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make a constant 12v lighter socket switched?

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  • make a constant 12v lighter socket switched?

    how would i be abel to do this. i have a 98 blazer, and it has 3 lighter ports. one in the ash tray for "lighting one up", and 2 others for powered devices. i would like to make the 2 power socket ones to be switched. hot in run. most of the imports i have come across have that nifty feature, along with many others that i would like to have in my truck.

  • #2
    Originally posted by americasfuture2 View Post
    how would i be abel to do this. i have a 98 blazer, and it has 3 lighter ports. one in the ash tray for "lighting one up", and 2 others for powered devices. i would like to make the 2 power socket ones to be switched. hot in run. most of the imports i have come across have that nifty feature, along with many others that i would like to have in my truck.
    Two easy ways:

    1. find a switched power source, wire to that. Not recommended unless you know you won't be overloading that circuit.

    2. Put a relay in the power line of the two "contant on" plugs. Use a switched power source to activate the relay. Recommended method.

    Cheers
    For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
    Leonardo Da Vinci

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    • #3
      i did think of that, but i do not have any switched power sources i can think of. atleast nowhere in the cabin.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by americasfuture2 View Post
        i did think of that, but i do not have any switched power sources i can think of. atleast nowhere in the cabin.
        Ummm, not to make it obvious, but..............

        All you have to do is get up under the dash. Almost everything there is switched. Tap into a line and use it to signal the relay, it's a very low draw usually for the coil...........
        For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
        Leonardo Da Vinci

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        • #5
          most the wires under the dash are for the dash controls and driver info stuff. i guess ill look at my schems and see what is switched. i just didnt want to hafta dig through my dash just to find that "one wire". that means having to take my truckputer out and some of the wires, i am afrad of coming apart and not be able to repair them properly. like the blk/grn p1900 wire for the aopac power button. its very very thin and looks to be waaaay to delicate. almost like a 42000000000 GA. exagerating a bit, ya know what i mean.

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          • #6
            Whatever.

            Just back probe the connectors with a test light and stay away from anything that has to do with the airbag system.

            Or run a switched wire from you fuse panel once you find an empty switched source. Guaranteed to be an empty one there.............
            For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
            Leonardo Da Vinci

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            • #7
              Maybe im not understanding what he wants to do.... but cant you simply take the 12+v wire cut it into 2, then place a switch in the middle of the 2?
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              • #8
                Originally posted by HiJackZX1 View Post
                Maybe im not understanding what he wants to do.... but cant you simply take the 12+v wire cut it into 2, then place a switch in the middle of the 2?
                Yes.

                A relay is just a switch that you don't have to fool with. The switched 12v is just to turn the relay on and off.

                If you set it up right.........
                For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
                Leonardo Da Vinci

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                • #9
                  Its interesting you want your accessory outlets switched. I know of people with vehicles where they are switched that want them just the opposite because they want to power things with the ignition off. This is just an observation and not a suggestion that you shouldn't do what you want to do.

                  Since you're looking for switched power sources, and to me that means on or off with the ignition key switch, that's the place to start rather than randomly poking around looking for one.

                  There should be at least one unswitched +12 wire from a fuse somewhere into the switch and at least one switched wire out. Right at the switch may not be a good place to physically make a connection, but the wires you want start there.

                  I like the thought of looking at the schematics. I personally don't want to trust any randomly discovered wire that looks like it's switched +12 to be a good thing to tap into. The air bag stuff as noted is one. Personally, I'd never tap into unknown wires that appear to go on or off under the right conditions. They may or may not be able to provide even the low current required for a relay, or create a hazard if something goes wrong.

                  Even after you know what you're connecting too, a low amp rating fuse isn't a bad idea in that wire near where you tap into the stock wiring. That way, if anything goes wrong with what you've added, you may avoid blowing a fuse that causes your engine to quit, or something else nasty.

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                  • #10
                    The relay will on draw (or sink if you prefer) what it requires. Meaning, if it runs on .5a, that's all it will draw. Putting it on a 20a circuit will not harm anything.

                    Voltage is a different story.

                    Doesn't hurt to check the diagrams though..............especially in todays era of "computerized" everything.
                    For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
                    Leonardo Da Vinci

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                    • #11
                      The relay will on draw (or sink if you prefer) what it requires. Meaning, if it runs on .5a, that's all it will draw. Putting it on a 20a circuit will not harm anything.
                      Here is my reasoning...

                      If the wire to that relay should run by the edge of some of the body sheet metal, the insulation could get cut or wear through, short out, and blow the 20a fuse disabling everything on that circuit. That's what the small fuse is intended to prevent.

                      Based on some of the home-brew wiring I've seen on the net I figure that scenario is definitely a possibility with some of the installations out there. The idea is to prevent unimportant things from interfering with important things.

                      Obviously the car maker probably already installed several devices on one circuit, but on the diagrams for the Toyotas I have, you can see they thought about separating functions to keep lights and engine controls separate from other things. I figure don't make it worse. I'd use a switched circuit that supplies the least important devices to power the relay if I have a choice.

                      That's what I'd do, but some would consider it overkill. Of course, I'd also make sure I protected and routed the wires to prevent short circuits.

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                      • #12
                        Whatever man.

                        Whatever.

                        The guy asked how to do it. So I gave him an option.

                        That's all.

                        There's nothing wrong with fusing the wiring to the relay.
                        For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
                        Leonardo Da Vinci

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                        • #13
                          Fusebox

                          Sometimes the easiest place to find a switched lead is the fuse box. Several fuses on there feed things that are not used unless the car is ON. Wipers, radio, and several others are frequently switched before the fuse. Use a meter to identify your target circuit. Pull the fuse and push it back in with a wire under it to tap in. Or get a piggyback type fuse tap from a car parts place and use that. You can tap in to the feed side and have a separate fuse for your new circuit that is independent of the circuit you are stealing power from.
                          ~Jimmy

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                          • #14
                            I think jimmy has a good point. and I would also know what circuit I'm tapping into. having that wire go into a relay to turn the lighter sockets on will not draw much power from that socket and burn up the wiring harness. or pop a fuse.

                            I have 3 lighter sockets up front. one in the ashtray, and 2 on the kick panel in the pass side. those are accessory outlets. I want those switched. not my ashtray one.

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                            • #15
                              adding a relay to the existing circuit is the only way it should be done... even if you find an unused fuse slot in the fuse box, you can't be sure that the unused circuit can handle the load that you'll be putting on it.

                              adding a standard bosch-style 12v relay is easy, and finding a switched 12v source is easy as well. the ACC wire from your stereo harness is always a switched 12v source. this wire is not intended to directly power anything, but is used to switch a device on and off. you can tap into it the end (at the back of the stereo) or at the beginning (at the fuse box).

                              My car has 2 "always-on" power outlets, I used this method to switch one of them on/off with the ignition (while leaving the other outlet live).

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