Adding multiple 12v power sockets / cigarette lighters and USB - MINI Cooper Forum

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 2014, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Adding multiple 12v power sockets / cigarette lighters and USB

Hi all,
It has been a VERY long time since I posted on here but I am currently revamping my 10 year old Mini R50. I have looked around a lot at advice on how to do this but every topic seems to be talking about adding 1 12v socket to your car, I want to add a lot more.

Without going into too much detail, I would like to understand the principles. Let's say that I am adding a 12v socket to the boot that will be a normal cigarette lighter. I am then going to dismantle an inverter and add the 2 x 3pin sockets from it to a couple of places in the car and I am adding a couple of USB sockets too (like these http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/...L._SL1500_.jpg) I assume that for the inverter I will need to rate the cable to something like 25A? I will then need to tap power from........something in the fuse box that is accessory and rated to 25A? For the others, can I not just draw power directly from the existing cigarette lighters power supply cables? Or would I risk exceeding the 10A limit of that fused supply?

Thanks for any advice.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 2014, 07:12 PM
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Maybe I've misunderstood your post, but it reads that you want to add a couple of 240v mains outlets to your car?
I wouldn't recommend dismantling an inverter. They can pack quite a punch if you get it wrong!

Maybe if you explain exactly what you are trying to do, someone will suggest a safer way of doing it?
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 2014, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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Hi,
You haven't misunderstood, I want to permanently install at least 1 mains socket into my Mini. I think I have found a way to do it without having to dismantle the inverter very much, simply removing the front panel and putting it the other side of a cut out. I am asking on here so that I avoid getting it wrong.

I am wanting to have a power socket so that I can plug in things that need it, such as a laptop charger or other charger without having to always remember to have a 12v plug in accessory. I also don't want the inverter clumsily plugged in, I want everything neat.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 06:09 PM
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I think I'd do this by mounting the inverter under the passenger seat. Pick one that can supply about double the rated load of the "biggest" thing that you want to plug into it, and that has a physical layout that fits under the seat, and has the mains outlet in a suitable position. Plenty on eBay.

Laptop chargers need about half an amp, so that's 120watts at 240v. Get an inverter that can supply at least 200watts at 240v.

The next problem is the 12v input. Probably best to take this straight from the battery. Use cable rated at 25A or more, and fit a 20 or 25A fuse, as close to the battery as you can.

You'll also need a way of isolating the 12 supply, so that you don't flatten the battery. The inverter will drain your battery in a few hours when it's in use, maybe overnight if it's just plugged in and switched on.
Either fit a switch so you can control it manually, or use a relay so that it only gets power when the ignition is on.


Converting 12v DC to 240v AC, then back down to whatever voltage the device being charged needs is very inefficient use of battery power.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Apr 24th, 2014, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your input. I have an old inverter that I am going to reuse. I thought about mounting it under the seat but there were a couple of things that I thought about quite quickly.
1. There might be moisture issues, especially if there is snow
2. It will be a bit fiddly to get the plug in

I have therefore removed the rear quarter trim and have cut a section out. I am mounting the inverter there and then creating a magnetised extension cable if the need for larger adapters ever presents itself. I have attached a pic of the work so far:

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