Adding a USB socket charger in the cargo area

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Accessories and Modifications' started by MyBlackPriusCar, Sep 23, 2022.

  1. MyBlackPriusCar

    MyBlackPriusCar New Member

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    0BE0827D-B24C-447F-9F24-51185CBEBEB0.jpeg 53D542F2-E27B-43C6-A7B9-CFB5FD14A1AE.jpeg I’m looking to add a USB and cigarette socket charger in the cargo area. I’d like to add the panel in the driver side area directly behind the rear seat as shown in the images. Ideally, the best location is probably next to the 12v battery but just wondering if my preferred location is possible with the wiring (was thinking of routing the wire along the rear bumper and behind the panel at the rear driver side area).

    Does anyone know if this is possible? The panel measurement would fit in this area but not sure about the wiring routing.
     
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  2. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    If you could post a wider angle photo that'd help. Hard to tell what spot this is? Is the the back of the rear seat when flipped down (that won't work) or further behind? You'll have more success by mounting it on a side panel. It's a bad idea to have a panel mounted flat facing up because of risk of spilling water or debris...
     
  3. MyBlackPriusCar

    MyBlackPriusCar New Member

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    The I,age is directly behind the rear seat folded up (driver side). You can see the cargo clip at the bottom area that is at the cargo floor. I guess it’s next to where the wheel is if you want an approximate location.
     
  4. amarino

    amarino Member

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    It would probably be best to run the wire under / around the storage area by where the spare tire is. Just take out plastic tub and see where there is the most space.

    Just make sure to put a fuse as close to the battery as possible to avoid any shorts against the body if the wire gets worn down. And try to zip tie or secure it somehow to avoid any unnecessary rubbing.
     
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  5. douglasjre

    douglasjre Senior Member

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    Copper wire is expensive. Do yourself a favor make this job easy and cheap and just install it as close to the 12 volt battery as possible. And let me know where you ordered this kit from because I want to put one in now
     
  6. amarino

    amarino Member

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    This is a good source where you can make you own panel mount with customized outlets: https://powerwerx.com/panel-mounts
     
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  7. black_jmyntrn

    black_jmyntrn Active Member

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  8. MyBlackPriusCar

    MyBlackPriusCar New Member

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    0CFE1A38-EEA0-47D8-AC0D-3BBA23147EF1.jpeg This is the one I’m planning on putting in -

    amazon.com/Cllena-Voltmeter-3-Socket-Cigarette-Multi-Functions/dp/B077X9D9WW



    it has 3 cigarette lighter sockets but I only need 2 and don’t really plan on using the USB but would probably just wire it just to have in case.

    I’m trying to figure out -

    1. Can the 12v battery provide enough power for 2 cigarette ports and USB? I don’t plan on leaving it on while the car is not in ready mode as I’m using it primarily to charge my power station via cigarette lighter port when driving.

    2. Where to install in order to minimize taking up additional cargo space . I know wiring next to the 12v battery is ideal but that would mean I have to extend my power station cord from the left side (where I keep it) all the way to the right. I would like to wire it on the left side but the approx. 2” depth the sockets require would probably not work. I could also wire it so that it is on the floor area where the small cubby area is on the left but that takes up the storage area underneath.

    3. What wire size I need from the 12v battery to the panel. I’m thinking 14AWG and a fuse close to the battery should work. I plan on using a hot logic 12v food warmer (5amp, 50 w) and power station to plug in.
     
    #3 MyBlackPriusCar, Sep 27, 2022
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2022
  9. douglasjre

    douglasjre Senior Member

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    The wire is too thick and the fuse is way too low. Somebody here will chime in with the equations. And household power there is an actual 14 gauge for 15 amp 12 gauge for 20 amp but you use 12 gauge if the 15 amp is a long run. There's a similar rule for 12 volt DC systems but those aren't the same numbers. A Google search may reveal it for you
     

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  10. black_jmyntrn

    black_jmyntrn Active Member

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    I'll say this... use thicker wire! I learned the hard way by replacing melted wires running an air fryer off a 2,000w inverter.
    Custom battery cables for my Toyota Prius Power Inverter <---click to see

    personally, I'd use 6 AWG wire if I was doing this project and a low voltage disconnect module.

    for placement... I think I might have something for you... might have to adjust it but basically the area over the battery....think of a subwoofer box that has the back with the curvature of the Prius interior body panels only just large enough to hold your panel. else, you tell me where you want it, and I can have custom housing made for you for a low low cost.
     
  11. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    At the very least, whatever wire size you end up using, select a fuse size that will blow before the wire melts.
     
  12. black_jmyntrn

    black_jmyntrn Active Member

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    hahah, thats easier said than done, I have 135amp breaker fuses and while using an air fryer over 1500watts... the wire cover began to melt near the battery terminals until I upgraded to 0 Gauge (1/0 AWG) Battery Cable to run between isolator/batteries/inverters.
     
  13. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    It's a routine thing EEs do. You look at the resistivity of the wire gauge you're using, the temperature rating of the insulation, the ambient temperature and airflow, calculate the current that will not overheat the insulation, and select the fuse accordingly.

    There are usually tables available for different insulation types and ambient conditions and currents, where some EE did the work and others can just look in the table.
     
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  14. MyBlackPriusCar

    MyBlackPriusCar New Member

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    I definitely would plan on using thicker wires and putting a fuse in. I was hoping that I would be able to install the panel flush with the cargo panel trim so I could preserve what little cargo space I have left. It doesn’t look like there is much space between the body panel and cargo trim so I don’t think I have many options other than going with what you described . I’m going to have to think about this a little more as see what would work best for my needs.
     
  15. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    My added fusing 'n' stuff mostly manages to fit just above the battery, below the deck panel that fits over it:

    [​IMG]

    With the fuses there (you do want them as near the power source as you can get), you would only be looking for a place with panel depth for the sockets you want. That might simplify matters.

    That doesn't look like much of a bargain to me. Cheap, sure, but completely unwired, they throw in a dozen crimp-on terminals and expect you to have a decent crimper and build all your own wiring, and plus the thing isn't exactly what you want anyway? You say you don't need three cig outlets, aren't sure about the USB, you might not have a use for the switch, and who cares about the cheapie voltmeter thrown in?

    That's not going to save you much work over getting a la carte components, just the ones you actually want, and finding a nice space to mount just those, which could be easier.

    Also, their suggested wiring is not good. Cig outlets are generally good for 10 amps tops. If you want two, there should be a separate 10 amp fuse for each one, not some common wiring with a 20 amp fuse at the end. That wouldn't save you from some malfunctioning cig plug stuck into one of the outlets.

    Wiring is sized according to a safe ampacity (within the temperature limits of the insulation at the maximum expected current) and the amount of voltage drop you will tolerate at the load (say, 5% or less at the maximum expected current), which also depends on the length of the run. A ten-amp cig outlet on a short run does not require massive wires.

    I second the suggestion in #3 to consider the Anderson PowerPole connectors. Cig outlets and plugs are a silly way to connect stuff: they're stupidly bulky for the current they can carry, and they're not very mechanically secure. What do you expect for a tech that dates from when nobody thought of electrical accessories for a car, but every car needed a way to light cigarettes?

    A panel made with PowerPoles would be less bulky, and probably easier to find some place to fit. And the PowerPoles, depending on the flavor of terminal you put in, can be good for 15, 25, or 45 amps. Downside is chopping the original cig plugs off your favorite accessories and putting PowerPoles on them instead, and then they won't plug in to your friends' cars. Sometimes that's a problem, sometimes it isn't.
     
    #9 ChapmanF, Sep 29, 2022
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2022
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  16. Johnny Cakes

    Johnny Cakes Senior Member

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    When the car is in ready mode, the 12v battery powers nothing. All 12v power is derived from a DC to DC converter that steps down the traction battery when in ready mode. Indeed, with the car in ready mode, the 12v battery is just another load that the traction battery has to recharge. The primary purpose of the 12v battery is to power on the main computer, albeit it also will power things (for a short time, its a small amp battery) when not in ready mode.

    ChapmanF speaks the truth. You definitely want to go with Anderson Powerpole connectors. Small learning curve and you'll have to purchase special crimpers, but you will come back to this thread and thank us later.
     
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  17. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Well, there is that personal judgment call to make, whether you're comfortable modifying your favorite accessories, chopping the cig plugs off and replacing them with PowerPoles and having them only work in your car. Some people are cool with that, others not so much.

    Of course, at powerwerx.com you can buy adapters both ways (so you can plug unmodified cig plug accessories into your PowerPoles, or plug your modded accessories into other cars' cig outlets). So if you have a couple of those adapters on hand, you're pretty much set.
     
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  18. black_jmyntrn

    black_jmyntrn Active Member

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    the panel you want is a little larger than the panel another owner had in mind and the panel holder we are making.
    if you said I want to put the panel here X, ill 3d scan the area and have my cad designer mock up something that will hold the panel. from there just wire it through a low voltage disconnect module to your battery. Do you plan on removing it and reinstallinging often? If not, why add a failure point with the anderson connector?
     
  19. black_jmyntrn

    black_jmyntrn Active Member

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    stay away from the cigerette lighter and the wires... they are not made to handle anymore than a few cell phones, maybe a tablet.
    I had a little 500 watt inverter that wouldnt power my razer blade 15 advanced through the cig lighter, it wasnt until I added thicker wire and wires direct to the second battery did it work as expected.
     
  20. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Specifically, they're made to handle 120 watts, as their labels say. A person does need to look at labels and notice when one number is bigger than another.

    The bit of my post that you quoted was from an earlier suggestion to avoid cig plugs and sockets in favor of PowerPoles.

    Some people, though, aren't comfortable cutting the cig plugs off their accessories in favor of PowerPoles, because they give up the ability to use the modded accessory in somebody else's car. So I mentioned there are adapters for that.

    ... still need to pay attention to those numbers on labels, of course.
     
  21. douglasjre

    douglasjre Senior Member

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    I run 4ga AWG stranded for loads up to 200A at 12V. Is that thick enough for a 12" run?
     
  22. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    At 200 amps, that run will drop your voltage about a twentieth of a volt, and give off ten watts of heat. Seems tolerable.
     
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  23. MyBlackPriusCar

    MyBlackPriusCar New Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions and feedback. I’m starting to reconsider adding the panel. It sounds like more work than I had originally thought and not a whole lot of value for the amount of effort involved. I may just go with the original two cig lighters in the front and extension cables for now as a temporary measure until I figure out something more permanent. I hate using the cigarette lighter plugs in general, seems so outdated.
     
  24. black_jmyntrn

    black_jmyntrn Active Member

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    not as difficult as you might think...
     
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