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Old 06-16-2018, 11:56 AM   #1
Blue Flash
 
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Need a good USB Charging Port

Who has a GOOD flush mount USB charging port that works and will keep working? Recommendations??? I don't have a problem with paying more if I can find one that is reliable, but I need one that works!!!!

The history...

Last year, I found a marine / motorcycle USB charging port. Flush mount, and looked nice installed in the fairing. I tested it out, and it powered my GPS unit and charged my phone fine.

For the next several months though, I used the other port I installed with the standard car port. When I recently swapped the GPS over to the USB, it didn't work. Had power, but didn't work.

Bought a different port. Installed last week, and rode the bike to work on Monday. Worked Great! Rode the bike to work Tuesday... failed halfway to work. Has power, but not through the ports.
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Old 06-16-2018, 12:04 PM   #2
E.Marquez
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Re: Need a good USB Charging Port

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Who has a GOOD flush mount USB charging port that works and will keep working? Recommendations??? I don't have a problem with paying more if I can find one that is reliable, but I need one that works!!!!

The history...

Last year, I found a marine / motorcycle USB charging port. Flush mount, and looked nice installed in the fairing. I tested it out, and it powered my GPS unit and charged my phone fine.

For the next several months though, I used the other port I installed with the standard car port. When I recently swapped the GPS over to the USB, it didn't work. Had power, but didn't work.

Bought a different port. Installed last week, and rode the bike to work on Monday. Worked Great! Rode the bike to work Tuesday... failed halfway to work. Has power, but not through the ports.




I use BlueSea almost exclusively for this, I have installed several dozen over the last few years, not a single one’s ever failed
the third (OMG HUGE PIC, Sorry TAPATALK upload) is a cheaper version from Ebay that has a volt meter built in...Its been working for about a 2 years now no issues on one of this guys other bikes so I installed one on this bike of his as well.
The first two are pics of my bikes, there are 7 and 9 years old now... The 9 year old one (red bike) is used used rain or shine ...and many times its been in use (cover off) in the rain and never failed me.
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Old 06-16-2018, 12:41 PM   #3
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Re: Need a good USB Charging Port

Outstanding! I'll take a hard look into Blue Sea!

Thanks!
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Old 06-16-2018, 03:38 PM   #4
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Re: Need a good USB Charging Port

Just had this discussion on ADV. I still think This is a better option than having a cord dangling in the breeze. Plug in what ever needs a charge and put it in the tank/tail bag or in your luggage. If you're gonna powered something that mounts to the bike, I'd hardwire it.
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Old 06-16-2018, 03:50 PM   #5
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Re: Need a good USB Charging Port

One other point. These USB ports are weater proof as long as the cap stays closed with nothing plugged into them. Riding in the rain with a cable plugged in will spell trouble down the road.

Last edited by Desert Skies; 06-16-2018 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 06-16-2018, 04:49 PM   #6
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Re: Need a good USB Charging Port

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One other point. These USB ports are weater proof as long as the cap stays closed with nothing plugged into them. Riding in the rain with a cable plugged in will spell trouble down the road.
Id agree, except, its proven not to be an issue in use.
6 years ago I assumed the same thing, so always unplugged when it was raining... Then a few times , well it started raining during the ride and I forgot to unplug and cap.....and nothing happened except, it still worked... the one on my VTR is about 9 years old, its been in the rain a bunch now, still works just fine.

I suppose, I also choose a location it is not getting wind driven rain in it all the time... we are not mounting this thing to the front of the forks mounted forward
I understand your concern, and admit rain might one day kill the charger port...... but so far, it has not
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Old 06-16-2018, 04:56 PM   #7
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Re: Need a good USB Charging Port

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Originally Posted by Desert Skies View Post
Just had this discussion on ADV. I still think This is a better option than having a cord dangling in the breeze. Plug in what ever needs a charge and put it in the tank/tail bag or in your luggage. If you're gonna powered something that mounts to the bike, I'd hardwire it.
To each his own....

I think plugging in while in use is a better plan, and its worked on and off road for me for a long time.... As well as many others Ive installed these ports for.

Hard wire is not a bad idea...and I do that as well for dedicated things like GPS...
But having the USB port means I only bring one USB cable, plugged in to bike port when riding, wall charger when stopped for the night.

Catch the unit and pull it away from the bike mount/ holder, it easily comes unplugged no damage to wire, plug or port ..that is a better idea off road I believe where branches are likely to reach out..

Having to stop and plug in to a battery pack for 30-60 min every few hours (if using a smart phone running phone, GPS, cell data, txt data, speed app, map app all at same time which i think a lot of folks do uses a lot of power) is not going to work for me, nor many i think..

If stopping the ride to charge from a battery pack works for you...thats good....one less wired electrical failure point on the bike, cant argue with that idea....
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:36 PM   #8
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Re: Need a good USB Charging Port

This is the last one I bought on ebay and it seems to be holding up. I installed it on my Tenere'. The same guy has a version with a voltmeter in it that I put on the DRZ. It has been there a while now too. I have been through a bunch of others that don't last more than a week or two and some don't last through the installation process. The Blue Sea versions are awfully expensive for what is a very simple device, but if the last ones I bought hadn't panned out, they were going to be my next step.
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:55 PM   #9
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Re: Need a good USB Charging Port

Ed, glad you found what works for you. Nice thing about the world and country we live in today, is having choices and the freedom to chose the way we want it to be.

I guess for me, my phone is my phone and just that. It is BT connected to my helmet where I can receive and send texts, calls and ask directions. If I wanted, could listen to music, pod casts or a verity of distractions, which I don't when I ride. For my use, it can be anywhere on the bike, plugged into the battery pack, which can be charging an iPad or Surface at the same time, and not need my touch or my inspection. For mapping, routes and directions, I have my hard wired GPS.

Being an EE, I know the weak points of electronics and connections that are used outside the environment they were designed for.

The important thing to us is that we ride and are happy with our setup...
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Old 06-16-2018, 06:09 PM   #10
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Re: Need a good USB Charging Port

I wired up a cigarette adapter under my seat and then put a cig usb adapter in it. Ran wires to the front of the bike and they hang out to the side when not in use. The wires are not special and endure all kinds of weather. My usb cable worked fine till I got a USB-C phone and had to change it out. New one is still working fine. Or, it was till I tossed my phone off the bike. It hasn't been used since.
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Old 06-16-2018, 10:26 PM   #11
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Re: Need a good USB Charging Port

Crew Chief. Thanks for the input, but I think that is the one that I got first that failed. Not sure how long it took to fail or what the issue was, but since I didn't actually need to use it until recently, all I know is it didn't work then. A fluke? maybe....

As far as the hard-wiring and "wires flopping" around, I don't have that option, or that problem. I mounted the socket in the vertical portion of the panel behind the fairing, so it's pretty close to the steering head and easy to keep the wires under control.

Hardwiring... Great Idea! until your TomTom powered mount fails, and you discover that TomTom doesn't support any devices other than the latest models. My options, since no parts are available for my unit, is to shell out $400 for a new GPS, or $30 for a USB port. I will say that I will be going with the Garmin again next time. TomTom has some cool features, but zero customer support if you don't buy the new unit every year is enough to lose me as a customer.

On the subject of cell phones, my phone keeps a charge all day. I have it only for phone calls, and it stays in my breast pocket. However, on a very long trip, I at least have the option to charge with the USB port.
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Old 06-17-2018, 08:48 AM   #12
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Re: Need a good USB Charging Port

Well that's not encouraging. Mine both have several months on them, but they aren't months with terribly heavy use. If these fail, I'll likely go to the Blue Sea version as much as I hate to. I don't see much other alternative. The are about the only branded units out there. I'm guessing Blue Sea buys from the same factories everyone else does, but they probably have some type of quality control program in place.
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Old 06-17-2018, 11:55 AM   #13
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Re: Need a good USB Charging Port

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Originally Posted by Crew Chief View Post
This is the last one I bought on ebay and it seems to be holding up. I installed it on my Tenere'. The same guy has a version with a voltmeter in it that I put on the DRZ. It has been there a while now too. I have been through a bunch of others that don't last more than a week or two and some don't last through the installation process. The Blue Sea versions are awfully expensive for what is a very simple device, but if the last ones I bought hadn't panned out, they were going to be my next step.
That appears to be the same one my customer bought this last time around for his WR450...Has not died yet, so have not dissected it to see if it is built different. I don't care for the lighted volt meter personally, it remains lit after power is off, and can be misleading making you think its still powered. Most of my installs on these are dual circuit.. there is a relay controlled Key on for normal use, and a user selected switched key off circuit so the rider can power the USB port as an exception with key off... the low wattage draw of that LED volt meter version will stay lit after power is removed if nothing is plugged in at the time.

As for BlueSea over Ebay special... Its just because its a known good product..install it once, no issues, no comebacks, and I know it will work.
I don't bring in jobs from folks that will quibble or fret over $18 for the Blue Sea one vice $9 for the ebay special
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Old 06-17-2018, 08:53 PM   #14
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Re: Need a good USB Charging Port

I've used a boat load of Blue Sea parts when I was sailing (yuk yuk.) Always had good luck with a wide variety of their marine products. Right now I'm using Hella plugs to make the connection since I'm in the BMW world with a 12 to 5v transformer in the cable. On the RT, the Hella powers the tank bag. John Deere uses the Hella for their bailers and they have a plug that stand up well to fresh water intrusion.
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Old 06-18-2018, 07:09 AM   #15
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Re: Need a good USB Charging Port

If you are willing to spend 75 bucks, looks like there is a 3 port panel from Blue Sea on Amazon. Has a switch to turn it off and on, power port, 2 USB ports and a volt meter.

There's another one with no meter, but 4 USB outlets total and one power/cig lighter style port with the on/off switch for 53 or so. Not a bad deal really with the number of ports you get there. Just need some place to put all that.
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Old 06-18-2018, 12:20 PM   #16
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Re: Need a good USB Charging Port

In my case, I'm keeping it simple. Just need GPS power and maybe occasional phone charging. The FZ1 doesn't have a lot of excess electrical capacity or protected mounting space, so i have a car charging port on one side and the dual USB port on the other.

I do have the charging ports all wired through a relay so the power down when the key is off.

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Old 06-18-2018, 01:23 PM   #17
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Re: Need a good USB Charging Port

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The FZ1 doesn't have a lot of excess electrical capacity or protected mounting space
Not sure which generation but this was one of the reasons I got rid of my Gen 1. Could barely handle my electric vest in the winter time. The FJR thankfully does not have that problem, but my FZ1 was prettier.
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Old 06-19-2018, 05:59 AM   #18
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Re: Need a good USB Charging Port

I'm riding a gen 2. Had a gen 1 for 6 years, and this one for about that long. My needs are simple... don't do electric gear.. just need my gps and an occasional phone or headset charge.

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Old 06-20-2018, 11:47 AM   #19
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Re: Need a good USB Charging Port

Installed a new BlueSea outlet last night (and a new set of tires)... all seems to be working well! Now if it would just stop raining!

Thanks for the suggestions!

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Old 06-29-2018, 06:54 AM   #20
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Re: Need a good USB Charging Port

Installed a waterproof one in the fairing pocket (overkill, I know), connected to an always on wire.

Works well when underway to charge/power things, and also serves as a quick connect for my battery maintainer when parked.
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