Instructables
I recently decided to dedicate my old iPod nano as my "car-tunes" device and since the battery is getting weak I wanted to ensure consistent power for long trips. I bought 2 USB adapters for the cigarette lighter from overstock.com. They are about $3.50 each and decided to convert a blank switchplate on my Honda's dash into a USB power port.
There is nothing revolutionary here, just wanted to add my variation on the theme. I wanted it to look as OEM as possible. I think it turned out real clean.

Tools:
Dremel with shaping bits
Soldering wand
solder
flux
x-acto knife
screwdrivers
USB 12v power adaptor
hot glue gun
glue sticks

about 1.5 hours total time
 
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Step 1: The USB power adapter

Picture of The USB power adapter
usb_power_plug (Small).JPG
It didn't take long to find inexpensive 12v USB power adapters. I found these at overstock.com and they are from eforcity (not a promotion). I was looking for something with a small form-factor and that appeared easy to disassemble. I bought two ($3.50 ea) in case I messed one up, but didn't. I put the second one in the "power port" in my wife's car for the kids to use.

Step 2: The Console face

It is pretty easy to remove the console face completely from the car. I suggest that you do so that you can work on the bench and not in the car.

Step 3: Preparing the blank

Picture of Preparing the blank
finished_panel_back (Small).JPG
I will skip over the dremel and knife work, you know what to do. I started my holes using the drill press for control, especially for the LED opening. I needed to remove some material from the back of the blank to get a nice fit. I finished the edges of the opening with a jeweler's file to get a nice edge.

Step 4: The USB device

Picture of The USB device
soldered_connections (Small).JPG
dry_fit_close.JPG
Once the adapter is open, it is easy to see how simple the installation will be. I de-soldered the "hot" spring and one of the "neutral" contacts. I was going to re-solder both using the PCB spots but couldn't get the "neutral" wire in, so ended up soldering it to the other "neutral" contact. No-biggie.
The last picture is the dry fit before I glue it in.
3366carlos1 year ago
nice, does it get hot?
andamas (author)  3366carlos1 year ago
Thanks,
No it does not get any hotter (that I've noticed) than a standard accessory. The amperage is pretty low, so it doesn't charge my tablet very efficiently, but is great for phones and ipods.
aleitt1 year ago
I am extremely impressed with your dremel work ! I did something similar in my truck except I used a 2 usb plug and disassembled it like you did.
I was very disappointed in the cut I made in my blank so I went to the junk yard and bought a new one because I was so critical of my cuts.
Maybe I just need more patience. Any advice ?
Excellent work again !
ARJOON aleitt1 year ago
i am having the same problem, and i don't have a dremel kit,

is there any instructables on how to do it
andamas (author)  ARJOON1 year ago
I would use a drill to make small holes near (not at) the four corners and then a couple of more in the space to be removed. Once you have done that, you can probably shape the opening with a hobby knife and files. I have used that technique and finished larger holes with a coping saw, too.
hummer_head3 years ago
very nice and useful!! You've got my vote!
andamas (author)  hummer_head3 years ago
Thanks!
abquid3 years ago
Where did you get the "blank"? This is the single piece I'm trying to find...
andamas (author)  abquid3 years ago
The blank was already in the dash for an unused switch. I image you could get one from a dealer, but I would hit the junkyard. It is the same blank plate almost every Honda uses until around 2000. Good luck.