Best USB Cigarette Charger for two iPads?

Discussion in 'Avionics and Upgrades' started by DesertNomad, Jun 28, 2019.

  1. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,849
    Location:
    Northern NV
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DesertNomad
    I have a 12V cigarette lighter socket in my plane. It has a 4.8V (Dual 2.4V) charger that stopped working today after 4 years. It still seems to work some of the time. I tried reseating the charger, resetting the breaker, but no change. The green LED light stays on so it is getting power from the plane, but not sending it to the iPads.

    Can someone suggest a good replacement? I don't really want to panel-mount anything but would rather just use a car-charger. Just looking for one that won't smoke or die after a short while and that doesn't induce static on the radio.
     
  2. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    17,847
    Location:
    Denton, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Add me to the list of folks who like the Anker brand products.
     
    kc4wsd likes this.
  3. kc4wsd

    kc4wsd Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2013
    Messages:
    155
    Location:
    NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    kc4wsd
    Another vote for Anker.

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
     
  4. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,849
    Location:
    Northern NV
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DesertNomad
    I am thinking of this one:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00VH84L5E

    It has a few reviews (out of 10,000+) that it smoked and melted, but Aircraft Spruce doesn't seem to sell ones that seem substantially better. I need to be able to keep two iPads charged.
     
  5. asicer

    asicer En-Route

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2015
    Messages:
    4,707
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    asicer
    Are we still allowed to say "cigarette lighter" these days? I thought the politically correct term was "auxillary car power outlet" now? ;)
     
  6. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,849
    Location:
    Northern NV
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DesertNomad
    My Dakota POH calls it a "Cigar lighter". I cringe to picture that.
     
    overdrive148 likes this.
  7. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Messages:
    2,412
    Location:
    NEPA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    benyflyguy
    And your sure it’s the charger and not the socket?
     
  8. kc4wsd

    kc4wsd Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2013
    Messages:
    155
    Location:
    NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    kc4wsd
    I'm offended . . .

    That's discriminatin' against my *truck!*



    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
     
  9. Thumper

    Thumper Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    122
    Location:
    Mt Pleasant
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Doug
  10. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,849
    Location:
    Northern NV
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DesertNomad
    I am not sure at this point. The small LED on the charger lights up, but removing the charger and re-inserting it (or rotating it in the socket) did not help at first. I switched cables, tried to blow any dust out of the USB ports, and eventually got it to charge. When it failed, I would plug in and would get a charging indication on the iPad that would then revert to the "nothing plugged in" icon after a second or two.

    My panel was re-done in October of 2017 and this socket was changed then - not sure if it is the original socket from Piper but at a minimum it was rewired.

    Tomorrow I will try the charger in my car. The socket is of course very simple and controlled by a breaker. resetting the breaker did noting... and the breaker never popped on its own. It seems like the charger is getting power (since the LED comes on) but not always delivering it to the iPads.

    I would think that if it were a problem with the socket, there would either be 12V or zero volts... and with zero volts the green LED on the charger would not light up. I can't think of a way that there could only be (for example) 9V at the socket... enough to light up the LED but not charge... but then after fiddling with it charge fine for more than an hour (till we landed).

    This thread implies that the cable might be to blame:

    https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/community/threads/stratus-usb-charger-and-ipad-problem.109831/

    I used to have two white USB-A to Lightening cables and they worked. Recently I bought a Space Gray Apple mouse that came with a USB-A to Lightening cable that was black (and therefore less distracting in the cockpit). Maybe the cables that came with the iPads are somehow rated for higher power.

    I ordered one of these from Aircraft Spruce today - if only to have a backup.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
    benyflyguy likes this.
  11. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    17,430
    Location:
    west Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dave Taylor
  12. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    32,523
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    What I do to convert cig/plugs to USB

    Oops, didn't notice they were upside down.. :)
     

    Attached Files:

    benyflyguy likes this.
  13. flyer770

    flyer770 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2017
    Messages:
    196
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Flyer770
    The cables don’t last forever either. Amazon makes black iPad charging cables of various lengths that work fine and are reasonably priced under their Basics lineup. I’d borrow or buy a new cable first before getting a new charger.
     
    JOhnH likes this.
  14. Rico Burgos

    Rico Burgos Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2019
    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    California
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    RV9aC150
    I always had great luck with anker chargers and cables
     
  15. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    11,991
    Location:
    Florida
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Spun Out
    I have a panel mounted USB charger, which I highly recommend. I went through a half dozen cigar(ette) adapters and all of them started causing radio static after a while. The panel mount has been great. But recently, I thought it was failing, but it turned out to be the USB cable from the adapter to the Ipad. $20 later, everything was fine again.
     
    ktup-flyer likes this.
  16. Rico Burgos

    Rico Burgos Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2019
    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    California
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    RV9aC150
    What charger did you get?
     
  17. chemgeek

    chemgeek Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,411
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    chemgeek
    I replaced the console ashtray in my AA-5 with a Stratus dual USB-A port, using the power cable from the decrepit and falling apart cig lighter socket. Each port provides 2.5 A of solidly connected, noise-free charging. It's great for a micro-USB powered unit, and a little stingy for USB-C powered devices, which can draw more current if available. If going USB-A to USB-C, use a quality cable, as not all of them are properly set up to charge USB-C devices properly. I've had good luck with Cable Matters units. The 1 meter lengths are perfect for front seat occupants and/or yoke-mounted devices. I keep both micro-USB and USB-C terminated cables in my flight bag. (One for a legacy tablet EFB and one for my phone or backup USB-C device if needed.)
     
  18. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    11,991
    Location:
    Florida
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Spun Out
    Like @chemgeek , I got the Stratus dual USB panel mount. That was about a year and a half ago. I don't know if there have been improvements since then. If memory serves, I paid around $375, but that was just part of a larger project. I really enjoy the hassle free service of the panel mount, vs the frequent troubleshooting of radio static.
     
  19. Fiveslide

    Fiveslide Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2019
    Messages:
    651
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Fiveslide
    I think that was the only reason my friend bought his 172, so he could smoke while he flew. I don't think he smoked in his Lance with its beautiful leather, but it wouldn't surprise me if he did. He couldn't when he rented and it drove him nuts.
     
  20. Rico Burgos

    Rico Burgos Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2019
    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    California
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    RV9aC150
    Great I will look into the stratus Usb.
     
  21. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,849
    Location:
    Northern NV
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DesertNomad
    I just got eat Scosche one and the USB cables seem very tight fitting into it. I doubt I could remove the cable without also pulling the charger out. I'll see how it goes when I take it to the plane.
     
  22. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    17,430
    Location:
    west Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dave Taylor
    yes,.. but I just leave the cables in; I find always removing them results in a shortened life span.
     
  23. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,849
    Location:
    Northern NV
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DesertNomad
    I remove cables for landing. If I have to get out quickly, I don't want anything blocking my way. Part of my emergency checklist for landing off field includes removing headsets too.
     
  24. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    17,430
    Location:
    west Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dave Taylor
    Makes sense. I am lucky I can route them so they stay outta my way.
     
  25. Glenn D

    Glenn D Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2015
    Messages:
    165
    Location:
    Utah County
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Glenn D
    Have used a few but this is the one that works, with out any noise.... have several now for cars also....
    AUKEY Car Charger with Quick Charge 3.0, 39W Dual Ports for Samsung Galaxy Note8 / S9 / S8 / S8+, LG G6 / V30, HTC 10 and More | Qualcomm Certified
     
  26. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    17,430
    Location:
    west Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dave Taylor
  27. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,849
    Location:
    Northern NV
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DesertNomad
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019