Introduction: Add Powered USB Ports to Your Car


This will show you how to add powered USB ports to your car (yaris in this case) and wire one of them to power a phone from the dash to use it as a GPS in your windshield.

I am doing this in a yaris, but it applies to any car.

I will show you how to

1- Add a usb power supply that will be coming out from the dash to power my phone that I use as a GPS when it is attached to the windshield.

2- Add usb ports that can be use to charge directly any usb powered device from the two little unused rectangles under the parking break handle near the current 12v supply

For the circuit part of this (getting the power to the ports), please see my other ible here:

Step 1: Material

Step 2: Wiring the Car

I recommend an ethernet cable for this. The reasons are

  1. it has extra protection
  2. it is rigid enough to snake around tight spots, but soft enough to do very tight bends

Cut off the tip to make it easier to run, but cover the tip with hot glue so that it can't get hooked as you run it.

I did remove quite a bit of panelling, and it still took a bit of patience, and a good flashlight. I drew a red line on the pictures to shows approximately where I wired it. Long nose or needle-nose pliers can be useful for reaching.

Also, please make sure your car is off when you do this.

Step 3: Finding Where You Will Put Your Ports

I had spare "blank" caps in my care as I had a base model, so I chose to use these. I could have drilled directly, but decided to actually cast my own as you can see. You don't need to do this, but just showing that there are a lot of options. You can see my mold in blue.
Once that is done, you can secure your USB ports in place. If you are using header USB ports with long wires, you might even want to just have the wire come out as is, and keep it flexible.

Step 4: Connect Your USB Ports

You now have to connect your USB ports to your 5v power supply, whatever one that may be.

Step 5: Add Your Dash-USB Cable

Pick 2 wires from the inside the ethernet cable we ran earlier (once it has been cut at both ends with about 1-2 feet of slack). Remembrer what colour your pick, and add solder a USB port to the wire on the top end. On the bottom end, connect the pair of wires to your power supply.

To finish it all up, I tucked the usb port well into the dash and pulled the steering wheel up to clamp the port in place.