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Convert your USB ports into a switched 12V power source

824 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Blockisle9
While looking for a switched 12V power source for my radar detector, my test light indicated every fuse in the left fuse panel was hot all the time. I didn't want to pull any trim pieces off and probe the mirror or any of the harness, instead I wanted something that was more plug and play. Yes, I could use the front power port, but I don't like having the cord hanging down and honestly, I don't even like to see the detectors power adapter plugged in. Since the power port(s) are powered from ignition, I did some more testing and realized the USB ports are too. Then I searched around that big online retailer and found this adapter. I just finished connecting everything, and so far it works great. The radar detector shows it's got 12.3V, and it's only on with the ignition. I plugged it into one of the rear USB ports, hard wired an extension made for my Passport to this adapter, which is then plugged into the USB adapter. All the wiring is hidden neatly under the rear floor mat, and tucked into the left side panels then up the pillar and across the headliner.
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However, switched power (and ground) is available at the sunroof motor connector above the cabin light/switch panel (undo two screws and unclip).
I figured there was probably a useable power source somewhere inside the cabin, but since this is my first brand new vehicle, I don't want to start removing trim pieces and piercing or splicing into any wiring (at least not in my first month of ownership :)). Using the USB adapter was a very clean way for me to power my radar detector and it's easily removed if necessary.
There's not much to see really. The USB adapter and power port plug are tucked between the seat and console, then part of the wiring is under the floor mat, the rest is under the back seat then along the left side panels going up to the front. Somewhere I have a USB extension laying around that I'll eventually use, that way I should be able to have the socket and wiring tucked away under the back seat to make things even neater. However, since my back seat is always folded down and I can't see any of the wiring, I'm not too worried about it. The last pic shows a steady 12.3V at the detector.

As a side note, I do normally prefer to solder and heat shrink any and all electrical connections. However, about 3/4 of my garage has been packed up as I get ready for a move later this spring. Only my package of butt connectors and my trusty crimp tool were still available :)
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