Instructables

Backseat USB charger

Picture of Backseat USB charger
13, 11:26 PM.jpg
After all the feedbacks, I've added these warnings:

1- do not attempt this if your car has side airbags imbedded in the seat

2- make sure your back seat has sufficient room, so the 12v adaptor is not poking your neck/back area.

3- add an inline fuse, if you see yourself using it a lot.

Finding myself having more ipod/pad & phone devices on the road, I needed more charging options in the car.  Auto part store sell these multi-socket adaptors, but I like a cleaner solution with less wires showing.  

Material needed:

- Female cigarette adaptor
- Power car seat with removable access panel, of cause.
- Socket wrench with extender.
- Any wiring that's rated for 12v or more.
- Terminal connectors or soldering iron
- Spiral cutting tool.   I use my trusty RotoZip.
- volt meter
- A spacious, well lighted working area.
 
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Step 2: Remove back panel

Remove back panel.  See if you have room to fit the cigarette adaptor in the seat cavity.  You may need to remove some foam materials.  I pick mine higher up, just below the head rest.


Step 5: Test & install.

Picture of Test & install.
Temporarily, connect everything & test for charging.   Hopefully, everything should work & no shorts.

 Install is the reverse process.  Enjoy your new charger.
john33479 months ago
This modification that you have described and shown pictures of is not a USB charger. It is a standard automotive cigarete lighter type 12 volt charger. A USB charger would be 5 volt and would be different hardware.
yeah thats because you put a USB charger adapter into the 12v cigarete lighter
BUT, what he installed is a 12 volt dc power outlet, not a USB outlet. He doesn't even go into detail in his report that you have to buy an additional $10 USB adapter to plug into the 12 vdc outlet that he has installed.
wdsims63 john33479 months ago
I agree with this guy. You didn't hack in a USB port, you hacked in a 12 volt adapter port. Yes, you plugged in a USB adapter into that, but I would have preferred to just see you hack open the USB adapter and install that into the back of the seat. That would have nice.
As it is, I like this hack and it is pretty nice looking. Thankfully, my car already has a 12 volt socket for the back seat. :)
the 12VDC is stepped down to 5VDC simple buck converter.
DR0PH3AD9 months ago
"A/C leads", "Cigarette lighter hacked into the seat", this is misleading. I am with sleblanc2 and wdsims63. Flush mount that charger, run 12v DC from seat straight into charger... Easy. I wouldn't even bother taking my seat out but that's cuz I'm hardcore!!!! :)
ccs.gott9 months ago
Make sure to torque down the seat properly, as they are safety critical bolts under the seat.
wolvmarine9 months ago
Would be easier to have a Wallie-mart multi-port extension and just hide the cord that doing all this and usually they have 2-3 lighter ports and 1-2 usb ports all on one module . Hacking the electrical system to the seat may cause other problems.
ledshed9 months ago
Cool. Another place may be the door panels or somewhere on the door post,
hallcp9 months ago
There's no way I'm going to take my own seat apart for this, but I really appreciate this instructable. It shows just the kind of "out of the box" thinking that I can never manage to do myself. But once I've seen it, I get inspired to do some simpler variation (like the suggested center console mods). Thanks!
wdsims639 months ago
"...to find the A/C leads."

Not sure what you mean by this, but if you mean AC electricity, I think you meant to say DC. Otherwise, A/C usually means air conditioning.

Just to clarify, you tapped into 2 prongs that are always powered by 12Volts. Correct?
estructor9 months ago
It's great to have more places to charge our many gadgets. I applaud your enthusiasm for plunging into removing a car seat and tapping into a power source. But it's important to note that many modern cars have side air bags. Sometimes they are installed within the seats. These devices have explosive potential, requiring special precautions from car mechanics, (and even rescue personnel in car accidents.) Altering the wiring from the SRS (supplemental restraint system) at a minimum could pop up a dash light warning, but also, digging around in an SRS-equipped seat carries risk of physical injury. So this needs careful consideration from any makers.
anyheck estructor9 months ago
Any wiring to do with the SRS/Airbag/Seatbelt Pre-tensioners will be wrapped with yellow wiring loom/tape so that it's easily identified. I agree on the "stay far away" recommendation.
wongman2001 (author)  estructor9 months ago
Thank You, I've done research on my make/model before diving in. No airbags in mine.
Wroger-Wroger9 months ago
How do I do this on my bicycle?


(trying hard for the dumb question award)
Smart idea. I think I'd mount mine in back of front seat center console.
VikingKing9 months ago
The placement of the outlet looks dangerous!
If you crash and have something/someone heavy in the back seat. It/he/she will push the outlet in to the back of the person sitting in the front seat and cause serious injury.
rfliege9 months ago
I did a similar mod to my car, tapping into the wiring for the original power outlet. I mounted a 12v port under my dash with a 2 port kinivo charger in it. Then I ran USB extension cables to bulkhead outlets where I wanted them.
Fortunate_Son9 months ago
Step 6. Fling open door and run for safety after vinyl carseat with cigarette lighter housing bursts into flames when someone in the frontseat passes someone in the backseat the actual cigarette lighter.
wongman2001 (author) 9 months ago
Thank you all for loving this !