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Thread: Tapping into cigarette lighter for power... and where to ground?

  1. #1
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    Icon313 Tapping into cigarette lighter for power... and where to ground?

    I am hard-wiring an iPod with a Clarion FM200 FM-modulator. A few questions before I do this- I have all the parts, now just time to get to work.


    1) I bought a 12V DC cigarette lighter outlet from Radio Shack. It needs to draw power from somewhere. If I tap it into the cigarette lighter outlet's red power wire, will both work fine?

    2) The FM200needs power, too. If I tap it into the same red power wire as above, will all three work fine? Or am I overloading that red wire? The instructions say to connect it to a 12V.

    3) Where is a good place behind the dashboard to ground the FM200 and the additional cig lighter?

    Sorry for the newb-style questions... but I just don't want to blow anything up.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Tapping into cigarette lighter for power... and where to ground?

    -=- originally posted by Hooligan -=-
    I just don't want to blow anything up.

    Thanks
    Inline fuses will be your friend.

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    Personally I'd tap into the fuse panel but either way you're not gonna overload anything. Cig lighter is already protected by a 20A fuse so no inline is absolutely necessary although could prove beneficial. Basically you can tap anywhere, car electronics (well except BMF amps) draw way too little power to overload anything. As far as ground is concerned, anything on the chasis that's metal will do. Trim screws going into the body, mounting plates and brackets etc.

  4. #4
    you get a durty sanchez. Clarion Dude's Avatar
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    Hooligan, that cig lighter is good for 25 amps. That FM200 will draw like less than an amp... unless you are running some serious stuff AND the cig lighter you are fine.

    Two words of warning...

    1. The cig lighter MIGHT make a horrible ground loop whistle that goes wheeeeeeee every time you rev your engine. Not cool. If it does, take power from the back of the radio power harness... you can ground there too. Maybe... see 2....

    2. The inside of the IP on the WJ is notorious for EMF noise (more whistle, oh boy) - especially due to the genius design of the antenna... instead of using a single conductor from the mast to the radio, it actually is THREE pieces all hooked together it is a magnet for EMF noise. If the whistle persists try grounding the FM200 to the back of the radio. I know it sounds weird, but it works.

    If you have any more problems PM me... especially if your Clarion stuff is giving you greif, I can get you through it.

    Cheers,
    Drew
    Former Owner of an Overland that nickel and dimed me half to death :sousy:

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    Thanks everyone. Clarion Dude, I sent you a PM.

    I think this explains everything...

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    I agree with running that tap off the fuse block, just did this hooking up my Sirius yesterday. Picked up one of those fuse taps at Pep Boys that hooks up in minute. Picked up the ground right next to the fuse panel where the underdash courtesy light is bolted. That switched cigarette lighter looks like a bear to pull out to access the plug on the back. Thats why I went with fuse tap.

  7. #7

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    well i agree with almost everything but...... I have blown the 20 amp fuse for the power outlet on the dash of the WJ like three times. IT WILL BLOW if too much power is drawn. (this happens with my one to three cig. adapter all the time)

    I would say if your gonna do it make sure that you put in line fuses in and put a bigger fuse in the fuse panel. I think that will work the 2nd best, the best would be running some direct power from the battery or fuse panel.

    just my thoughts.

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    Ok, here's a REALLY stupid question... what is an inline fuse? I know I should know this... but I know nothing about electronics.

    I'd run it all the way to the fuse panel but the wires aren't that long and quite frankly I don't trust my splicing abilities!

    another dumb question: If I wanted to draw power from, say, the a/c controls unit... will it be obvious which wires are power? Are they always red?

    THANKS

  9. #9

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    an inline fuse is basically just a wire with a fuse "inline". the fuse looks like a light bulb filament(sp?) glass with a wire in it. when this pulls to much current then the wire burns up. then instead of replacing the device or your electical system you replace the fuse


    wiring the stuff to the battery or to the fuse panel is not that hard, just get a soldering iron and run the wire from the battery into the center console(i read you other post) put a fuse in it , then what i would do is tap the wires into that wire direct source 12 volt and you should be fine (you can solder the wires if you want itll last a lot longer. plus you can put the switch in anywhere you want just for the FM modulator or for everything or for each thing individually( plus if you put multiple fuses in you could see which ones draws the current to blow the fuse) i think that my first suggestion is the easiest with tapping off the 12volt power adding inline fuses and replacing the fuse in the block with a bigger one. Plus itll be able to be on when you have the car off.

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    I ran my Roady power from the fuse box to an under dash hidden power outlet I installed there.
    If you only want power when the car is on, just chose a fuse that is powered when running, otherwise choose an always on fuse. If you do not want an inline fuse, just tap into the fuse box on the side of the fuse that does not have the power and use the fuse box fuse as your "inline" fuse. To find the side to use, use your ammeter, remove the fuse and determine which side of the fuse has power and which does not. Put your tap into the side without power and all your power to the ipod goes through the fuse in the box.
    Many places to ground right there by the box.

    Paul
    99 WJ LTD V8 QD, modified to Up Country, RB1/Sirius, Mopar rock rails.

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    Thanks ya'll... so if I understand this correctly, I could put one of these on the power fuse going to the accessory lighter? That would make it an inline fuse?

    I'd really prefer not to go to the fuse panel- just to avoid future issues with the dealer. The better I keep this stuff hidden, the less likely they are to raise issue with anything. My local dealer is great but I'm moving fairly soon and don't want issues down the road.

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    Try this instead, with a fuse..

    http://www.radioshack.com/product.as...%5Fid=270-1217



    Do not post much so I do not know how to do it othersise.
    99 WJ LTD V8 QD, modified to Up Country, RB1/Sirius, Mopar rock rails.

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    you get a durty sanchez. Clarion Dude's Avatar
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    Hooligan,
    No, power lines are not always red, power lines come in every color of the rainbow... use a mulitmeter to check for voltage with ignition On, AND off. See if it is constant or tied to ignition.

    Personally I like the bladed in-line fuse holder better. Easier to work with. Just my opinion.

    And as for robbing power from the AC controls or what ever... don't. In that lengthy PM I sent you I explained about "clean and dirty" power... it would be OK for running a radar detector, but I wouldn't do it for audio, it will whistle.

    Just decide what kind of system you are going to do and drive your WJ up here this spring. We'll get it sorted out!

    -Drew
    Former Owner of an Overland that nickel and dimed me half to death :sousy:

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    Hey thanks, ya'll. Drew, you've got a PM from me.

    Back to Radio Shack for inline fuses...

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    Personally i like using "Add-a-circuit"

    It basically is a fuse that replaces an existing fuse, then you can add two circuits to it with a power lead coming out of it.

    Works great!!!

    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=071-580


    Search around...they make for 10,20,25 amps too

    Good luck
    --------------------
    -1999 WJ Laredo, Black, 4.0L, 26F Package, Moonroof, Manik Front/Rear Grill Guards, PIAA Platinum Super Whites 9006 Lows, PIAA 520 Fog Lights, Gibson Cut Tip

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    The ciger lighter circuit provides 12V only when the ignition switch is on. The 12V line is red and the ground is black. This circuit has a 15A fuse. The front and rear power outlets are non-switched and powered at all times, when the battery is connected. The 12V line on these outlets is violet and the ground is black. This circuit has a 20A fuse. At least on a 2000. I used both of these lines to install a DVD player, because there is nothing else using energy on these circuits. The audio is crystal clear, but that may be due to filtering provided on the players input power lines. Also the cigar ligher instrument panel bezel is very easy to remove. Use a trim stick to pull the lower bezel away from the instrument panel. Should pop right out and can access the wires on back. Do not try to pull on the bezel that surrounds the climate control. Grounds can be picked up at any screw placed in metal to the body.

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    -=- originally posted by Baywater -=-
    Personally i like using "Add-a-circuit"
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