Weatherproof USB Power Ports

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

  1. Shov3BR

    Shov3BR Tinkerer

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    I always have to chuckle at riders who spend umpty-hoot thousand dollars on their Beemer, umpty-hoot hundred dollars on their phone, think nothing of the outrageous prices that BMW dealers charge for the simplest of farkles but won't spend $50 for a USB charger and $15 for a special application cable. :huh
    But then again priorities are priorities.

    If you are going to use a cigarette lighter type USB adapter be sure to buy a good one. There are a bunch of really crappy ones out there.
    My personal favorites are Griffin and Belkin. Things change quickly in this market but hopefully these two manufacturer's are maintaining their quality.

    If you want to go big bucks with an all-weather powersports USB power port, we have a new version specifically for BMW's that have the "GPS" socket installed.
    If you thought $49.95 was too much to pay for our all-weather USB power port with a DIN 4165 plug, this new BMW version is priced at $79.95! And why is that you ask? It's because the mating connector is a BMW proprietary part and can only be purchased from a BMW dealer. The price - $35:eek1 This is for a plug with three wires installed. This one part nearly doubles the cost of our USB power port.

    -Shov
  2. oz97tj

    oz97tj Been here awhile

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    Well that's a bit rude, isn't it? Having money to spend on an expensive bike doesn't somehow mean I want to give my money away. What I find funny is how a vendor will alienate a large group of riders because one asked a question. By your theory, us BMW owners have money to burn anyway so you should be trying sell to us instead of offend us.

    I was asking why I need to buy TWO separate parts? You have everything available in separate parts to make it just one. You are right in the fact I don't want to spend $65 on a handful of parts cobbled together to make work. Further, I just looked that part up for the GPS plug and it's $20 at Max BMW. Best yet, if you ask them a question about it hey wont give smart ass answers. Fact is, I'd gladly spend the needed amount of money of a part that does it's job and does it well but $65 for a hodgepodge of separate parts doesn't make sense. I personally also don't want it more or less permanently on my bike as I don't always have my phone plugged in that way.

    Now, let's move forward please. Is there an option to have ONE part that plugs into the powerlet style plug and has the micro USB?
  3. Shov3BR

    Shov3BR Tinkerer

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    Sorry you took offense. It was a feeble attempt at humor.

    In answer to your question, no, USB is 5VDC. vehicle voltage is 12VDC. Never the twain shall meet. You need a voltage regulator somewhere. We feel that our TAPP family of all-weather USB power ports is a low cost robust solution that offers lots of flexibility to the user.
    You have probably noticed that a majority of USB device manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung supply their chargers as a two piece setup; the wall wart and the cable. This provides much more flexibility for the user as different length cables can be used without having to purchase the whole charger.
    In our case it's even more advantageous as you can buy cables in multiple lengths and plug configurations. I don't believe that any of our customers think consider it a hodgepodge. However, I'm sure they would balk at having to purchase a different USB power port for each device they wanted to charge.

    Here are some installation options:

    1) TAPP-BMW all-weather USB power port with BMW "GPS" plug.
    Advantages: Compact, easy to install (especially the bike this specific version for BMW), all-weather even when a cable is plugged in when used with a TAPP CAPPed cable, available in both universal mount and panel mount versions.
    Disadvantages: Almost twice the cost of other TAPP products due to the high cost of the BMW connector.
    Part count: 1 piece

    2) TAPP-DIN 4165 all-weather USB power port with DIN 4165 plug.
    Advantages: Ultra easy installation - just mount the TAPP and plug into the DIN 4165 socket (sometimes called the BMW or Powerlet socket), can be easily removed and swapped between bikes with the DIN 4165 socket, all-weather even when a cable is plugged in when used with a TAPP CAPPed cable, lower cost than TAPP-BMW.
    Disadvantages: Not as clean of an installation as TAPP -BMW and has to be disconnected to use the DIN 4165 port for other applications.
    Part count: 1 piece

    3) Cigarette Lighter USB adapter.
    Advantage: Low cost, easy installation if there is no need to attach the adapter to the bike.
    Disadvantage: no way to make weatherproof. Mounting can become a kludge if you want a secure mount rather than having the cigarette lighter flop around loose; cigarette socket is notoriously unreliable when used while riding - they just shake apart. Note that cigarette lighter sockets are very handy for stuff like tire pumps and big hand held lights that can be used for night time repairs or setting up camp. These are stationary applications, i.e., you disconnect the device before moving.
    Part count: from 2 to 4 depending on the connection type.

    Note that all of these options do not include the USB cable.

    Hope that helps.
    -Shov
  4. Shov3BR

    Shov3BR Tinkerer

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  5. oz97tj

    oz97tj Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the help. I've seen the Powerlet solution but I've never found specs if it is indeed the 2a or 1a.

    Let me ask this. I suppose I've only ever used normal USB connections and I've never been impressed with how secure they are, hence my concern about having another connection mid way along the circuit. With the Tapp Capp, how secure is the USB cable? Is there a chance of it wiggling loose or is it pretty well locked in place?
  6. Shov3BR

    Shov3BR Tinkerer

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    USB Type A connections are pretty robust. We have never had a failure reported. The TAPP CAPP certainly adds a lot of support. It fits tightly enough that you can actually hear it pop when you separate the cable from the TAPP. However, the since the Type A plug is so robust I would not spend money on a TAPP CAPPed cable for added strength. Their application is weather protection.

    The device end is a different story. We have had more issues with the USB Type B Mini than we care to see. We are on our third iteration of our USB GPS charging cable in an effort to make them more robust. So far the combination of a pull tab to help ensure that the user pulls the plug straight out of the device without twisting it, extending the rubber as far over the metal shell as the USB spec will allow and slightly harder rubber compound has done the trick.

    This is of little concern to you as your application is a smartphone which is USB Type B Micro.The USB Type B Micro is considerably more robust than the USB Type B Mini. We have had no warranty returns of cables where the metal shell of the plug has become dislodged from the rubber.
    We have found that using a right angle plug significantly reduces the overhung load on the device socket and the bending load on the cable plug. We don't even offer USB Type B Micro straight plugs for that reason.

    This brings up an issue that I have with the Powerlet cable. The device end is a USB Type B Micro straight which is the worst possible configuration for powersports vehicle applications.
    I know that you want to minimize the number of pieces in your smartphone charging circuit but give the one piece system some careful scrutiny.

    The other issue I have is that you are stuck with the Type B Micro for all applications. Say you purchase a new smartphone that has the USB socket in a location where the straight plug on the cable just doesn't work. You have to replace the whole shebang, regulator and all. And with what - they don't have a RA version. Also, if the Type B Micro plug failed for some reason you are in the same position of replacing everything.

    With a separate charger port, be it one like our TAPP or a cigarette lighter adapter you have complete freedom to change cables for optimum application configuration and can replace it if necessary.
  7. oz97tj

    oz97tj Been here awhile

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    OK. You've won and convinced me. Thanks for answering all my questions. No hard feelings. I'll be placing an order directly.
  8. Desert Matt

    Desert Matt Been here awhile

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    Hi There

    I fitted a Tapplite 12 months ago and ran all last season with no issues charging my I Phone and Scala rider.

    Left the bike over winter and got it out for it's first ride to find my I phone won't recognise the power feed. Changed cables and tried another phone, no difference. Both cables tried worked off another feed in the house, so don't believe it is an issue with the cables. Also the Scala rider will still charge of the port. This one has got me baffled.

    What could the issue be?
  9. Shov3BR

    Shov3BR Tinkerer

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    Why don't I ever get the easy ones :D
    This is a real mystery as there is nothing in the regulator that would degrade over time.
    I'll ask the obvious: have you checked the fuse and the connections at the battery. I don't see the fuse as being as issue but the battery connections might have grown some hair over winter.
    The connections in the USB port are self-cleaning wipers so that is an unlikely source of the problem.
    Do you have my company email address? If not, send me a PM and I'll send it to you. It's easier to carry on longer threads.
    If we come up with a solution I'll post it here.
    -Shov
  10. Shov3BR

    Shov3BR Tinkerer

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    DUH!:huh I don't have to wait for you to send me a PM. PM sent with email address.
    -Shov
  11. Shov3BR

    Shov3BR Tinkerer

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    3BR Powersports 3rd Generation TAPP (2.1A) & TAPP Lite (1.2A) all-weather USB power ports are in stock and shipping!

    [​IMG]

    These new all-weather power ports are the same configuration as the previous generations of TAPP & TAPP Lite and share the same features that are unique to 3BR Powersports USB power ports: Patented Universal Mounting bracket, Removable/replaceable Brulloy seal cap and Co-extruded ultra-rugged cable jacket for ease of routing.

    But wait there's more...

    The Gen 3 TAPP & TAPP Lite have the lowest quiescent power (power drain with nothing plugged in) of any all-weather power port in the industry... and by a WIDE margin.

    At 0.4mA, Gen 3 TAPP & TAPP Lite have 20 times lower quiescent power than its nearest competitor.

    So what does this mean to the user? You can connect DIRECT TO THE BATTERY without having to worry about it draining the battery over time when the bike is not running.:clap

    Gen 3 applies to the full TAPP & TAPP Lite family including the bike specific models. It does NOT include Panel TAPP (Gen 2).

    And don't forget all 3BR Powersports all-weather power ports mate with our patented TAPP CAPP cable seal to provide all-weather protection ALL THE TIME!

    [​IMG]

    Visit our website for more information and a list of dealers who stock our products.
  12. bikyto

    bikyto Dans le doute...gaz!

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    Sweet!! I'll need to get one of those...:clap
  13. blackcap

    blackcap Been here awhile

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    hi Shov, just a few questions before i go spending the last of my savings.

    1. what diameter hole is required for the baryl panel mount connectors?
    2. same as the first question but for the panel tapp?
    3. whats the maximum thickness panel the baryl panel mount can be mounted on?
    4. why would someone want the tapp lite over the tapp usb outlet? reading through the literature it seems as though the tapp does everything the tapp lite does plus a little extra. is that a fair thing to say or am have i missed something completely?

    thanks,
    Rob
  14. poomero

    poomero Been here awhile

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    Is there a way we can get a group buy discount?
  15. Shov3BR

    Shov3BR Tinkerer

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    BTW - sorry for the late response. We just returned from the KTM Adventure Riders Rally in Taos, NM. Good fun, lots of good riding.
    Cheers,
    Shov
  16. Shov3BR

    Shov3BR Tinkerer

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    We can work something out. We have a MAP agreement with our dealers so we are limited to 10% but can add free shipping.

    Another option is something that we did at the KTM Rally - offer one of our patented TAPP CAPP kits ($9.95) at no cost along with a TAPP or TAPP Lite. This was very well received and takes advantage of one of the feature that makes us different from our competitors.

    [​IMG]

    Shipping would need to be to one address and "group" should be 5 or more and can be a mix of TAPP and TAPP Lites.

    Hope this helps.
    Cheers,
    Shov
  17. Darkside500

    Darkside500 Adventurer

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    do the power port cables come with the mount? or do we need to order it separately?
  18. Shov3BR

    Shov3BR Tinkerer

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    Hi Darkside,
    The kit comes with our patented Universal Mounting System (UMS) bracket. The kit includes everything you need to install the powerport.

    Cheers,
    Shov
  19. 2 SPOT

    2 SPOT wannabe

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    for what its worth your cables work great! two thumbs up!!

    but as you mentioned the device end plain sucks, and its not your fault its the mini usb, its just too dang finicky. the mini connection was just not reliable and the power was constantly flickering on and off. so much so that i was so close to cracking the device open and hard wiring your cable a few times, but i just went back to batteries.
  20. blackcap

    blackcap Been here awhile

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    hi Shov, no worries about the late response. i just put the order in yesterday but got the refund as im trying to have it shipped to Malaysia. i understand your concerns around having rippoffs made of your gear but this stuff is getting bolted to a DR650 and then headed to Iceland overland. any chance you could make an exception on this one? :evil