Instructables

my last instructable on computer case mod cooling fans i posted a photo of my towers face and got a comment on the cig lighter , so to make it even easyer I went and thrashed another computer ,No I dont smoke in the office but some of my gear recharges only from a car cig lighter. Also it is very easy to reach unlike the power strip on the floor under the desk :(
some photos will be replaced soon,i know how they look.

Step 1: Get parts and tools

radio shack had the molex jumper that i cut in two 3.99
could swipe one off an old computer power supply
advance auto parts had a compleat cig lighter for 3.79
also an ATC inline fuse for 1.98
for a total cost of 9.76
spade drill bit 7/8" (22mm)
some heat shrink tubing 3/16
2 spade female terminal ends
1 butt splice

Step 2: Setting up

Pry out the 5.25" faceplate.
I mounted it in the center,using the rule i penciled an X on inside.
slowly drill into the face plate when have a nice grove cut with the bit stop turn it over,and drill it through from the front. this will keep the bit from tearing the soft plastic

Step 3: Mount & wire

molex_wired.jpg
unit.jpg
Yellow wire and the closest black are 12VDC positive and the ground ( earth )
The molex connector yellow (orange) goes to ATX fuse
Black goes to ground
Red and other black are tucked into a short piece of shrink tubing to make sure they dont short out.

Step 5: Lastly



The ATX fuse holder came with a 30 amp in it would rather see a 5 amp
This can be done without turning off power
It took me less than 20 min to do entire install.
 
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how many watts will it take? Won't it fry your powersupply in a short amount of time? And i know they arn't cheap.
bikerbob2005 (author)  TheWelfareWarrior6 years ago
its a 30 AMP fuse at 12 VDC that is 360 watts so Yup can whack a power supply thought i said to swap it with a 5 AMP that cuts it down to a safe 60 watts and that tower is holding a socket A ADM so its about ready to go poof.
The 5 Amp fuse does not "cut" anything down. It just blows at a lower amperage. How many Amps does a cigar lighter draw when plugged in. I expect it will blow your 5 Amp fuse each time it's plugged in. It's a shame your photos aren't better. I love th concept.
bikerbob2005 (author)  uguy6 years ago
I know the fuse does not cut anything down,the question was "how many watts will it take?". depends on how much of a supply is there the tower power supply is a 300W the lighter is on a 30 Amp fuse so long before the fuse goes the supply will pop off. how many Amps does the lighter draw? My Ohm meter says 4.8 so 58 Watts ? My IDA/USB jumper has a 12VDC x 1.5 A power supply with a molex ,I used it to test fire lighter it took 30 seconds to pop out (on tower it is about 10 seconds )the supply would only deliver 8.5 VDC under the lighters load could use that to back check the math for the load
 i just bought a complete lighter from advanced auto parts, and the buss fuse i have i just dont know about. its a #14 wire-20 amp maximum fuseholder inline. I'll post a picture of it soon. You should draw up a better wiring guide because i really want to do this to my computer.
On an ATX power supply the positive 12V supply can produce 12A of current(according to the spec I read) , more than enough to run almost any cigarette lighter device.  The only lighter device that I wouldn't run from a power supply like this would be the actual cigarette lighter, but a cell phone charger only pulls usually 100-200mA (.1-.2A) which would be fine. This is all assuming that the cigarette lighter is wired properly.
If you do it with a pc psu turned on it will cut out and you will have to leave it For a min or so Not very good for your pc as your ram will not empty
Well along with that a small psu in a pc isn't ideal for something like this app. As he stated it was from a older computer. What is the point of trashing a 500Watt PSU to do this. Although with a molex connector it can be plugged in and as long as your not tasking the cpu to death then it wont really bother it too much. Use it while on lunch, or sleeping... Since the DC chargers will charge at a faster rate, than the AC will.
twocvbloke5 years ago
I did this using a power supply outside of a PC case (not connected to a motherboard, just the green wire shorted to ground), but every time I plugged something into the socked, the PSU cut out, so in the end I just gave up and used a cheap 12v wall wart (I love that name, I'm English too!!!) to power my socket... :\ Then again, I never do get some electronicals set up right... :P
Ok then the problem might be that it was too small of a supply. Gotta love the English... lol... Sounds right for how you should have done it. Well this is mostly based of trial and error... That is the way I do alot of things... Measure twice, cut once.. Well not me.. Its more of cut 2-3 times to make it fit and fit right... lol..
Well, it was a 150w PSU, the small sort with the fan extending out the top, but even so, the radio doesn't even use that much power, it only has 2 speakers, there's no auxiliary connectors so there's nothing else connected to it... :S I guess the PSU truly was too small, but it was the only "working" (it had damaged wires) PSU I had, I'm not going to tear up a good one I can use in a PC if I can help it... :P In fact, the only spare ATX PSU I have is in my old IBM server, after it's original (and huge!!!) supply blew up on me, but the server has files on it which I want to keep, it's just serving as a cheap external hard drive (£5 for a basic server, 2x 9GB SCSI, Tape Drive (sold off), 300something Ram, SCSI CD-Rom, can't sniff at that!!!)... :)
Ok so we have this... He doesn't smoke in the office, or around his computer, and I love the idea... I did it before I logged onto this site. I had no problems or repercussions on this matter. I smoke, and I do around the computer, and that is why I have to clean it all the time... But I don't smoke around it a lot. I have just the one question of why didn't you use a separate molex connector with heavier wire on it? Not too large... something like 12 Ga. wire..Something to with stand the load... if any real load is going to be on there. That is what I did with mine, and a larger power supply also of course.. lol...
bikerbob2005 (author)  BlackHatCracker5 years ago
Thank you for reading through. This computer I used for the demo unit is just an old rebuild ,something to give to a person needing a starter computer.Hence I kind of slapped it together .It took longer to get the video on revver than the build did.looking in the power supply might find one of the power transformer on the 12 VDC leg not in use ,so tag to that one. 16 gauge wire is all GM used on my truck to wire the lighter ,my ref book doesent give voltage drop for that short of wireing,so best guess on it.
Punkguyta6 years ago
I so totally need to do this, however I see not wanting to blow the supply.
bikerbob2005 (author)  Punkguyta6 years ago
Got to do a little math how many watts is your power supply?
What is the total draw of your system? both steady state and full draw?
Most times I am not running both hard drives and both of the cd/dvd burners ,the 7 fans do run all the time 3 are at lowest speed rest full blast.so my tower has a massive watt need.(the computer in photos is not my primary its a tower I am refurbishing/upgrading)
So the Watts left over after powering up everything can go to the cig lighter plug .
Do put in a fuse ( watts=volts x amps )
the little air compressors that plug into cig lighters i have run one to blow dust out of tower
But as I have said for a car charger for cell phone or such this works fine,or as one person said wanted it to use car mp3/radio adapter in the house.
My main tower has had this for years and have not replaced a power supply yet,
most power supplys just click off under too much of a load ,ether reset when cool off or a reset on back of tower.
I have a 450 watt power supply, besides the power dips on the system wouldn't be good for the processor, to be totally honest.
Well... i installed a lighter in my pc yesterday as a cig lover i use it verry often the cpu core voltage is normal when i've pressed the lighter, TO BE TOTALLY HONEST.
It's a novelty idea, but not only is the heat gonna eventually gonna make the socket melt through to the bottom of your case, but I can bet if you have a motherboard with decent voltage monitoring and you're running a realtime program to monitor your vcore and other voltage rails, even with a 1500 watt power supply, a ciggerete lighter SHOULD make the voltage sag, they use quite a few amperes to get the coil red hot, once it's already hot it doesn't take that much to keep it red hot. Why do you think cars need 700+ cranking amp batteries? I can't even run this 45 wattx 4 channel cheapy car stereo off a 300 watt power supply, it simply requires too much amperage, while it does work, the fact that it's sucking so much power the display panel led's are blinking to the music, well that's just not good.
bikerbob2005 (author)  Punkguyta5 years ago
i will load burnin2008 and report on my cpu voltage at steady state and when the lighter is inserted in 5 years of having this in my daily use computer I have now burned out my CPS,had any MoBo problems or hard drive problems .My only heat problems are that my cpu is cranking out the ergs and the tower was an oven .did not over heat ,well warm enough to want a solution to it. i did respond on the voltage drop as using a molex power supply (the type that comes with a USB to IDA cable) best I can give on true numbers as my amp meter took a swan dive .I do admit that my VO meter might not have fast enough readout to get the initial draw .it was holding steady on the readings. as for your stereo if were just using the front channels does it still wink out?might need a frad or 2 of capacitor or condenser in line from the battery ? is that a computer power supply? they have the legs connected to differend power transistors (at least the one I tore open for this build) looking inside and tracing the lead for a transistor that is not going to the MoBo or the C: drive would make me think that any VD would be isolated from those voltage sensitive parts .
i will load burnin2008 and report on my cpu voltage at steady state and when the lighter is inserted in 5 years of having this in my daily use computer I have now burned out my CPS,had any MoBo problems or hard drive problems .My only heat problems are that my cpu is cranking out the ergs and the tower was an oven .did not over heat ,well warm enough to want a solution to it. > WHat? I thought you just put this lighter in like a couple weeks ago? And yes, that is a problem I would want to fix. i did respond on the voltage drop as using a molex power supply (the type that comes with a USB to IDA cable) best I can give on true numbers as my amp meter took a swan dive . > That sounds like a good idea if I'm thinking about the same type of converter unit that attaches onto your molex as you have. What exactly is a usb to IDA cable btw? I do admit that my VO meter might not have fast enough readout to get the initial draw .it was holding steady on the readings. > This may be true, even if you're in your bios at startup, the temp/voltage values are only updated every second at the most. This unfortunately is a limitation in the SMBS bus. as for your stereo if were just using the front channels does it still wink out?might need a frad or 2 of capacitor or condenser in line from the battery ? > It winks out even with only one speaker connected. And as far as using a capacitor, if I had a battery I wouldn't be needing one. It's because I'm running it off an old computer supply.
bikerbob2005 (author)  Punkguyta5 years ago
for the stereo build I swapped towers I have sence put my MoBo back into the old tower and I did just plugged everything in wherever. so of my fans are not on line ,not having any temp problems . >my V/O meter is fast and digital no clue what the specks are on it so will say its slow. IDA is what a 3.5 hard drive plugs into other end is a USB so can restore a wacked hard drive with out it being the C: mine came with a 12v x 1.5 amp molex power supply that is what i tested against for V/D . might be the square wave form messing up the car stereo ?i have seen some electroincs that wont work on it yet work fine off a battery?
for the stereo build I swapped towers I have sence put my MoBo back into the old tower and I did just plugged everything in wherever. so of my fans are not on line ,not having any temp problems . >Huh? I'm not exactly sure what you mean you swapped towers?? IDA is what a 3.5 hard drive plugs into other end is a USB so can restore a wacked hard drive with out it being the C: mine came with a 12v x 1.5 amp molex power supply that is what i tested against for V/D . > This is where you have it wrong, there is no such thing as IDA. More rather, you're speaking of a microcontroller board that takes the output from an IDE hard disk and converts it to usb so you can hot plug it without shutting the whole computer down. (also, don't forget to use 80 pin cable!!). If you're talking about using the external power supply for your hard disk converter to power anything else, I wouldn't, as it will have A LOT less power than your average computer power supply. .might be the square wave form messing up the car stereo ?i have seen some electroincs that wont work on it yet work fine off a battery? > If you're implying that batteries produce a square sine wave, then maybe yes, but they don't, if you look at the output of a good battery, it should be an almost completely straight sine wave, hence making it a good power source because of it's cleanliness (also there shouldn't be square waves coming out of a DC battery). So what I mean basically, is that, as long as the battery has enough amperage to power on the device you're using, it should be able to power it fine, and in fact, batteries are a cleaner power source than hooking your stereo up to a power supply, if you ignore the fact that batteries need to be charged a lot.
bikerbob2005 (author)  Punkguyta5 years ago
Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE), later renamed to ATA, and then later to P-ATA ("parallel ATA", to distinguish it from the new Serial ATA). The original name reflected the innovative integration of HDD controller with HDD itself, which was not found in earlier disks. Moving the HDD controller from the interface card to the disk drive helped to standardize interfaces, and to reduce the cost and complexity. The 40 pin IDE/ATA connection of PATA transfers 16 bits of data at a time on the data cable. The data cable was originally 40 conductor, but later higher speed requirements for data transfer to and from the hard drive led to an "ultra DMA" mode, known as UDMA. Progressively faster versions of this standard ultimately added the requirement for an 80 conductor variant of the same cable; where half of the conductors provides grounding necessary for enhanced high-speed signal quality by reducing cross talk. The interface for 80 conductor only has 39 pins, the missing pin acting as a key to prevent incorrect insertion of the connector to an incompatible socket, a common cause of disk and controller damage.
Ok sometimes I use the old terms for parts .The cable is 39 pins on one end to plug into a non SATA hard drive/CD the other end is USB .I use this to fix wonky hard drives as removing the cover from the tower swap the cables and my laptop can explore the hard drive ,works nice for old dead computers that people want to give/toss away ,to remove any personal info or even recover photos/files .
IDA/SATA to usb
I hope that a working battery does not have a square wave .that was on the PSU that makes a square wave output ,I have found some electronics that wont cope with that .
batteries are not "cleaner" most have mercury ,Arsenic,cadmium,as well as lots of other stuff I can not spell.,or want in the landfill.
Clean power is a hoax unless you go at night to the sun and get a bucket full.Refining the imporante parts to make a solar cell adds to the waste byproduct pile in some 3 world country ( ok I am done whit that rant)
last the tower is the box your computer lives in .Most I do not like as I have large hands that will not fit into a microatx case.or something else I do not like in a case/tower is not having room for 4-5 drives not only for what is in use ,I keep a hard drive loaded with a clean OS so when( not if) I crash my system is back on line in less than 2 min.
to mount the car stereo into the case I thrashed one with an old P3 in it had to remove all the innards to saw the case.put my good guts back into it .about a week later moved it all back to the case with all the fans in it (7 total )
one last thing yes I am completely nuts,just trying to have a good time
You talk to me like im stupid or something.
bikerbob2005 (author)  Punkguyta5 years ago
I am truly sorry about that ,sometimes I say/do stupid stuff .I typed IDA it should have been IDE .I did not notice it untill this morning,I need to wear my bifocals when I am working on this stuff. far from it thinking anything like stupid you ask good questions that need to be responded to.I do try to answer with good facts/clean data and clear info.most times its me that has screwed up ,just ask my exwives.
bikerbob2005 (author)  Punkguyta5 years ago
intel d8
that is the intel active monitor program its cool ,anyway it displays the voltage no several points of the system. with burnin2008 running my readings
12V CPS 11.375 lighter in > 10.668 volts
5V 4.896/4.870 >4.948
3.3V 3.248 >3.248
CPU core {1.52} 1.459/1.459 >1.482
CPU IO {1.5} 1.445 >1.419
and for the first time i got a warning form the intel system that i had exceded the limits of my CPS
01/22/09 21:46:33
A voltage (+12 V) has returned to its recommended range.

01/22/09 21:46:23
A voltage (+12 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
Bad Voltage Value: 10.688 volts
burnin2008 did not crash.It did knock out my USB wireless thumb by the time the voltage came back up it was on line .
so I stand by my premise this is very nice to charge my cell or mp3 player and I still do not smoke in the office .
I might try other molexs to see if have same results but the CPU did not have a problem with the excessive draw on the system.
oh and CPU was ar 41 deg C during the burnin the red zone is at 62 deg C
Wowa, that is a low voltage drop, even at 11.375 standard voltage, I would question the quality of your power supply. That's good it didn't crash, but if you were playing an intensive game or something and needed to quickly light a smoke, you might just crash from lighting it "Sorry guyz i crashed cuz I had to light a ciggerete". Would be funny responses in return though lol. But regardless. You know what I would try? Find a big capacitor or something rated for 24v or better and put that in line with the postive wire of your molex. It might slow down how long it takes for it to heat up, but it should help reduce strain on the power supply.
bikerbob2005 (author)  Punkguyta5 years ago
thinking that I have no clue about what leg of my PSU it is pluged into now.the massive drop did not effect the CPU as burn2008 did not flinch ,and no other major programs or drives running the load and V/D was massive .my MoBo had a little program to "protect it from this type of abuse"yea right .i stand by"its nice for the car chargers for my cell/MP3 player ... dont smoke around the computer."
bikerbob2005 (author)  Mario15 years ago
one PSU I opened up had a bunch of power transistors ,if I was worried I would trace the molex to use for the ligther to one leg that was not used for anything important . the tower in the movie was installing a ver of linux (note the cd rom light working) and the system ran fine if the power drain was a serious problem i do not think the install would have gone smooth( ok that is not a standard just my thoughts) I am glad this simple build getting around ,trust me I get ask about it by almost everyone that sees it. oh and one other thing this mod in the build was not the first one of this type,my main computer has had this for like 5 years,yup keep moving the 5.25 cover to the next tower
you have a mac.
I have more than a mac dude.
bikerbob2005 (author)  Yerboogieman6 years ago
not me nt4 works fine,puppy stored on flash for instant boot
bikerbob2005 (author)  Punkguyta6 years ago
If you view the video can see the that the cd player is currently running (was installing linux ) that computer in the video only has a 300 watt supply ,operating the lighter didn't make it miss a beat . It is connected to a molex lead that is a single .anyone tell me how a power supply is wired?multiple legs off the transformer? The CPU is off different leg as well as regulated my CPU hitting 1.488 VDC as that makes it go realy fast 1.5 VDC is max for my CPU .I think that the regulator is on the MoBo and do not see how i could draw it that low (now you got me thinking agane wish my amp meter had not fell of that 5 story roof ) last month a friends computer had the hard drive short out till it burned up the power supply (i was on site when this happened )replaced the hard drive and the power supply the MoBo/CPU was fine
Increased voltage does not make your cpu go faster, it will only make it glitch out unless the front bus speed is changed aswell.
bikerbob2005 (author)  Punkguyta6 years ago
that 1.488 VDC is what it is clocked for to make it run at the speed changing the voltage changes the clock speed (at least on this MoBo/CPU have to set it from the bios set up then doing a burn in keeping a close watch on the CPU temp the 3 side fans were added because all 3 temp sensors were going off the scale when the MoBo is as hot as the CPU its time to chop holes in the tower and move some air ,ok i like chopping holes in stuff
Mario15 years ago
well i tried conecting a lighter to an old PSU The damn thing has a light that lights up.... but the lighter doesn't heat up ?? What's the problem?? It heated up once and i burned my finger cause i didn't expect it .... Please, help! What's the problem???? Maybe it's from the wiring? The + is to the yellow cable and the black one is connected to the 1 side of the lighter?? Is that right, should it always light or only when you press the lighter??? Please, reply :(
bikerbob2005 (author)  Mario15 years ago
need an auto 12v test light or a volt meter and chase down what leads have power and ground .my unit (fresh out of the box) glows cherry in about 10 seconds .the standard is 12v+ to yellow black to ground .the standard is 12v+ to yellow black to ground .
oh i did it... There was 2 problems 1'st one- the polarity 2'nd the lighter... so i had to replace it and change the polarity now it works! thank you
well, the light socket by itself have only 1 red cable ...
DangerArt6 years ago
I have no reason to do this to my computer, but I will. :-)
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