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John E Davies

HOW TO: install a dual high output (2.1 amp + 2.1 amp) USB charger

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The factory units in Hull 218 are high quality (Blue Sea) but only 1 amp, so they are slow when charging a modern smartphone or tablet. It took a lot of searching but I finally found a nice CNC machined replacement that is available with a NON-illuminated face, which is perfect for over a bed or anywhere close to the sleeping area.

 

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CJW3ZRP/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

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The bezel is smaller than the diameter of the charger. Mask off the openings to keep out debris! Carefully reduce the diameter of the lip to closely match the bezel, so it will slide inside snugly. I used a belt sander with a fine grit belt, followed up by 220 grit hand sanding. MAKE SURE the unit functions properly before grinding, you might not be able to return one that you have altered! Also double check function just before installing.

 

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I “painted” the raw aluminum with a black Sharpie.

 

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Inserted into the bezel, and marked the + and - terminals with a silver pen so I could actually see them.

 

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and installed it into the hole where the factory unit used to be:

 

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Note how very thick that cabinet bottom is, I wanted to mount one more on the street side, but there was no way it would easily work through that much thickness. I pulled the stereo and drilled a hole next to the faceplate, picking up power and ground from the radio wires. I used an inline fuse holder plus a 10 amp fuse.

 

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My wife can lay her devices on top of the galley counter, or underneath to get them out of the way for food prep.

 

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These new chargers will charge my iPhone way faster than the old one. And no more glowing light in the eyes at night.... Neat mod, highly recommended!

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

  • Thanks 7

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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So, the new unit is marked 5 v, 2.1 amp. You connected to 12 v power. What you had before was also (I assume) 12 v, but only 1 amp. How does this work again? Is the 1 amp different voltage?

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So, the new unit is marked 5 v, 2.1 amp. You connected to 12 v power. What you had before was also (I assume) 12 v, but only 1 amp. How does this work again? Is the 1 amp different voltage?

 

All the chargers hook up to the 12 volt system in your car or in your trailer. “5 volts” is the regulated output voltage needed by your phone, tablet, or gps.

 

“1 amps” or “2.1 amps” is the maximum current provided for each USB receptacle.

 

Obviously, IF your device is designed to handle more current, a 2.1 amp port will charge it much faster. A device designed for a low amp charger will not be hurt in any way by using a high amp unit, they self-regulate. You won’t burn it up.

 

You will find lots of round plug-in chargers that have one 2.1a and one 1a port Each port will be labeled differently, which can be frustrating if you charge your phone from the “slow” port by accident. The letters are often hard to read.

 

The dual 2.1a models are much less common. I think it has to do with their ability to shed waste heat during operation. These aluminum ones are designed to handle the heat better than the plastic ones. Plus they cost more to manufacture. With a dual port model you just stick the cord in either port, you don’t have to fuss around with seeing which one is faster.... or wondering why your iPad battery keeps going down while you are using it.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

  • Thanks 1

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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I have replace 2 of ours with the Blue Sea dual 2.1 amp so we can charge 2 devices at the same time from the same outlet but mainly to get rid of those darn blue lights while charging something overnight. I replaced the one beside the pantry and the one in the dinette seat.


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Tom & Cheryl 

LE II #305

2018 GMC 2500HD SLT Duramax

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Thanks for going through the trouble to document this upgrade. I'm a bit conflicted on this. On one hand I like the upgraded power available, but on the other, it seems like a lot of hassle when mobile device power requirements change relatively frequently. To me I'd almost rather have a 12V receptacle into which I can plug whatever the charger-du-jour is. For example, many devices now use USB-C or USB-PD charging standards, which can dynamically switch to voltages above 5V (mostly 9V for phones and tablets, 15V and 20V for laptops and larger-draw items) and currents up to 3A, then back down as needed throughout the charging cycle. If you install something that can "only" do 2.1A at 5V, yes it's much better than a 5V 1A charger, (which in my opinion is wholly inadequate) but it's still not catching you up to today's standards.

 

I do like how yours is a clean install unlike how a charger sticking out of a 12V port would be.

 

How did you find the charger that you did?  When I search for "12V usb charger" it almost exclusively comes back with car (plug-in) chargers.


2018 OLEII #344   |   2018 Ford Expedition


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Thanks for going through the trouble to document this upgrade. I’m a bit conflicted on this. On one hand I like the upgraded power available, but on the other, it seems like a lot of hassle when mobile device power requirements change relatively frequently. To me I’d almost rather have a 12V receptacle into which I can plug whatever the charger-du-jour is. For example, many devices now use USB-C or USB-PD charging standards, which can dynamically switch to voltages above 5V (mostly 9V for phones and tablets, 15V and 20V for laptops and larger-draw items) and currents up to 3A, then back down as needed throughout the charging cycle. If you install something that can “only” do 2.1A at 5V, yes it’s much better than a 5V 1A charger, (which in my opinion is wholly inadequate) but it’s still not catching you up to today’s standards.

I do like how yours is a clean install unlike how a charger sticking out of a 12V port would be.

How did you find the charger that you did? When I search for “12V usb charger” it almost exclusively comes back with car (plug-in) chargers.

I don’t mind having chargers that may be obsolete in a decade, if I am still around I will just deal with replacing them. I actually think that the round 12v sockets are obsolete already and I would rather just have more USB ports. It is fairly easy to replace one with a dual USB..... as far as exotic chargers go, I would just run my inverter and plug it into a 110 VAC wall outlet.

 

You will get better results in searching if you add the term “hard wire”.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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