Weatherproof USB Power Ports

Discussion in 'Vendors' started by Shov3BR, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. Shov3BR

    Shov3BR Tinkerer

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    Lots of discussion about USB powerports in the Gear>Equipement forum here:
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=488530&page=11

    We thought it was time to let all you inmates know about 3BR Powersports stuff including both 12V and USB power ports. The TAPP Lite USB port has all the extras that the others lack - strain relief at the cable exit, fully jacketed cable, easy peel and stick universal mounting bracket, fuse holder with fuse and battery ring terminals. All this adds less than the cost of a tank of gas over the "strippers".

    [​IMG]

    Here's a TAPP Lite installed on a Ducati Monster (not exactly an ADV Bike but it mounts the same).

    [​IMG]

    Stop by www.3brpowersports.com and have a look at the goodies.

    It's a little early for this but power ports make great Christmas gifts. Low cost, easy to wrap and super useful. Keep us in mind.
    #1
  2. Rabbitson

    Rabbitson Been here awhile

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    Looks good for us techno nuts :)

    How much are they? (can you ship them to Europe?)
    #2
  3. Shov3BR

    Shov3BR Tinkerer

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    US$32.95

    We are too new to have shipped to Europe but we checked out shipping software and it's all automated so it shouldn't be a problem. The shipping weight is very low so they go US Postal Service for $3 in the states. Shouldn't be too much more to the other side of the pond.

    RABBITSON - Are you up for being the test case? If so we will offer a 10% discount on a TAPP Lite and pay shipping for this test. This is a bit of a gamble for us since we don't know what the shipping cost will be but it will be worth it to get the experience.

    http://www.3brpowersports.com/products_TAPP.htm
    #3
  4. matics

    matics Adventurer

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    Any plans to make one that can charge an iPad? You'll need to output 2.1A.
    #4
  5. Shov3BR

    Shov3BR Tinkerer

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    Yes. Our original TAPP was a 1.5A port. Unfortunately just as we were going to market the low cost USB power ports became available. Since TAPP is made in USA we couldn't compete on price so we pulled it back.
    We are in the process of redesigning the circuit to provide the 2.1A that the Made For iPAD (MFi) spec calls for. We are hoping to have it released by January. Pricing should be less than $40. Will this work for you?
    BTW this site http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4049?viewlocale=en_US indicates that 1.1A should be sufficient to charge iPAD since that is all that the high power Apple products can put out. We have a few 1.5A TAPPs from the production pilot run. They should work if you want to try one. Let me know and we can work out some Beta test pricing.

    Here are some pics. Notice it is weatherproof as are all of our products.

    [​IMG] TAPP includes mtg bracket, cable & fuse holder with fuse. The mtg bracket is simple peel & stick 3M VHB and will fit any surface from round to flat and everything in between.

    [​IMG] TAPP mounted on my HD Road King. TAPP Pivots around its center for best cable angle.
    [​IMG]TAPP powering my Motorla Droid (1.1A). Note that I have pivoted TAPP to point the cable forward for this pic.
    #5
  6. LoneStrom

    LoneStrom Been here awhile

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    What about water issues when the plug is in use? Any risk of short/failure when I'm charging my ipod or running my GPS and it's raining?

    Or more likely, when I'm dumping it in deep water?
    #6
  7. craftycoder

    craftycoder Motobrain PDU

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    For those of us with CanBUS shorting shouldn't be a worry should it? I think it isolates the short and prevents any thing major from happening. You will just need to shut off the bike to reset the circuit. If you connect straight to the battery, well you better put a fuse in between or :kboom
    #7
  8. LoneStrom

    LoneStrom Been here awhile

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    Yeah exactly, but I'd like to have the CanBus just control the switched power to an accessory fuse block where the USB socket would be wired. So in that case I'd be reliant on a traditional fuse.

    Waterproof is good when you're not using it, but I'd like to make sure that there aren't any problems with use in the rain/wet.
    #8
  9. craftycoder

    craftycoder Motobrain PDU

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    Two things come to mind. One, CanBUS limits total current to 5 amps (i think) so you won't be able to run much other than the GPS so a fuse block may not be needed. Second, mount the usb port pointing down. I think you'll be fine then unless you take a swim, which is my forte not yours :evil.
    #9
  10. Shov3BR

    Shov3BR Tinkerer

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    Good points on waterproofing and especially the fuse issue. Too many of the USB ports that are out there don't have fuses as part of the assembly and no instructions are included that indicate that a fuse somewhere in the circuit is mandatory. Scary.

    As for weatherproof, our (3BR Powersports) TAPP Lite is weatherproof up to and including heavy water washdown. However it isn't waterproof. The problem is that it's weatherproof only when it is capped.

    This is OK but who runs with their USB port capped? We saw the need for weatherproof when it had a cable plugged in so we tooled up what we now call TAPP CAPP. This is a rubber boot that fits over the end of the USB cable to seal against the TAPP Lite. TAPP CAPP can be field installed on any USB Type A plug using self fusing silicon tape to make the attachment and seal. Of course we will be offering TAPP CAPP preinstalled on our cables withe the attachment and seal made with adhesive lined shrink tube (See pic).

    This only gets you to weatherproof. We wanted waterproof so we tried a bit of dielectric grease around the TAPP CAPP seal surface and it works great. No need to put the grease in the connector area. We plunked it in our aquarium, pissed off the fish but no water in the connection.

    We are just finishing up the Web page layout so there is nothing to see on our website. If you are interested, send an email and I'll send a copy of the webpage layout in its raw (ugly) form.
    support@3brpowersports.com

    So how about the device end? We've looked at a bunch of options from kayak pouches to RAM's Aquabox. The Aquabox looks like the most cost effective solution. We had pretty good results with the old Ziplok bag trick. We sealed the USB cable to the bag with self-fusing silicon tape (do you use it for everything like we do?) and left enough service loop to plug in our Nuvi. It's not rugged enough to take a hard landing. With my luck when I augered in on a water crossing the GPS would hit the only sharp rock on a muddy bottom. Anyway some options you might want to try.

    -Shov


    [​IMG][​IMG]
    #10
  11. craftycoder

    craftycoder Motobrain PDU

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    Simple and elegant solution. Very nice.
    #11
  12. Shov3BR

    Shov3BR Tinkerer

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  13. Shov3BR

    Shov3BR Tinkerer

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    3BR Powersports now has a power cable available for the Garmin Nuvi. [​IMG]

    This cable has a USB Mini right angle (up) plug on the GPS end with a USB Type A plug on the other. This allows the Nuvi to be powered from any dumb USB charger such as the 3BR Powersports TAPP Lite. Cables are available in 9", 12" and 18" lengths.

    TAPP CAPPed versions are available as well (see earlier post).

    The "cables" page on the website is not finished yet so if you are interested send an email to

    Support@3brpowersports.com

    for more info and pricing.
    #13
  14. CrustyAPO

    CrustyAPO Been here awhile

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  15. Shov3BR

    Shov3BR Tinkerer

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    We've tested the cable on a couple of different Garmin GPS and they all charge and navigate at the same time. That's the same as using the Garmin power cable that has the cigarette lighter on one end.

    We also tested it on an HP iPAQ that I used to use as my GPS (it has Tom-Tom GPS) it works fine. The only thing it wouldn't charge is an old Motorola RAZR V3. That takes a different cable.

    The version with our TAPP CAPP weatherproof seal only plugs into our TAPP Lite because of the seal skirt around the plug. However, it will plug into other USB power ports like the ones sold by BurnsMoto and CycleNutz.

    Bottom line use the standard version for Garmin GPS plugged into any USB power port. Use the TAPP CAPPed version for super weatherproof when plugged into our TAPP Lite, BurnsMoto, CycleNutz.
    #15
  16. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    I should be interested in the TAPP w/CAPP and dielectric grease. I'll likely be using a Aqua Box w/ RAM surface mount to use my Droid 2 for navigation etc.

    Website up and running?
    #16
  17. Shov3BR

    Shov3BR Tinkerer

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    Yup, the USB Cables web page is up.
    http://www.3brpowersports.com/products_usb_cables.htm

    It has a couple of warts that she's working on but all the cables are there. If you want a TAPP Lite with a TAPP CAPPed cable send an email to sales@3brpowersports.com and we can put a kit together for you that includes a small tube of dielectric grease. We will give you an Inmates price and free shipping.
    #17
  18. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    Thank you for the info and offer - I should be taking you up on that, but now I need to figure out how to plan the installation. I'll look into the power requirements of my Motorola Droid 2, but I am guessing its similar to all other USB devices, just have to remember the microUSB connector.

    I plan on mounting the RAM to my dashboard, which is removed occasionally so I need to be able to unplug the circuit. Since your power port would come through the dash (so the USB power cable could be fed into the Aqua Box) I'll need to figure out how to do this. I'll probably order another Deutsch connector and splice it int the power port wiring - or can you think of another way?

    Beyond that I am trying to figure out how to mount the power port. I am guessing it would be fine to attach it to the back of the RAM mount (flat surface mount bolted to my dash), but any tips appreciated.

    And thank you for making this product. It reminds me of the kits from Eastern Beaver - nice fit and finish! I could just go with an adapter kit he sells, but I don't want the cable flapping on my dashboard while riding; I would rather splice in a kit like yours - which reminds me I need to select a circuit for splicing.
    #18
  19. Shov3BR

    Shov3BR Tinkerer

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    No problem with the Duetsch connector, we stock the 4-pin for Harley touring bikes so we have the proper Deutsch crimp tools. We would be happy to get a 2-pin connector from our supplier to make the connection.

    Another option would be to use one of our Baryl plug/jack sets. This would be more compact and still weatherproof and a little lower cost. As with the Duetsch, we would make up the assembly for you.
    We are currently making a special TAPP Lite for the Milwaukee BMW dealer that has a short pigtail with the DIN 4165 BMW plug on the end (see pic). Your application would be similar except weatherproof and more compact.

    [​IMG]
    A really cool setup for your Katoom would be a Baryl Panel Mount. It's not on the website yet so here's a pic. This would allow you to remove the TAPP Lite easily without removing the panel. Only downside is that it would have two connections, the TAPP Lite to Baryl Jack and then the Panel mount connection below the dash.

    [​IMG]

    As for mounting, you will probably want to look at all the options. We've have feedback from customers who say the biggest problem with mounting TAPP Lite is deciding on which of the many possibilities is the one to use!

    As for cables we would definitely recommend a right angle on the USB-Micro end that plugs into your Droid 2. I think the power port is in the same location as my older Droid - left side near the top. If you plan to use the Aquabox, the RA will give you plenty of side clearance to the box. We have TAPP CAPPed USB cables with RA Micro in stock.

    We recommend going all the way to the battery for power. If you decide to go with the Baryl Jack/Plug setup the cable is smaller in diameter than the stock TAPP Lite so it is easier to route. It is very robust with a polyurethane jacket co-molded over UL 1015 wire.

    I second your comments on Eastern Beaver. Our goal is to establish a reputation as good as theirs. Top notch stuff built by a guy who knows the technical as well as the sales and service. Jim Davis is definitely our hero.
    #19
  20. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    The offers just don't stop! Thank you very much; that sounds better than me performing the quad crimp manually...

    I'm not sure I follow this option, but your TAPP Lite (why "lite"?) with a Deutsch disconnect seem more than adequate. :D

    You are correct, and with the medium Aquabox I have 1/2" of clearance - enough?

    Your recommendation is probably a good one, since I've been using Jim's products to adequately feed the headlights and horns. I'm slowly getting a new wiring harness, but I think the TAPP Lite should work.

    Christmas is a'comin! I hope to get the AquaBox w/RAM Surface Mount, so I'll be ordering your products soon :beer
    #20