First mod...minor, but essential...USB power socket. - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

General Modifications R170 Details that make your car different

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#1 Old 10-31-2018
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Arrow First mod...minor, but essential...USB power socket.

Heya!

So, first mod to Frau Kompressor...as far as I can tell, first mod of any kind to the car, actually.

(I did change out the factory head unit already, but that hardly counts as it was slide out/slide in and done in 5 minutes...no real modification needed.)

Minor thing, but essential considering I have a tablet for Torque readouts and an old cellphone as a dashcam...this $8.75 (eBay) dual 2.1A USB power socket install. (Like most small, generic electronics on eBay it can be had for less than half that, IF you're willing to wait on the 'slow boat from China' and take 6 weeks instead of paying for a US seller.)

I think it looks pretty good...the color is a near match for the orange dash lights (see night image, LOL) and the spot is perfect, fits exactly with no clearance issues underneath or to the sides.

If you knew me and my Dremel ability (read: none/zero/nada) you'd realize what a big deal it was for me to drill into the panel that I knew I'd never find for sale to replace for less than a couple hundred bucks....because I needed a 1 3/16" hole and the largest hole drill bit I own is 1" so I figured (since the trim ring extends another 1/8" or so and would cover any unevenness) I could Dremel it juuuuuust enough to fit without having to visit Home Depot.

Often such bright ideas lead to bitter failure and the refrain, "I'll never do THAT again" but this time...looks good, eh?



I elected to keep this one 'switched' (not much choice, since it's lighted all the time, no separate dimmer connect for $8) but while I was in there rootin' around, I did make the lighter socket up by the handbrake 'always on' since sometimes I do want to plug in a USB charger there to keep the aforementioned electronics charging overnight if I know I'll use the car again in 24-48 hours.

To do that I actually put the original cigarette lighter socket power leads on this one, and tapped into the 'constant power' for the radio for the new power to the lighter socket.

You could almost imagine it was a factory option, if I do say so myself.

Next up....headliner replacement. I should be so lucky that it goes this well....
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#2 Old 10-31-2018
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If your 'mod' is protected by fuse/breaker/overload then well done!
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#3 Old 10-31-2018
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Great job! Looks like it came like that from the factory! I can imagine it would have been pretty nerve wracking to drill that hole!

I've recently "installed" something similar. I say "installed" as I merely screwed it in to plug the hole left in the passenger footwell where my 12V socket should be on my R171. It's one I had lying around that has 1xUSB and 1xAUX. The AUX is superfluous though as I already have one wired in the glove box. I may try and find one like yours with the 2 USBs as this would be more useful, especially with them each being 2.1A.

I haven't got round to wiring mine in yet, still pondering exactly how to do it as I want to install a 12V socket too and possibly fit a USB somewhere around my centre console. I did wonder about fuses too, but I figured the wiring from the old 12V socket will already be connected to a fuse, right?
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#5 Old 11-01-2018
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Originally Posted by Gimme Shelter View Post
If your 'mod' is protected by fuse/breaker/overload then well done!
It is, since I just re-used the 'original' cigarette lighter socket wiring, since I needed this to also be 'switched' with the ignition key off, it made the most sense and that way I know the amp rating is good/fuse is properly rated.

For the original lighter socket, I did just 'tap into' the constant power line for the audio head unit; BUT since I'm always on the safe side (and always blowing those damn lighter socket fuses in any car I've ever owned) I put an additional in-line 5A fuse in that wire which should, theoretically, blow first if (when) I drop something metal into the socket....

I went 5A since I never actually put anything with any major amount of draw in that socket anyway - except, as mentioned, when I drop something metal in the stupid thing.

JD
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#6 Old 11-13-2018
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The same unit is available also from Amazon with a voltage read out between the two chargers.
I got one with dual 2A USB ports and blue voltage readout and replaced the stock lighter with it.

I later began having intermittent dying issues and noticed that if the voltage on the readout dropped below about 12v that the engine would die - testing the alternator showed that it had low output under load and I replaced it. You can also see the drop as different accessories are turned on, wipers, heater blower, engine cooling fan, etc and see if any of them are drawing so much that they are draining the system...

The volt gauge is a great diag tool.

https://www.amazon.com/MOTOPOWER-MP0...harger+voltage
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