpg (134.3 KB, 3878 views)
File Type: jpg 5.cut-power-wire.jpg (116.0 KB, 3852 views)
File Type: jpg 6.cut-casing.jpg (150.7 KB, 3856 views)
File Type: jpg 7.remove-trim-panels.jpg (168.9 KB, 3872 views)
File Type: jpg 8.trimmed-casing.jpg (154.3 KB, 3877 views)
File Type: jpg 9.pop-out-cover.jpg (153.7 KB, 3978 views)
File Type: jpg 10.pre-drill-holes.jpg (153.3 KB, 3888 views)
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Old 10-19-2008, 06:51 AM   #2
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Pictures continued:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 11.wires-to-splice.jpg (156.2 KB, 3834 views)
File Type: jpg 12.completed.jpg (146.9 KB, 4061 views)
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or snowboards/skis over a 4,500 foot elevation difference.
Click the graphic above to see my detailed mileage logs.
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Old 10-19-2008, 09:49 AM   #3
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I always thought USB power was 5 volts output. But with that USB unit of yours, I can see the extra PCB attached to the USB port converts the 12 volts down to 5 volts.

Great DIY work!!
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Old 10-19-2008, 12:00 PM   #4
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Very nicely done
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Old 10-19-2008, 12:59 PM   #5
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ooooo.....



my HU (Pioneer DEH P4000 UB) has USB interface... to plug in the ipod or or any mp3 player or external hard drive..
maybe i could get a hub and run a pair down to that port for extra charging ... and the option to plug a couple different things into the unit without having to gut the dash to get to the cable... hmmmm
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Old 10-19-2008, 01:22 PM   #6
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Great ....Cheers
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Old 10-19-2008, 04:17 PM   #7
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Wow that's cool.
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:07 AM   #8
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I did this mod on my '07LB and the screw holes I made weren't level w/ each other. Didn't look great, but the ports worked.

Also, if you ever have to replace the fuse, it's a PITA to get back there to take that fuse out. Is there any way to extend that fuse out or add an extension wire to put the fuse somewhere where it will be easier to reach?
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:12 AM   #9
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i would reccomend installing the ports over by the aux input. and locating the fuse over there .. that plate that has the aux port on it is really easy to pull out .. and would make it easy to replace the fuse if need be..
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:18 AM   #10
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I don't think the USB module would fit in there.
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:20 AM   #11
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just hack the back half of the enclosure off so its thinner. leave just enough room for the board
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:21 AM   #12
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you can probably make it fit .. there is a good bit of room down there
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:23 AM   #13
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needs more carputer
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Old 11-04-2008, 11:59 PM   #14
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I wish there was a better way to mount this dual USB adapter instead of screwing into the car. When I did this mod, the screws didn't go in straight so one screw looked higher than the other.
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Old 11-05-2008, 12:45 AM   #15
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at walmart tonight i found a cup holder well it goes in a cup holder and it plugs into a 12v source and gives two more 12v outlets and two USB power outlets

you could just wire that and stick it in the center console cup holder
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Old 11-05-2008, 12:50 AM   #16
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I've seen that. It's pretty cool, but I have the JDM armrest / storage console installed there.
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Old 11-05-2008, 12:53 AM   #17
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i installed a 12v outlet in my USDM armrest yesterday :)
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Old 05-14-2009, 09:12 AM   #18
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This DIY was very useful - thanks! I took it and modified it a bit to install a three lighter expansion to hide inside the dash. I was able to routhe the cables nicely throught the car to hide everything well.

The best part is that it turns off with the car as well.
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