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Old 03-19-2015, 09:15 AM   #1
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Switching out a USB port

I have a new 16' Bambi Sport. It comes with 3 USB charging ports, but I don't see any 12v sockets. How difficult is it to replace one of those USB ports with a12v plug-in socket? Can I somehow just unscrew the casing or will it require drilling to get at the plug.
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Old 03-19-2015, 09:22 AM   #2
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The USB ports that I have seen are 120 vac powered, an internal power source. You need to see if your USB ports have AC or DC feeding them. If AC is feeding them then you are not going to easily replace one with a cigarette lighter fixture.
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:13 AM   #3
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USB ports put out about 5vdc. Normally there is a 120vac or 12vdc supply to a small transformer that feeds the USB hub.

I'm not familiar with your model AS but I doubt that you can tap into that hub for your lighter socket. USBs are very low on both voltage and amps. Whatever you're trying to plug in there may draw too many amps and fry the wiring.
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Old 03-19-2015, 03:08 PM   #4
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I was hoping to plug in my laptop computer ( an Apple MacBook Pro) using a Kensington Auto/Air Power inverter.
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Old 03-20-2015, 07:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by tjwoods1 View Post
I was hoping to plug in my laptop computer ( an Apple MacBook Pro) using a Kensington Auto/Air Power inverter.
It looks like you want to use a device that converts the 12vdc to 115vac so you can use the laptop power adapter cord to drop it back down to about 16.5 vdc. Is that what I'm understanding?

I'm not familiar with the Mac but most laptops run on 16-19vdc so you should be plugging into a 115 vac source in your AS, either shore power or one of the inverter plugs if you're boondocking.

Why are you wanting to use the Kensington, why not just plug into an available outlet (shore or inverter)?
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Old 03-20-2015, 08:29 PM   #6
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TJ,

Airstream now uses 12VDC powered USB ports. It is a snap to change them out for a standard 12VDC 'cigarette lighter' style socket. Both the USB and the socket style use 1/4" spade connectors.

It's as simple as removing the panel that the USB is in, unscrewing the retaining ring at the back of the socket and replacing with a socket of your choice. It should be plug and play!

I would suggest a quality socket like the ones made by Marinco or Blue Sea Systems. West Marine would be a good source. They are also available on line, but beware of the cheap Chinese models!!!!!

I just added some to a new 27FB yesterday........
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Old 03-20-2015, 08:55 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by lewster View Post
TJ,

Airstream now uses 12VDC powered USB ports. It is a snap to change them out for a standard 12VDC 'cigarette lighter' style socket. Both the USB and the socket style use 1/4" spade connectors.

It's as simple as removing the panel that the USB is in, unscrewing the retaining ring at the back of the socket and replacing with a socket of your choice. It should be plug and play!

I would suggest a quality socket like the ones made by Marinco or Blue Sea Systems. West Marine would be a good source. They are also available on line, but beware of the cheap Chinese models!!!!!

I just added some to a new 27FB yesterday........
I just ordered some of the Black SeaLink Deluxe outlets to put 12V's in a few additional places myself. They're top notch.
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Old 03-20-2015, 10:02 PM   #8
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I'd like to have a couple 12 volt USB wall chargers. Do these have vampire losses when not in use? What model does Airstream use?
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Old 03-20-2015, 11:59 PM   #9
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Lewster,
Thank you - that's exactly what I was hoping for. Since the Bambi 16 has no inverter, I wanted something to plug the Kensington inverter into (and then my Mac) when we were boondocking. (I'd also have a portable solar charger to keep the batteries up). When having shore power I would, of course, use the outlets. Mike Gyver has a device that is Mac specific allowing one to plug directly into the 12v socket without the inefficient use of inverters. However it is $160. The Kensington car/ plane inverter is only $50.00. Both do need a 12v receptacle to plug into- hence the reason for my post. Glad to hear it will not be an expensive fix.
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Old 03-22-2015, 01:10 PM   #10
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Lewster,
Thank you - that's exactly what I was hoping for. Since the Bambi 16 has no inverter, I wanted something to plug the Kensington inverter into (and then my Mac) when we were boondocking.
Well, that explains it

You know, instead of using the Kensington to boost the 12vdc to 115vac and then down to 16.5vdc for the Macbook, you can just get an upconverter to boost the 12vdc to 16.5vdc. It will be much easier on your house battery too. Here's one at Amazon, even has its own USB connection to replace the one you're removing. There are many others out there too.

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