USB Power Socket

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USB Power Socket

Postby Jack L » Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:39 am

I recently added this Sea Dog Dual USB Power Socket to my panel and thought others may be interested, I am very impressed with the quality and recommend it to anyone looking for USB power on their panel. You can get them from numerous distributors online. I use it for my IPad, IPhone and Go Pro. I mounted the IPad with a Ram mount and found the 6" lightning cable at Amazon, It all makes for a clean installation.

Power socket.JPG


In this picture the green LED on the socket (far right) indicates that power is available for your device.

panel 1.JPG


Jack
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Re: USB Power Socket

Postby danerazz » Sun Dec 14, 2014 3:04 pm

Thanks, I've been looking for a reasonably priced one of these.
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Re: USB Power Socket

Postby SheepdogRD » Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:32 pm

One thing about USB ports: tablets and newer smartphones need more power. The Sea Dog and most devices like it provide 5W shared between the two ports. That may not be enough if we plan to charge two tablets, or a tablet and a smartphone. I haven't found any simple two-port devices like these that provide 5W per port, so I expect we'll install two of the two-port units.

LFS Marine & Outdoor sells the Sea Dog for $16.40, and they'll ship parcel post for $2.32 http://www.lfsmarineoutdoor.com/sea-dog-double-usb-power-socket.html. Or you can get it at Walmart for about $31. :shock:

The Sea Dog is stainless steel and nylon. I found similar items on eBay for only a few bucks, but the ones I saw were NOT Sea Dog. They "fit" Sea Dog, but they're Chinese knock-offs. Caveat emptor.
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Re: USB Power Socket

Postby Jack L » Mon Dec 15, 2014 7:14 am

Sheepdog,

The description from Sea Dog states " Input 12V-24V, Output DC 5V/2.1A. Fits all Sea-Dog Line Power Sockets. Output for each outlet is 2.1 Amps – enough to charge iPhones, iPads and almost all other devices".

If each outlet is capable of providing 5v and 2.1 amps shouldn't that be sufficient? If P = I x E than 5 volts x 4.2 amps = 21 watts, I believe that is enough to charge two devices.

Jack
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Re: USB Power Socket

Postby Jack L » Mon Dec 15, 2014 7:15 am

Sheepdog,

The description from Sea Dog states " Input 12V-24V, Output DC 5V/2.1A. Fits all Sea-Dog Line Power Sockets. Output for each outlet is 2.1 Amps – enough to charge iPhones, iPads and almost all other devices".

If each outlet is capable of providing 5v and 2.1 amps shouldn't that be sufficient? If P = I x E than 5 volts x 4.2 amps = 21 watts, I believe that is enough to charge two devices.

Jack
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Re: USB Power Socket

Postby SheepdogRD » Mon Dec 15, 2014 1:22 pm

Jack L wrote:The description from Sea Dog states " Input 12V-24V, Output DC 5V/2.1A. Fits all Sea-Dog Line Power Sockets. Output for each outlet is 2.1 Amps – enough to charge iPhones, iPads and almost all other devices".

If each outlet is capable of providing 5v and 2.1 amps shouldn't that be sufficient? If P = I x E than 5 volts x 4.2 amps = 21 watts, I believe that is enough to charge two devices.

The question isn't whether each outlet is capable of providing 5V and 2.1A, but whether they can provide it simultaneously ... so I called Sea-Dog's tech folks to find out. Sure enough, Mark at Sea-Dog says they'll provide simultaneous 2.1A power. That's good news, and it means I'll probably go with just one in our panel design. :)
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Re: USB Power Socket

Postby BRS » Mon Dec 15, 2014 8:39 pm

I would be interested to know if the SeaDog USB creates any RF noise in our spectrum.

The reason I ask is from what happened to me once while flying into Centennial in Denver. I could hear ATIS just fine, the TWR could hear me just fine, but I could not understand the tower worth beans. I was basically on base by the time their signal was strong enough to clearly understand. Thought I had a radio issue but I finally tracked it down to the little USB power source for my tablet. I found this out by holding a hand held radio near the device and plugging/un-plugging it. In my case it seemed to be frequency specific as it did not cause an issue with ATIS but it did the TWR freq. Be careful when using these in controlled airspace.

I like the packaging of this dog, hope it works out.
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Re: USB Power Socket

Postby kenryan » Mon Dec 15, 2014 9:56 pm

Not necessarily applicable to our airplanes, but along the lines of the previous post, I have noticed in my truck that the USB adapter (plugged into the round 12v outlet) can cause substantial noise on the radio.
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Re: USB Power Socket

Postby Jack L » Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:54 am

I finally got to try this inflight and it is useless as is...too much noise on the radio. If there is a way to filter the noise I will try that but otherwise I will hard wire it to my battery and charge the IPAD between flights.

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Re: USB Power Socket

Postby danerazz » Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:59 am

It must be a noisy voltage regulator in the USB port. I'm not sure what an easy way to filter that would be. Have to research it a bit...

Edit: A search found this:
http://pointsforpilots.blogspot.com/2013/06/radio-interference-of-12v-ipad-charger.html?m=1
The recommendation here is a ferrite choke on both ends of the USB cable.
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Re: USB Power Socket

Postby Jack L » Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:23 am

Thanks Dane,

I was hoping that you would respond. I saw that write up on the ferrite filter, other possibilities included ground loops and shielding. I have some Mil Spec twisted shielded pair that I am going to try and instead of grounding the charger to my ground bus I will try another location on the frame.

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Re: USB Power Socket

Postby danerazz » Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:00 am

At work we have 110v outlets in the cockpit and just plug the wall charger in for the iPad. If I touch the charge wire I still get noise in the headset. You could install a capacitor across the power leads to the USB port, but I suspect most of the noise is generated either in the voltage regulator in the socket and transmitted along the ipad cable when it is plugged in as if it was an antenna (which it is). Another thing that would be fun to try would be to find wire mesh sleeve and put it on the iPad cable and ground it to the airframe, making a shielded iPad cable.
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Re: USB Power Socket

Postby User GDS » Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:07 am

My 12V outlets are installed next to the seats, on that narrow strip between the seat and doorframe. I use the "cigarette lighter" plug with USB ports to charge my phone and GoPro battery and have no radio noise problems. The outlets are wired directly to the battery and protected by an in-line fuse.
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Re: USB Power Socket

Postby The Flying Hare » Sun Nov 01, 2015 12:46 pm

For what its worth, I found these Non FAA Cert units. According to the guy that makes them they are more than a 12v to 5v choke. It has circuitry to prevent overcharging of your PAD or Phone.
The web site is http://www.commitlift.com/
It is a cute unit, with solder terminals cooling fins and when you order you can specify if you run Apple or Android in order to get the right circuitry for your device.
I mounted mine half way from the top of the panel to the windshield pointed up, this way the cords GPS and all the USB crap can sit up there out of the way, but in easy reach.
There is no Buzz or Hum, and no special shielding is needed.

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Re: USB Power Socket

Postby taildrgfun » Sun Nov 15, 2015 11:57 am

I tried these nice looking Sea Dogs too and I think they are junk. WAY to much radio noise with them.
Stein Air has a spendy little unit that works great! No noise.
Steve Henry, Wild West Aircraft
(the Dead Stick Take-off Guy)
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