Introduction: Modified 12 Volt DC Lighter Plug

About: IF YOU ARE IN THE GREATER Colorado Springs AREA AND WANT A NERD PROJECT FRIEND/BUDDY HIT ME UP. I enjoy building projects, coming up with solutions to common everyday issues. Fixing things instead of buyin…

This project modifies a Dollar Store 12volt plug for use as a cord plug for one of my Ham Radios.

Step 1: The Reason for This Instructable

I have been a Ham Radio operator for several decades and often I am looking for cigarette lighter plugs for different applications.

This last week I was seeking one from my junk box and couldn't find what I was looking for. I had made a trip to the Dollar store several days before and picked up the inverter pictured. It was intended to convert 12vdc to 5vdc with two USB outputs.

I decided after looking for a suitable plug both here in the junk box and on ebay, that I would modify this one for my purposes.

Im sorry I didnt take more pictures but I think most of you will get the basics and can ask questions if you wish.

Step 2: Modifying the Circuit Board

The plug I am creating/modifying is for my 10 meter Ham Radio mobile rig.

I was going to put Anderson Power Pole connectors on this radio but for a few reasons decided not to.

This radio has been boxed up for a few years and my station situation has changed greatly thus the need for a plug end.

You can see the male plug end opened up. it requires unscrewing the tip, removing the metal ring and carefully pulling the case open.

I actually ended up liking this plug as the USB ports remain on the board and add structure even though they and the whole board become of no use.

The cord end of this radio needed some modifications. I put shrink tubing on each wire to allow for better adhesion when I was done. << I glued the wires between the USB ports.


In order to make the board a functional support structure, I had to unsolder a Red LED, 4 capacitors that were in the way of where I chose to route the wires.

I also cut the ground wire from the board so that there is no way a circuit can complete on the board again.

You will notice the three orange wires 22ga solid. << just what I had laying around. I used it to extend the positive wire from the radio as I needed to bend it sharp and route under the circuit board to connect to the positive hookup, the spring/fuse combination.

I then soldered the black/negative wire to the ground contact of the plug, it is only connected on one side, not my first choice but for this application it will work out okay.

Step 3: Final Words.

As you can see in the picture above I had to cut out a piece of the white plastic in between the USB ports. There once was a red LED there but I had to cut more on one side of the housing in order to pass the wires through in to the case.

After I heated the shrink tubing and all things were arranged, I gave the wires between the USB ports a good dose of Super glue jel. This worked to keep things stable!

After assembling the plug I wrapped black electrician tape around the larger body of the plug.

Bare in mind that the thin casing of this plug was never meant to support these wires etc. A good amount of tape and glue helps to offer some structure to the final project.

The plug functions very well and the radio works well too.

Happy modifications.

Bryan KC8HPS