DIY mod: add a USB power outlet to your car

Charge USB products using your car engine

In the very near future all cars will have built-in USB ports. Some do now, but until that future becomes a full-blown reality you can either wait or take matters into your own hands with this do-it-yourself mod.

Instructables member rosenberger31, added a USB port to the dashboard of a 2010 Toyota Prius. His DIY mod can power and charge a range of mobile devices, all without the need for those unsightly and bulky adaptors.

Although the step-by-step Instructables guide is specific to the aforementioned vehicle, rosenberger31 says that they should be transferrable to most other vehicles; be it a car, truck, or boat.

To get yourself modded you will need to find the power source for your dashboard's cigarette lighter. Rosenberger31 then added a 12-volt USB adapter and connected it to the power lines. He then fitted the visible USB port into a spare (blank) accessory plate.

Once the mod has been completed, the USB port provides 5 volts of regulated power to any connected device. But a word of warning: With some vehicles you may need to add a switch to the port to avoid power being supplied when your car isn't running, otherwise you risk running down your battery. Oh, and it may be worth checking out how this mod will effect your warranty (hint: It'll probably void it).

Of course if you don't want to hack your car, you can always add USB ports to your power outlets at home.

Like this? Keep on hackin' with these other mods:

* Homemade Lego Printer Says 'Hello World'

* The 10 Best Hacks of 2010 (So Far)

* Hack: Use a Guitar as a Fight-Game Controller

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Brandrick

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?