View Full Version : DC Power Design Challenges

07-22-2007, 01:57 PM
Hi Folks,

I am hoping to tap the collective experiences and creativity of this highly technical group. I am trying to power 2-3 different devices on my '07 RT and I want to do away with the ugly mess of 2-3 different cigarette lighter adaptors, a 2-way or 3-way plug splitter, and the BMW plug adaptor. On my '96 RT I had an RCU shelf with three RAM-Mounts and an ugly tangle of wires, adaptors, and velcro and rubber bands trying to hold everything together and keep it from banging around. Each evening I took the whole mess off of the bike and spent 10-15 minutes re-doing it the next morning. THERE MUST BE A BETTER WAY!

Here is what I am trying to power from my 12 Volt DC outlet on the dash:

GPS - Garmin Nuvi 360 w/ std USB 5V/0.7 Amp adaptor
RADAR DETECTOR - Beltronics Vector 995 w/ 12V/? Amp adaptor
VIDEO CAMERA - SONY HC-21 Handycam w/ 7.2V Battery

On the '96 RT I split the BMW 12V into two females and plugged the GPS and RADAR into them for continual power. I ran the SONY on battery until it died (filmed most of "The Dragon" and "The Snake"). I would love to cut off the big ugly adaptors, but I assume they also step down the VOLTAGE from 12 to 5 on the Garmin? It looks like I could cut the adaptors off on the RADAR and use some small 2-conductor plugs to connect the RADAR to the 2-way splitter without the big ugly adaptors. I don't know what to do about the SONY other than buy an extra longer life battery and charge both each night of the trip.

Any other good tips or ideas? I leave for a long trip in two weeks and want to set up my new RT as best I can.

ALSO - any tips about the Florida to DC Auto Train? I am riding it to DC and then heading up through Maine into Canada and back. I hope they don't damage the new RT while tying it down on the Auto Train. Do I bring my own tie-downs and secure it myself? What are the best points for securing the bike without scratching the paint? I usually use Ancra(sp?) tie downs for dirt bikes. I have never had to tie down my RT's. I usually ride them everywhere.

Thanks guys!

07-22-2007, 02:56 PM
Add a Centech AP-1 power block and run stuff off of that.

07-22-2007, 03:54 PM

Thanks for pointing me to the Centech AP-1. From what I can tell all power outputs are 12 VOLT. If I need to run any standard USB powered device I believe I will need 5 VOLTS. If I cut off the cigarette lighter adaptor (with internal voltage step-down?) will I have too high a voltage going into my GPS and burn it up? If I don't cut off the adaptor I still have the challenge of running multiple adaptors somewhere on my bike.

Since the Radar is 12 Volt it would work fine wired directly into the AP-1. Does anyone know how to deal with the different DC voltage requirements of the various devices? If all were 12 Volt this would not be an issue. Correct? Am I missing something?


07-22-2007, 04:26 PM
If you are looking to reduce bulk, use Garmin connectors instead of cigar lighter or Powerlet (BMW) types. Go to the Garmin website for connectors and adapter cables.

'07 R

07-23-2007, 01:40 AM
I have a TAO XM radio on my 07 RT. it draws 5 volts. I picked up a 5 volt converter from Myradiostore.com. I imagine with a little thought it could be adapted to power any 5 volt device as long as the amps out are not exceeded.

07-24-2007, 02:55 AM
Thanks for the advice. I like both suggestions.

08-21-2007, 03:13 PM
I don't know much of anything about the CAN bus stuff but that isn't in the picture here so I thought I would chime in. I am adding a Centec AP-1 to my 07 RT soon and will be choosing to either mount it under the seat or under the dash... once I decide where more powered items will be. Right now I am thinking I will go under the seat as vests and other powered clothing are highest on the list for us (especially my wife).

For power conversions that look clean I would mount the converter(s) under the bodywork too and run a wire out to near your desired usage. You could put one of the smaller plug styles on the end and then the complimentary other end on the wire hanging from the device itself. If you know what you will be using all you need is some wire, soldering iron, and the plugs to make your own custom setup.