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Suggested add-on to 'always hot power outlet' mod

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Beau02, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. Dec 19, 2009 at 6:59 AM
    #1
    Beau02

    Beau02 [OP] Black Taco

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    I'm sure this has been thought of before, but I couldn't find any posting about it so here goes:

    When looking into cheap & easy mods for my truck I ran across replacing the power outlet relay with a jumper, making the two auxiliary outlets 'hot' all the time - not just when the ignition is on. I noticed a lot of folks warning about forgetting that something is plugged in and draining the battery. I thought of a way to help avoid that. I installed a lighted switch that turns the outlets on - it's only illuminated when the switch is in the 'on' position. I put it in one of the knock-out spaces just to the right of the outlets. Now, I can turn them on whenever I want, and there is a little red light to remind me that it's hot when I'm getting out of the truck. It's definitely not fool-proof, but it's better...

    The thought of taking progress photos didn't occur to me until I was finished but I've attached of couple of shots of the finished install.

    A few things to note:

    • If the switch is a 3-prong you'll need to find a negative source nearby to patch to the light prong. I spliced a jumper into a white wire from the adjacent power outlet
    • If the switch light stays on full time, swap the connectors plugged in at the fuse box or on the switch.
    • I left enough slack cable on the inside and outside of the fuse box lid so that it can still be easily removed and moves enough to provide access to the fuses.

    DSC_0290.jpg
    DSC_0291.jpg
    DSC_0305.jpg
    DSC_0314.jpg
    DSC_0315.jpg
     
  2. Dec 19, 2009 at 7:13 AM
    #2
    oofy15354

    oofy15354 Proud Tundra *****

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    Dave
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    can you or someone make a wiring diagram for us electrically challenged?
     
  3. Dec 19, 2009 at 8:33 AM
    #3
    smuook

    smuook Daily Driver "Plus"

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    It sounds like the power switch is interupting power to the actual outlet. This may not be a good thing depending upon what you are powering through the outlet. A safer idea would be not to do the power outlet mod at all. Instead, keep the power outlet relay in place and use that relay to interrupt power.

    [​IMG]

    Forget about the power outlet mod pictured above. Leave the relay in place and change the ACC power source to Battery power (always on). Then place the switch in series with it. That way it just deenergizes the relay, instead of what's being powered.
     
  4. Dec 19, 2009 at 8:49 AM
    #4
    smuook

    smuook Daily Driver "Plus"

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    If you are going to do it this way... I would at least make sure your switch is rated for 15amps. That way you have fuse protection through the power outlet fuse.
     
  5. Dec 19, 2009 at 8:52 AM
    #5
    Beau02

    Beau02 [OP] Black Taco

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    I apologize, I'm not skilled enough on a computer to make & post a wiring diagram, but if you look at the diagram below the switch is placed where the blue "Jumper" line is shown. Instead of running a lead from one point to the other you wire a switch in. It just takes long enough wires to run them into the cab of the truck.

    To start, I'm far from being an electrical guru - I 'know' just enough to cause trouble and blow fuses (thank God for fuses!). Out of curiosity though, why do you recommend against using the switch? A switch is exactly what the relay acts as across those two terminals anyway, right?

    Also, can you elaborate on why it wouldn't be a good thing to wire this way depending on what's being powered? Most of the time I'll just be charging a cell phone.
     
  6. Dec 19, 2009 at 9:22 AM
    #6
    smuook

    smuook Daily Driver "Plus"

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    Most common auto switches (but not all) or meant to work with the control circuits of relays and tend to be lower current ratings (6A or below). The power outlet is a 15A circuit. So now the switch is the lowest rated device in the circuit. This is not a good situation. If all you did was use your cell phone, you will probably be none the wiser. But if you use a compressor or multiple devices, you might run in to problems. The switch is gonna melt before the fuse blows.

    I was just saying that if I was designing a circuit to function this way from scratch, I would leave the relay in and interrupt power to the control circuit of the relay (which is what relays are for).

    It's not a bad idea, but my suggestion is this...
    Either make sure you use a 15A switch or if it's not... lower the Power Outlet Fuse to a rating at or below that switch's. That way you are protected and will never have to worry about it.

    Like I said, you may never know the difference... but you or a future owner may be grateful later that you took this precaution.
     
  7. Dec 19, 2009 at 11:52 AM
    #7
    smuook

    smuook Daily Driver "Plus"

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    That's a really cool looking rocker switch btw... nice :thumbsup:
     
  8. Dec 19, 2009 at 12:21 PM
    #8
    Beau02

    Beau02 [OP] Black Taco

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    Thanks. It's a GC Electronics - you can get red, blue, green, or amber colored light. Oh yeah, and it's a 30A switch too, so I'm covered there.

    I appreciate all the feedback - there's always something to learn! I agree with your preferred approach of utilizing the relay, but I was impatient and don't know how to do that off-hand, so as a result I did it the easy way...
     
  9. Dec 19, 2009 at 1:16 PM
    #9
    smuook

    smuook Daily Driver "Plus"

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    You got it covered with the 30A switch. I have a spotlight that draws a lot of current... that's what made me think of it. Just making sure you are covered.... Nice job.
     
  10. Dec 19, 2009 at 1:20 PM
    #10
    usmrocks

    usmrocks Well-Known Member

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    just like she came in 1996
    i only have one outlet :(
     
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