Install a Cigarette Lighter on Computer

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Intro: Install a Cigarette Lighter on Computer


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

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 4: Installing

From the power supply find an open molex connector.
snap in the face plate and connect it to the power supply.

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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    50 Discussions

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    Junk_Wizard

    10 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    4 replies
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    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.

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    uguybikerbob2005

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    bikerbob2005uguy

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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

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    ttratbikerbob2005

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

     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.

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    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.

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    stephenniall

    9 years ago on Introduction

    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

    1 reply

    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.

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    twocvbloke

    9 years ago on Introduction

    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

    2 replies

    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...

    1 reply

    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.

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    bikerbob2005Punkguyta

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    Punkguytabikerbob2005

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    Mario1Punkguyta

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    PunkguytaMario1

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    bikerbob2005Punkguyta

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    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 .

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    Punkguytabikerbob2005

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    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.