1. Welcome to Tacoma World!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all Tacoma discussion topics
    • Communicate privately with other Tacoma owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

Help wiring a new voltmeter. Can I use the wires from the cigarette lighter / powerpoint harness?

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by kevinludlow, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. Jul 29, 2019 at 12:09 AM
    #1
    kevinludlow

    kevinludlow [OP] Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2019
    Member:
    #300399
    Messages:
    38
    First Name:
    Kevin
    Vehicle:
    2013 Toyota Tacoma
    Working on a bunch of modifications (mostly exterior lighting) and was helping to find some help here.
    I've been following this site for a long time now, but have finally created an account so I can start posting stuff!

    I am starting to work on some mods with my 2013 Tacoma. Most of them will be external LED light panels and some switches on the interior to toggle them. Since I'll be doing a lot of electrical work, I am starting with a simple voltmeter. If you're curious, here is the specific product I purchased from Amazon (and received yesterday): Voltmeter

    As you can see from the pic, it's a pretty good fit for one of the cigarette lighter / power point spots in the center dash area. Incidentally, I'm going to replace the other one with a dual USB charger.

    I've managed to remove the cig lighter / power point easy enough. I am wondering if I can use some of the wires from the cig harness to power up the voltmeter. It would seem that there must be simple power and ground wires from the harness and it's my understanding that so long as a power wire is hooked up to the voltmeter that's on the same circuit as the battery then it should get a proper reading. I've included a pic of what my particular center dash console looks like, though I assume it's pretty similar in most models.

    Unfortunately I'm extremely new to all of this and so I'm trying to be cautious, but at the same time am pretty comfortable with the general wiring and such. If anyone is able to provide me with just a little bit of help on this part, perhaps a little confidence that I can in fact do it this way, and even a little guidance with their own suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it!

    Thanks so much in advance.

    IMG_3285.jpg
     
    12TRDTacoma and Corny Taco like this.
  2. Jul 29, 2019 at 12:59 AM
    #2
    Jimmyh

    Jimmyh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Member:
    #78991
    Messages:
    12,103
    Gender:
    Male
    SC
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prerunner SR5
    12TRDTacoma and 06Tacooo like this.
  3. Jul 29, 2019 at 1:03 AM
    #3
    kevinludlow

    kevinludlow [OP] Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2019
    Member:
    #300399
    Messages:
    38
    First Name:
    Kevin
    Vehicle:
    2013 Toyota Tacoma
    Working on a bunch of modifications (mostly exterior lighting) and was helping to find some help here.
    Wow. That was such a fast reply. Thanks so much for that! I will probably give that a shot tomorrow.

    The voltmeter I purchased has an readout for amperage too and so it has a third prong on the back of it. I'm guessing that in order to get the amps to read I'd have to run that as a jumper to some other device that I have in the car? But I figured for the time being that I'd just use it to get the voltage reading and can update it in the future once I have something that I want to measure the amperage of.

    Anyway, thanks for the quick response!
     
  4. Jul 29, 2019 at 2:11 AM
    #4
    TACOMA2NDGEN

    TACOMA2NDGEN Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2018
    Member:
    #242230
    Messages:
    1,228
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    ROLAND
    new jersey
    Vehicle:
    2010 dcsb silver sport trd
    baja squadron pros
    I would recommend getting yourself a cheap voltmeter from harbor freight they work very well for there price point sometimes you can get them free with a purchase. This way when do your next electrical mod you can get more comfortable testing wires. And having a continuity tester is handy to. Make sure you post your lights when done. Good luck
     
  5. Jul 29, 2019 at 2:13 AM
    #5
    bagleboy

    bagleboy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2017
    Member:
    #226018
    Messages:
    4,306
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Scott
    Norcal, Santa Rosa
    Vehicle:
    2014 5-lug AC 2.7L VVTI
    Snug top Rebel, Thule tracks, ditch tracks, Bagged rear suspension, F/R anytime camera, intermittent wiper switch...
    You have switch blanks so you could also just pop in a usb power port w/12v meter using the socket wires for power. Mictuning makes them. I cut out the entire section and made a new panel with 3 more switch slots instead of the two power ports. One of the ports feeds the usb/meter.ADAF16CA-D566-40FD-A83E-40714F1BBA8F_zps_1b89f7f3ff92fdd0cffd66eb423067eaf1797fe2.jpg
    C56A4817-43EB-4153-8FF1-4F0A266F65A0_zps_cba306f7643c7c0f63c88e5aa9235c0bc0c84753.jpg
    After that I made another panel to fit the lower cubby.
     
    kgarrett11 and 12TRDTacoma like this.
  6. Jul 29, 2019 at 2:14 AM
    #6
    kevinludlow

    kevinludlow [OP] Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2019
    Member:
    #300399
    Messages:
    38
    First Name:
    Kevin
    Vehicle:
    2013 Toyota Tacoma
    Working on a bunch of modifications (mostly exterior lighting) and was helping to find some help here.
    Thanks so much. I actually have a pretty good multimeter that I've been using for years. I'm fairly competent with wiring in general, but I just don't have a lot of experience with the vehicle wiring so I'm definitely excited to find people who not only have the knowledge to help, but who are generally excited about seeing people work on these projects.

    Anyway, I will definitely post pics of the lights once I start moving forward with them.
     
  7. Jul 29, 2019 at 2:16 AM
    #7
    kevinludlow

    kevinludlow [OP] Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2019
    Member:
    #300399
    Messages:
    38
    First Name:
    Kevin
    Vehicle:
    2013 Toyota Tacoma
    Working on a bunch of modifications (mostly exterior lighting) and was helping to find some help here.
    So I'm definitely going to be using the switch blanks for some of the switches. But I have to ask, how did you make that bottom cubby thing? I mean, I have the cubby area down there and I don't really use it for anything. I'd MUCH rather use the space for a police scanner that I have and would like to reinstall. You did such a great job with that! Did you 3D print it or did you get it made some how?

    If you happen to have the plans for it and wouldn't mind sharing, I'd really love to do something very similar to that!
     
  8. Jul 29, 2019 at 4:47 AM
    #8
    topcathr

    topcathr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Member:
    #28801
    Messages:
    462
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2015 limited
    I found a combo USB voltmeter on eBay, it goes right into one of the blank switch covers.
     
  9. Jul 29, 2019 at 5:29 AM
    #9
    DirtTaco

    DirtTaco Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2016
    Member:
    #203433
    Messages:
    269
    Gender:
    Male
    Is this so that you can watch the volts on your battery so you know when you should start the truck?
     
  10. Jul 29, 2019 at 5:51 AM
    #10
    Corny Taco

    Corny Taco The Sauce

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2016
    Member:
    #205478
    Messages:
    414
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Blake
    Columbus/Carrollton Georgia
    Vehicle:
    06 Tacoma SR5 DCSB prerunner
    -33 inch General Grabber x3s -18 inch fuel kranks -Bilstein 5100s -OME normal duty dakars -Toytec/Eibach coils -Magnaflow off-road pro exhaust -Prinsu roof rack -nfab rock guards (temp) -EBay Fake Trd Pro Grille -rApToR lIgHtS durrrrr -12 inch 600w Skar Audio subwoofer running at 750w at 1ohm in ported box replacing single seat -Skar Audio 80w coaxial door speakers running at 120w -Skar Audio Spx-t 40w tweeters running on headunit power -750w Skar Audio amp powering sub -1000w Skar Audio amp powering door speakers (yes, I know it is overpowered)
    Nah it’s usally for people (like myself) who are running a lot of aftermarket electrical stuff such as lights, fridges, or audio stuff. It lets you know if you are drawing too much power from your battery somewhere. Most people just run them because they look cool.
     
    DirtTaco likes this.
  11. Jul 29, 2019 at 7:45 PM
    #11
    Jimmyh

    Jimmyh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Member:
    #78991
    Messages:
    12,103
    Gender:
    Male
    SC
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prerunner SR5
    Do you have an installation guide for this device. I would love to see it... Or a link to a web site.
     
  12. Jul 29, 2019 at 7:56 PM
    #12
    kevinludlow

    kevinludlow [OP] Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2019
    Member:
    #300399
    Messages:
    38
    First Name:
    Kevin
    Vehicle:
    2013 Toyota Tacoma
    Working on a bunch of modifications (mostly exterior lighting) and was helping to find some help here.
    So unfortunately I have to take apart that entire center console (as described in detail in a different thread on here) to mount it properly - which will be an enormous PITA, but I hooked it up to the powerpoint leads and it looks great :)

    Thanks for the help with that!

    IMG_3447.jpg
     
  13. Jul 29, 2019 at 8:00 PM
    #13
    kevinludlow

    kevinludlow [OP] Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2019
    Member:
    #300399
    Messages:
    38
    First Name:
    Kevin
    Vehicle:
    2013 Toyota Tacoma
    Working on a bunch of modifications (mostly exterior lighting) and was helping to find some help here.
    One other quick question about it though, so it has a third prong on the back for connecting to the load -- presumably what gets the amperage reading.

    So say I had another device immediately next to it with just a positive and negative connection. Do I look the negative prong to the ground and then join the power wire to the LOAD on the voltmeter so that it gets the amperage?

    So the new device would have ground going to ground wire. And then power going to a wire that connects to the voltmeter load, and then that wire connects to the original power wire for the new device? Basically a daisy chain of the power that goes through to load? ...or am I supposed to use the ground connection for the amperage load? ...or does it not matter?
     
  14. Jul 29, 2019 at 8:03 PM
    #14
    kevinludlow

    kevinludlow [OP] Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2019
    Member:
    #300399
    Messages:
    38
    First Name:
    Kevin
    Vehicle:
    2013 Toyota Tacoma
    Working on a bunch of modifications (mostly exterior lighting) and was helping to find some help here.
    Basically something like this? (apologies for non-standard electrical symbols)

    IMG_3449.jpg
     
  15. Jul 29, 2019 at 8:06 PM
    #15
    bagleboy

    bagleboy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2017
    Member:
    #226018
    Messages:
    4,306
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Scott
    Norcal, Santa Rosa
    Vehicle:
    2014 5-lug AC 2.7L VVTI
    Snug top Rebel, Thule tracks, ditch tracks, Bagged rear suspension, F/R anytime camera, intermittent wiper switch...
    For the ammeter to work you would connect the meter inline with the load, between it and ground. The 3rd pin is one connection and ground is the other for the ammeter. That way the device current goes to ground through the meter instead of a different ground connection.
     
  16. Jul 29, 2019 at 8:06 PM
    #16
    kevinludlow

    kevinludlow [OP] Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2019
    Member:
    #300399
    Messages:
    38
    First Name:
    Kevin
    Vehicle:
    2013 Toyota Tacoma
    Working on a bunch of modifications (mostly exterior lighting) and was helping to find some help here.
    Unfortunately, I do not. The device just came in a small plastic bag with 3 wire clips and that was it. No wiring diagram, no nothing. The back of it along side each prong just reads "+", "LOAD", and "-". So I just had to go off of that. There were some people complaining online that it had no wiring diagram with it, but people also said it was easy to figure out (which I suppose it was, but I wanted to be extra sure since I'm not skilled at wiring trucks)
     
  17. Jul 29, 2019 at 8:08 PM
    #17
    bagleboy

    bagleboy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2017
    Member:
    #226018
    Messages:
    4,306
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Scott
    Norcal, Santa Rosa
    Vehicle:
    2014 5-lug AC 2.7L VVTI
    Snug top Rebel, Thule tracks, ditch tracks, Bagged rear suspension, F/R anytime camera, intermittent wiper switch...
    Eliminate the wire from device + to meter load. Device + to 12v+, device - to meter load, meter - to ground.
     
  18. Jul 29, 2019 at 8:14 PM
    #18
    kevinludlow

    kevinludlow [OP] Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2019
    Member:
    #300399
    Messages:
    38
    First Name:
    Kevin
    Vehicle:
    2013 Toyota Tacoma
    Working on a bunch of modifications (mostly exterior lighting) and was helping to find some help here.
    Ahh. Awesome. So basically the same thing, but use the ground instead of the power or no additional jump to ground at all? Basically just the voltmeter itself creates the ground for the DEVICE.

    Here's two possible pics of that wiring:

    IMG_3450.jpg
    IMG_3451.jpg
     
  19. Jul 29, 2019 at 8:41 PM
    #19
    Jimmyh

    Jimmyh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Member:
    #78991
    Messages:
    12,103
    Gender:
    Male
    SC
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prerunner SR5
    In other words the amp meter only reads the single specific load to which it is attached. That was what I wanted to see.To get the total load you would need to be on the Main Cable from the battery to see total current draw on the system. I'm just not seeing the usefulness of the Amp Meter.
     
  20. Jul 29, 2019 at 8:43 PM
    #20
    kevinludlow

    kevinludlow [OP] Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2019
    Member:
    #300399
    Messages:
    38
    First Name:
    Kevin
    Vehicle:
    2013 Toyota Tacoma
    Working on a bunch of modifications (mostly exterior lighting) and was helping to find some help here.
    So yea, I was originally hoping that I could set it up somehow so that I could get the total draw on the system, but I'm not really sure how I would go about doing that. I'm afraid I don't understand the vehicle wiring enough to really make a guess on how I'd have to wire that.

    In terms of the usefulness, I'm planning to install a bunch of lights on the exterior of the truck so it would be nice to see what they're drawing, but I tend to agree that seeing an overall load when I turn things on/off would be much more useful and interesting.
     

Products Discussed in

To Top