Power Adapter for an LT - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 10 Old May 8th, 2018, 11:23 am Thread Starter
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Power Adapter for an LT

Is there an adapter that will allow cigarette lighter charging of electronics (cell phone, GPS, etc.) from the connection on the bike, or would it be best to hardwire two usb connectors (mini and micro) directly, or even wire in a female USB cable and attach the item directly? Thanks!
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post #2 of 10 Old May 8th, 2018, 12:02 pm
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Re: Power Adapter for an LT

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Originally Posted by Cruisin' Colorado View Post
Is there an adapter that will allow cigarette lighter charging of electronics (cell phone, GPS, etc.) from the connection on the bike, or would it be best to hardwire two usb connectors (mini and micro) directly, or even wire in a female USB cable and attach the item directly? Thanks!


Yes, they are readily available. The outlet on the bike is called Powerlet, or DIN, or Hella. If you search on Amazon for an adapter using on of those terms you will find a lot of options


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post #3 of 10 Old May 9th, 2018, 7:59 am
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Re: Power Adapter for an LT

Be careful! The powerlet is 12v like the battery. Your cell charger delivers 5v to your phone. There are "converters" available on eBay to make that work.

I fried a GPS that I thought would work directly from 12v. it doesn't!! If you have an auto GPS you will notice a sealed configuration in the wire that goes to the car's 12v socket. it drops the 12v auto to 5v for use by the GPS.

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post #4 of 10 Old May 9th, 2018, 6:01 pm
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Re: Power Adapter for an LT

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Originally Posted by PMitchell View Post
Be careful! The powerlet is 12v like the battery. Your cell charger delivers 5v to your phone. There are "converters" available on eBay to make that work.

I fried a GPS that I thought would work directly from 12v. it doesn't!! If you have an auto GPS you will notice a sealed configuration in the wire that goes to the car's 12v socket. it drops the 12v auto to 5v for use by the GPS.
I take it you wired it yourself?

Every device that plugs into a cigarette lighter expects 12V DC and converts according to what the attached device needs. Most cell phones charge via USB which will output 5V DC and expects either 12V DC as the input (cigarette lighter or Powerlet) or 100-250 V AC (wall plug charger).

I can't imagine how one could mess up here using purchased devices. However, if you decide to wire directly, then you are the technician and matching voltage and current type is on you.
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post #5 of 10 Old May 9th, 2018, 8:35 pm
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Re: Power Adapter for an LT

If you just want something simple, I've been using this one and it works fine ---->

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QMTECNO/


It plugs into your Powerlet power port and automatically steps down the voltage to 5V. Only drawback is that it only puts out 1A from one of the slots which makes for very slow charging. The other slot puts out 2.1 amps. 2.1 amps is really what you want. If you only plug in one device at a time, then no problem.

Here's a similar product that puts out 2.1 amps on each slot, plus you get a handy-dandy digital voltmeter built in, but I have no 1st hand knowledge of how good it works ---->

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075J7DZMW/

I'm gonna order one though and give it a try.

Also, pay attention to your charging cable. Some cables are great for charging. Some suck at it. Do some research on Amazon etc. I kinda like the ones from Anker ---->

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B012VWH6PQ/
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post #6 of 10 Old May 9th, 2018, 11:40 pm
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Re: Power Adapter for an LT

I use a similar adapter in a cigarette lighter plug i installed in my dash in the space right below the
headlight adjuster. it has a 1A and a 2.1A port. @ 2.1 amps it keeps my phone at 100% while streaming
music or anything else i need it for. the lighter plug also has a plastic cap attached to cover it when not in
use. they sell them at most any automotive store.

R Hill
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post #7 of 10 Old May 10th, 2018, 8:49 am
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Re: Power Adapter for an LT

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I use a similar adapter in a cigarette lighter plug i installed in my dash in the space right below the
headlight adjuster. it has a 1A and a 2.1A port. @ 2.1 amps it keeps my phone at 100% while streaming
music or anything else i need it for. the lighter plug also has a plastic cap attached to cover it when not in
use. they sell them at most any automotive store.
I don't know of any phones that draw more than 1 A continuously and most phone size batteries charge reasonably quickly on 1A and will have longer battery life at that charge rate. The 2.1 A port is for iPads and such that have large batteries that take hours to charge at 1 A. Your phone may charge faster on the 2.1 A port (most battery controllers will limit the current at some point which may be less than 2.1 A), but faster charging yields shorter life.

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post #8 of 10 Old May 10th, 2018, 11:32 am
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Re: Power Adapter for an LT

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I don't know of any phones that draw more than 1 A continuously and most phone size batteries charge reasonably quickly on 1A and will have longer battery life at that charge rate. The 2.1 A port is for iPads and such that have large batteries that take hours to charge at 1 A. Your phone may charge faster on the 2.1 A port (most battery controllers will limit the current at some point which may be less than 2.1 A), but faster charging yields shorter life.
This didn't sound right to me so I decided to delve into the internet to fact-check Voyager. Guess what? He's right! Found an excellent article on the Digital Trends website ---->

https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile...charging-work/

They explain that the basic USB 2.0 charging standard is 1/2 amp. USB 3.0 can handle up to .9 amp. I was curious about this because my Moto X phone can be recharged in 15 minutes using the proprietary "turbo" charger from Motorola. The article explains that my charger can push out as much as 5.7 amps (when plugged into an AC wall receptacle) but they don't really explain how this is possible. It's all proprietary.

In any event, there does not seem to be any 12-volt fast charging system, and the on-board software of your smartphone will automatically limit the amount of charging power coming into the phone to under an amp, just as Voyager says.

Very cool info. Thanks, Voyager!
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post #9 of 10 Old May 10th, 2018, 1:40 pm
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Re: Power Adapter for an LT

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Originally Posted by DRONE View Post
This didn't sound right to me so I decided to delve into the internet to fact-check Voyager. Guess what? He's right! Found an excellent article on the Digital Trends website ---->

https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile...charging-work/

They explain that the basic USB 2.0 charging standard is 1/2 amp. USB 3.0 can handle up to .9 amp. I was curious about this because my Moto X phone can be recharged in 15 minutes using the proprietary "turbo" charger from Motorola. The article explains that my charger can push out as much as 5.7 amps (when plugged into an AC wall receptacle) but they don't really explain how this is possible. It's all proprietary.

In any event, there does not seem to be any 12-volt fast charging system, and the on-board software of your smartphone will automatically limit the amount of charging power coming into the phone to under an amp, just as Voyager says.

Very cool info. Thanks, Voyager!
I can't believe you didn't just trust me implicitly! I am so offended!!

Just pulling your chain. I strongly encourage everyone to be very skeptical of what they read on the internet. The signal to noise ratio is exceedingly low in general. The good news is that this forum is one of the best that I know of in regard to providing correct information. I rarely see BS here.

In regard to this topic, they let me put P.E. after my name for a reason.

The reason these fast charging techniques are "proprietary" isn't that magic is involved, it is that less battery life is involved and the folks in legal and marketing don't want to talk about that so the topic becomes "proprietary." That is one reason that Apple started surreptitiously slowing down peoples' cell phones (and got successfully sued for that) was because the batteries were fading faster than expected. Batteries that are "fast charged" will be much worse. I didn't see this mentioned in the article you referenced above, so here is a site that shows data on this. The increased rate of battery degradation is not insignificant. If you like buying a new phone every 12-18 months, fast charge away I am cheap and am still nursing along my 3 year old iPhone 5s.

Fast and Ultra-fast Chargers - Battery University

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Last edited by Voyager; May 10th, 2018 at 6:04 pm.
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post #10 of 10 Old May 10th, 2018, 2:29 pm
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Re: Power Adapter for an LT

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Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
I don't know of any phones that draw more than 1 A continuously and most phone size batteries charge reasonably quickly on 1A and will have longer battery life at that charge rate. The 2.1 A port is for iPads and such that have large batteries that take hours to charge at 1 A. Your phone may charge faster on the 2.1 A port (most battery controllers will limit the current at some point which may be less than 2.1 A), but faster charging yields shorter life.
This a.m. I thought I should double check and is seems I was completely wrong, my phone cord is and has always been plugged into the 1.0A port.
I had a different adapter and used the 2.1 port at times, guess i just forgot i changed to this
one.
also should have mentioned when it reaches 100% I usually pull back on the adapter until the
light goes out to shut it off.
the point of my reply was that there are inexpensive, readily available ways to add usb charging. the route i went is just one. sorry to have caused the thread to go a bit sideways.

R Hill
Warren MI
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