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Old 09-08-2015, 10:28 AM   #1
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USB Charging Ports not charging

So this problem I created myself... We have a brand new 2015 Intl Serenity 25 FB - in the rear locker there is a little cabinet with the factory DVD player and 2 USB charging ports. I took the cabinet apart last week to get at the satellite coaxial cable to connect to a dish receiver, got that set up and working fine.

While I had the cabinet apart and was waiting for parts (HDMI splitter) the USB ports worked fine. Put the cabinet back together, and everything works - except the USB ports. I pulled the cabinet back apart, all the connections I can see appear intact, no loose connections, the spade connectors are firm. I'm pretty comfortable with residential electrical wiring, but I basically know nothing about 12v setups. I can say no fuses are blown, and everything else in the trailer works, so I did something to the ports - but what?

If someone could point me to some general reading, I would be appreciative, my searches here and on google haven't been very helpful - lots of info on installing ports, didn't find much on troubleshooting. Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:37 AM   #2
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Curious what you find, we have a 2015 trailer and the USB ports work intermittently. I am convinced it is not the ports, but the converter or something. We did no repairs or any work on anything.
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:47 AM   #3
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Interesting - I WILL track this down, it's how I'm wired... Yes, that was a pun ;-) I haven't had any issues with intermittent function, the ports in the bed area work fine, as did the locker ports - until I did something to them. Hoping to get some advice before I start taking things apart, will definitely post back when I have more to share.
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:56 AM   #4
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If you are comfortable with 110 then you should be able to use a meter to determine whether power exists at the outlet end of the supply wire. If it does, then the embedded microprocessor which controls the USB port(s) at the termination is bad.
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:04 AM   #5
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Great, thanks! I'm in the process of packing up to head home, will put a meter on the wires at the port - if there is power there, the port itself needs to be replaced? If that's the case, will probably ask the dealer to address when I bring it in next.
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:04 AM   #6
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........will definitely post back when I have more to share.
Much appreciated.
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:09 AM   #7
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Just a thought and may or may not apply.

Depending on the device being connected they may or may not charge. Some USB outlets don't have real 'power' to them. They are essentially there to allow connection to the audio system so that you can play tunes from your phone/etc. So the outlet may charge an iPhone but not have enough juice to charge an iPad.
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:18 AM   #8
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Just for clarity, my comment applies to USB charging ports which are NOT part of/powered by the DVD player system, but the type terminated separately in a face plate (some also have 110v co-located outlets). USB ports may be powered by either 110 or 12 depending on application and require the appropriate replacement specs.
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Old 09-08-2015, 12:39 PM   #9
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ghaynes755's comments are still valid regardless of whether the source power is 110V AC or 12 V DC. There are multiple standards for power output of USB ports and the switching power supply in the outlet determines the actual DC voltage at the USB port. Virtually any iPhone, iPod or other smart phone will charge from the minimum 3V output which was the original USB standard. The very latest iPad and iPad Minis will charge from a 3V USB 1 port, but very slowly. Earlier iPads will run from a USB 1 port but charging requires 3.3V or even better 5V USB 2 or USB 3 standard ports. You cannot tell from the configuration of the port it it is USB 1 or 2 and only sometimes if it is USB 3.
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Old 09-09-2015, 07:43 PM   #10
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So it seems my port is the culprit. I took the cabinet apart (again), pulled the spade connectors, and I get 12V across them on the meter. There are no visible markings on the outgoing unit, so I went to Amazon and will try to replace with this:

Amazon.com: Blue Sea Systems Dual USB Charger Socket: Sports & Outdoors

I will post back with the outcome, thanks again for the help!


The wires with the port in the background


Probes on the wires


12 volts!


The port itself. No idea of make or model.
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Old 09-09-2015, 08:28 PM   #11
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Interesting, it sounds like you did nothing previously to harm the system, maybe just a coincidence it when down when you did your work?
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Old 09-09-2015, 08:36 PM   #12
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It seems that way. Reading about these USB ports, they're more complicated than I would have imagined. I'm wondering if I inadvertently left something charging when turning power on/off and may have damaged the electronics? If the new one works, I'll assume that's what happened and pay more attention to USB connections in the future.
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Old 09-09-2015, 08:47 PM   #13
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If leaving something plugged in and shutting of the power damages the ports then I am sure that's what I did. We left our cell phones plugged in and we unhooked, and hooked to shore power and set the battery to 'store'...
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Old 09-09-2015, 09:08 PM   #14
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so much for a detailed walk thru with new systems with some person who actually knows the systems.
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Old 09-09-2015, 10:16 PM   #15
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To be clear, my comments around power cycling and damage are just my speculation. If more knowledgable folks would care to correct me, I'd be grateful for the education. In the meantime, I took the port apart a bit more - seems like lots of items to potentially go bad.


It seems like a cigarette lighter type design, with the plug glued in place


The plug


The other part - I think the schmutz in the center is filler to keep the plug in place. It doesn't extend all the way around the cylinder


The plug expanded


Dunno what all these things are, I guess at least one of them gave up the ghost...
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Old 09-10-2015, 12:30 AM   #16
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Your proposed replacement with Blue Sea is a good move in my book! I've had better luck with their components than others. That's on my boat and AS.
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Old 09-10-2015, 08:41 AM   #17
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To preclude problems like blown fuses or shorts, shut the battery off to the trailer when working on these USB ports. I think a surface mounted block of USB ports would cover the hole and could be better made.

Just like the plastic door and drawer catches, it seems like anything Airstream supplies in terms of electronics are the cheapest they can find.

Thanks for the heads up. I am starting my replacement parts search now.
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Old 09-10-2015, 08:51 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Your proposed replacement with Blue Sea is a good move in my book! I've had better luck with their components than others. That's on my boat and AS.
2x on Blue sea. Installed USB outlet in bedroom by tapping into 12V lighting circuit in overhead cabinet.
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:01 PM   #19
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Thanks for the information. I was wondering why my iPad was not charging when I was using it. It would only charge when it was closed
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Old 09-11-2015, 07:02 PM   #20
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Ok, so the Blue Sea replacement showed up yesterday, here's the link again:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0082CXEI8/ref=cm_sw_su_dp


Here's what comes in the box




Here's the old port and the replacement side by side, new one on top




And here's the installed port - now I have a little green light to show me it's powered!



Thanks again for the help!
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