Chinook RV Forum

It is currently December 14th, 2017, 8:41 pm

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 Post subject: Re: Rear-view camera
PostPosted: September 14th, 2017, 9:37 am 
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Joined: October 31st, 2014, 10:25 pm
Posts: 89
Blue~Go wrote:
A friend and I liked the look of that charging port so we each bought one (a year or two ago). Neither of us are still using them. But I'll explain why and it may or may not apply to you. Typically, cigarette outlets are fused to 15 amps. Or, well, maybe not typically, but that's generally considered to be what the sockets are rated for, so you can't go any higher. I try to set things up so I don't have to "remember" that, oh, that particular one is only good for (some smaller number of amps). I don't like to have to remember (or possibly pass on to future owner) special little electrical details.

Well, the wire that leads into that unit is maybe 18 gauge? And who knows the temp rating. Let's be generous and say it's 90ºC. If so then it can safely handle 16 amps in an engine space (i.e. if it passes through any hottish areas on the way) or 20 amps in wide open cool spaces, not bundled. If it's 20 gauge? I don't know as ABYC ampacity charts only go to 18 gauge.

That area is pretty warm, so I'd say 16 amps. That leaves 8 per socket. That might be okay, depending on use. Also at 16 amps/12 volts just that little section of wire alone (IF it were 16 gauge - my calculator only goes down to that wire gauge not 18) would have 8% voltage drop at that 16 amps. Plus the voltage drop on any other legs of the wire leading to the Chinook block, etc.

I took one apart to see if I could add larger wire, but it didn't seem practical. Mine also had a mini blade internal fuse but I can't remember the size. It was a royal pain to put back together. Now what I like instead are similar units that don't have their own cord. Then I can put whatever wire I want on (and whatever length).

I think fusing it to 5 amps is a good idea given the relatively weak nature of the device. That wouldn't work for me because my laptop takes close to 4 amps, and then just about anything else would blow the fuse. (My Beverage Mate circuit was fused to 7.5 amps. Haven't tested it but I would think it would have to be ignition controlled or else the battery would be killed constantly by the Beverage Mate.)

Like anything, as long as one knows the limitations. I just don't want to have to calculate every time I go to plug something in.

One last note is that I don't really trust ANY of those cigarette plugs OR the "wart" type things that go in them to be left charging when I'm not there keeping a beady eye on them. They just get too hot, maybe made with low quality control, etc. etc. So I tend to wire switches such that when I leave the rig I can just switch off my charging outlets (vs. going around and unplugging everything and then re-plugging it later). Of course if it's ignition controlled that will happen automatically.


We've been using it for two years to charge our tablet and phones without any issues. Very convenient.

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2001 Concourse
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 Post subject: Re: Rear-view camera
PostPosted: September 14th, 2017, 9:43 am 
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Joined: May 21st, 2015, 7:00 pm
Posts: 219
Location: Indiana
Well, the sun WAS shining on my parade :(

After reading the Magnadyne lit, a power source of 15A is recommended. USB output is 5V/3A. And Blue is correct: a 15A mini fuse is on the back of the unit.
So, I just may use the unit's cig lighter adapter and plug into one of those nasty OEM dash ports.

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 Post subject: Re: Rear-view camera
PostPosted: September 14th, 2017, 9:50 am 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
Posts: 1956
Location: 1999 Concourse
caconcourse wrote:

We've been using it for two years to charge our tablet and phones without any issues. Very convenient.


Oh absolutely. The convenience and nice package is why we bought them to check them out. And your usage is just fine with a 5 amp fuse. Tablets and phones take very little power (that's why they can be charged by USB, which is not very powerful). So for your usage it's great. I just wanted to mention (sorry if I sounded like a downer; I considered not pressing "Submit" for that very reason), but since there are inverters and other things that can easily be plugged into cigarette outlets that would not be great for those units, I wanted to mention it. All depends on your uses and future plans.

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