Adding USB ports

Want to make a change that's not just a fix or direct replacement...

Adding USB ports

Postby Barbie & Skipper » Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:22 pm

Between the GPS, GoPro, phone, and BT helmet, there are a number of battery-powered devices that get carried on the bike from time to time. Most of my rides are short enough that the built-in batteries are sufficient, but I decided that it would be nice to be able to power and/or recharge these things from the bike.

I purchased two USB chargers from https://www.aliexpress.com/item/New-12V ... 4c4dNzufIc. They shipped quickly and work well.

I have some XT30 connectors (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/10-Pair ... 4c4dsjJUxv) that I bought a while back, and soldered them to the charger leads. I really like these connectors. AFAIK they originated for RC equipment, but they work great for computers, electronics, auto, & motorcycle application. They are small, but are rated for 30 amps. The XT60 & XT90 connectors are larger and can carry more amps.

I used some spare cabling and ring connectors that I had laying around to make the leads. Since I didn't want to deal with extra fuses, and will only be using these for low-draw items, I tapped into the back of the instrument cluster. There are two possible power sources: the tach (black/brown & green), and the temp meter (also black/brown & green). Since these are common lines, and the tach connections are easier to access, I attached my ring connectors to the tach power leads. While I was in there, I cleaned up the leads and coated them with dielectric grease.

To keep the wiring a bit cleaner, I routed it through the connector box under the ignition switch. You have to take off the two acorn nuts to open the box, but it was pretty straightforward.

It was a fairly simple project. It took more time to solder up the connectors than it did to install. The installation was under an hour from the first plastic panel removal to final buttoning up. The wires tuck away nicely when not in use, but are easily accessible. I was especially please that I didn't need to do any cutting or permanent alterations to the bike.

A few pictures are attached.


I cut the tabs off the charger, and used ShoeGoo to mount it inside the fuse box cover. Everything fits nice and snug, and the leads come out the front right side.
Attachments
IMG_20190226_135712.jpg
Finished - USB ports ready to use
IMG_20190226_135654.jpg
Finished - USB ports tucked away
IMG_20190226_132150.jpg
USB charger ShoeGoo'd to fuse cover
IMG_20190226_130810.jpg
Power leads attached to back of instrument cluster
IMG_20190226_152810.jpg
USB charger and power leads
Barbie - 89 VTR250 - 7k+, back on the road after 3 1/2 year vacation
Skipper - 90 VTR250 - 37k+, black & white, two-part project finished 22 years after first parked
Parts bike - 90 VTR250 - 20k+, "maintained" by idiots
Barbie & Skipper
 
Posts: 85
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:12 pm

Re: Adding USB ports

Postby Barbie & Skipper » Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:57 pm

After posting, I realized that the leads were too short to remove the fuse cover. I open up the box, and re-routed the wires. Now the power leads come in under the fuse cover. It's probably better this way, as now I have access to 12V there if I need it.
Barbie - 89 VTR250 - 7k+, back on the road after 3 1/2 year vacation
Skipper - 90 VTR250 - 37k+, black & white, two-part project finished 22 years after first parked
Parts bike - 90 VTR250 - 20k+, "maintained" by idiots
Barbie & Skipper
 
Posts: 85
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:12 pm

Re: Adding USB ports

Postby ExTex77 » Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:19 pm

Nice write-up. Great Photos.

I wanted power for running lights and voltmeter,
so I used a relay wired off the battery (with fuse) and triggered by a switched power wire (forgot which one).
I mounted the relay in the body under the seat where there is a recess.
I also carry a spare 10mm wrench in the same area, so I can remove the left side panel to get to the tool kit.

Your solution is much neater.
ExTex
1989 Honda VTR250 & 1988 Honda NT650
Wife rides a Burgman 200 scooter and I enjoy riding it also
ExTex77
 
Posts: 503
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:47 pm
Location: S.E. Arkansas

Re: Adding USB ports

Postby Barbie & Skipper » Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:04 pm

Thanks. I forgot to mention that I had to cut the tabs off the charger to get it to fit under the fuse cover.

I've ordered a number of items through aliexpress over the years. There are some great bargains out there, and there is quite a bit of junk and/or counterfeit items. For the most part, if you CAREFULLY read the descriptions, specs and check the pics t very thoroughly, you've got a pretty decent chance of getting good stuff. Shipping ranges from quick to abysmally slow. I usually, though not always, am willing to pay a bit extra for e-packet shipping.

Two major warnings:

1) Chinese batteries - they all seem to lie about mAh. I bought some "2300mAh" lithium-ion batteries which turned out to be 400mAh. They wouldn't honor the description, and it wasn't worth pursuing. I will never by batteries through aliexpress again. FWIW, I've had reasonable satisfaction with electronics with built-in batteries.

2) Chinese lumens are way dimmer than U.S. lumens. I've bought quite a few flashlights. If you recognize that you will be getting 1/10th to 1/20th of the stated lumens, the flashlights are pretty decent. For example, I've bought "2000 lumen" flashlights that put out about 200 lumens, and "8000 lumens" lights that were about 400-600.

For the most part, it's worked out pretty well.
Barbie - 89 VTR250 - 7k+, back on the road after 3 1/2 year vacation
Skipper - 90 VTR250 - 37k+, black & white, two-part project finished 22 years after first parked
Parts bike - 90 VTR250 - 20k+, "maintained" by idiots
Barbie & Skipper
 
Posts: 85
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:12 pm

Re: Adding USB ports

Postby Barbie & Skipper » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:02 pm

I installed the second USB charger on the other bike today. It was even easier and quicker the second time. :D
Barbie - 89 VTR250 - 7k+, back on the road after 3 1/2 year vacation
Skipper - 90 VTR250 - 37k+, black & white, two-part project finished 22 years after first parked
Parts bike - 90 VTR250 - 20k+, "maintained" by idiots
Barbie & Skipper
 
Posts: 85
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:12 pm


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