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Clipsal 2-pin to USB socket conversion


Gavin Smith
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My old 90s Elddis is going to see some off-grid caravanning this year. I'd like a USB socket installed somewhere in the van to charge phones and I've been researching the easiest way to do this but then it occurred to me that there's a weird two pin (at slight angles) socket near the door. From some Googling, this appears to be a Clipsal 2-pin socket. I'm not sure if there's a more correct term or not.

 

Anyway, my caravan is in storage at the moment but in a couple of weeks I'll have it out and I'm wondering what I might need to convert that socket to a USB socket. I found this: https://www.towsure.com/adapt-it-1-12v-adaptor-2-pin-socket-to-cigar-lighter which is certainly the easiest way to do this but I'm wondering if I could go a little neater and remove the Clipsal socket and put a USB socket straight in? Something like this? https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lighter-Socket-Double-USB-Socket-12-24V-Waterproof-Marine-White/252764911842

 

Presumably behind the Clipsal socket is two wires and I can remove these from the Clipsal and solder them straight into the pins at the back of the USB socket? Or maybe I'm being totally naive here? Grateful for any advice or guides on this because although I can find lots of YouTube videos about USB installations, I can't find a single one about converting from these old Clipsal 2-pin sockets to USB. Thanks!

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Just google 12 volt usb socket, there are loads!

 

Replace the Clipsal with one of those and just wire it in.  Get the  +&- the right way round.

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I put a digital volt meter on the back of a clipsal plug.  It looked very neat.

 

But if I were doing it again, I'd look to replace the clipsal with a surface mounted usb.

 

Edited to add: Unless this would fit inside a modified clipsal plug?  (Some of them have clear plastic covers)  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Converter-4-5-40V-Step-down-Regulator-Voltmeter/dp/B00IZ9PISW

 

Or something like this  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Charger-Adapter-Converter-Module-Motorcycle/dp/B07GNGMM4N would just wire into the plug.

Edited by Will deBeast
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Wire a couple of the old cigarette lighter type sockets into the lighting circuit at suitable locations (but only use them for phone charging etc or you will blow the lighting circuit fuse,  Or use the outlet provided for the TV supply. 

 

You can get USB adapters to fit into those types of sockets from just about anywhere such as Poundland. 

 

Andy

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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If you wire in USB ports then unless you switch it, it is live and to an extent a parasitic load all the time  your 12 volts is enabled. Not best philosophy for off grid camping, even if a minor drain.

 

Also, these USB from 12 volt adaptors come in various qualities and ratings.

 

My view is it being best to use a quality brand adaptor rated for the task, so I have 0.5, 1 and 2.6 amp variants from premium makers, and use the right one via a 12 volt standard port, removing it after doing the task.

 

Therefore, I added another two extra 12 volt standard 10 amp so called "cig lighter" fixed ports to my van.

 

 

Edited by JTQ
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I fitted a couple of these to our van - just replaced the existing light fitting. two USB sockets in each together with a dimmable LED light. 

 

I got them for about £15 each but I can't remember where. Look for Mensa caravan light on t'interweb - only £18 here https://www.robinsonscaravans.co.uk/online-shop/detail/mensa-1-smd-dimming-spotlightc-w-usb-port/plpo788

caravan light.jpg

Edited by matelodave
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1 hour ago, JTQ said:

If you wire in USB ports then unless you switch it, it is live and to an extent a parasitic load all the time  your 12 volts is enabled. Not best philosophy for off grid camping, even if a minor drain.

 

Also, these USB from 12 volt adaptors come in various qualities and ratings.

 

My view is it being best to use a quality brand adaptor rated for the task, so I have 0.5, 1 and 2.6 amp variants from premium makers, and use the right one via a 12 volt standard port, removing it after doing the task.

 

Therefore, I added another two extra 12 volt standard 10 amp so called "cig lighter" fixed ports to my van.

 

 

 

That's a interesting point of the parasitic load as I am putting two in my self in the next couple of weeks and was not going to make them switched but might change to save energy .

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On 25/01/2020 at 08:16, Wunny said:

Just google 12 volt usb socket, there are loads!

 

Replace the Clipsal with one of those and just wire it in.  Get the  +&- the right way round.

Thanks, I just had no idea what was behind this old Clipsal socket.

 

Okay, so that seems very easy. Do you think a fuse is required? Some of those 12v USB sockets seem to have an inline fuse and some don't. I'll only be charging phones on it.

On 25/01/2020 at 09:18, JTQ said:

If you wire in USB ports then unless you switch it, it is live and to an extent a parasitic load all the time  your 12 volts is enabled. Not best philosophy for off grid camping, even if a minor drain.

 

 

Yes, good point. I'm now hunting on Google for dual USB sockets, with switches, preferably in white :) I'm getting picky now.

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A fuse never hurts, an in line one will be good in the +ve, say twice the current draw on full load will be OK.

 

A USB 3 will supply 900mA, so a 2.0 Amp fuse will be fine.

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  • 6 months later...

Hello!
 

I have exactly the same scenario and am wondering whether you found a socket and successfully installed it? If so which socket did you use?

 

Thank you!

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  • 1 month later...
1 hour ago, alunstewart said:

Hi. Can you change the clipsal socket to a cigarette charger style? we are going to get a 12v/240v tv. 

 

In a word yes!! 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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