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Advice Wanted--Any Recommendations for Decent 2019-20 USB Port Adapters?

tps5352

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Oct 30, 2019
502
321
Bay-Delta Region, California, USA
I want a good-quality, long-lasting USB port adapter (an insert for what used to be called in the good-old-days a cigar/cigarette lighter outlet) for a 2020 Model X; something like this (with one or two USB ports):

USB Charger - 1.jpg USB Charger - 2.jpg

(I might avoid flush-head models, as they are reportedly difficult to extricate from a 12v outlet. But your opinion?) I don't mind spending more (say up to $25--is that is enough?) to get a good-quality product that will hold up and not endanger the expensive car's circuitry.

When buying products like this that need to work properly I would normally I (a) Google "best of..." articles; (b) check eBay, Amazon, NewEgg, or perhaps a local store; and (c) choose one based on features, reliability, recommendations, and price.

But increasingly:
  1. It seems like "best of" online articles are simply promoting stuff, whether good or bad, for money.
  2. Quality items that used to be good are increasingly cheapened in order to make that all-important short-term profit.
  3. eBay and Amazon seem more interested in collecting sales fees than in ensuring customers get quality products.
  4. Amazon (like Yelp) member reviews--that used to be so helpful--are increasingly phony (either artificially positive or negative). Fakespot.com can help identify problem sale sites, but it is depressing how many product pages receive a grade of C or worse for their reviews.
So it was when I went looking for one of these. Horror stories online for even the "best" products about breakdowns (just after warranty periods), bad fakespot scores, and--especially worrisome--reports of damage to car outlets and even fire danger.

So what have you successfully used in a Tesla Model S or X outlet that has (a) worked properly and (b) lasted without breaking?

Thank you.
 
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tps5352

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Oct 30, 2019
502
321
Bay-Delta Region, California, USA
In the absence of any replies (wrong posting location?) I kept looking. As you know, there are tons of auto 12v adapter-inserts available everywhere (e.g., Amazon, eBay, Target, local hardware stores, Rite-Aid and CVS, gas stations and truck stops--everywhere!). Many are under $10. But as I mentioned, too many (Amazon) reviews suggest the chance of failure or even damage with some from among the current flock of inexpensive 12v outlet-adapter-inserts.

Don't know why I didn't think of this sooner, but since I have an iPhone I finally turned to the Apple web page. Though not perfect and tending to be pricey, Apple generally offers quality items (either its own or select after-market products). It promoted this:

mophie Dual USB-A Car Charger

also here:

dual USB-A car charger

Appears to be well-made, so I took a chance. I'll report back on my findings.

PS -- Not receiving any compensation or benefit from anyone or anything for this...
 

tps5352

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Oct 30, 2019
502
321
Bay-Delta Region, California, USA
So how did this work out for you?

Oh, thanks for writing. I had forgot about this. Mophie USB Car Charger.jpg Sorry to say that I cannot tell you as I have not gotten a Tesla yet! Instead, in my free time I have been (having fun) looking for, buying, and stock-piling small accessories in anticipation of a new Tesla sometime around May. So sorry; no data yet. Another complication: my regular car--2017 leased Honda Clarity (hydrogen/electric) FCV-- has been in the shop since early December! (That's a long story I've documented in other posts.) So just busy with other stuff and kind of forgot about the (Apple) Mophie 12-volt adapter. It should be in a small pile of Tesla-to-be accessories. (I don't think I left it in the Honda, but I'll check.)

But, I can at least say that it looked fine. Seems to be well built. I'll try to remember to stick it in the Toyota Camry rental car and see how it works there. That way if it burns up, no love lost, right? (Just have to remember not to leave it in the Toyota when I eventually return the car to Enterprise Rental.) So, thanks for the prompt. My mind has been on more important things--e.g., car charging accessories/adapters and home-wiring, new car financial considerations, and making the surprisingly difficult (for me) choice between a Model S and a Model X. (I've made some progress and eliminated the M-3 as a choice, and the current wait for a new M-Y effectively removes that alternative.) Also, I have to start planning ahead for an approximately one-to-two-month wait after ordering--i.e., trying to coordinate leased (Honda) car return and new (Tesla) car pick-up.

I did purchase (on Amazon.com) an accurate AVHzY USB meter/tester I saw on another post (@ the best USB devices to store Tesla dash-cam security videos), so I can test the power rating coming through the Toyota's USB port. AVHzY USB power meter-tester.jpg

I'll try to report back. (Wow, what else have I forgotten about? And if I a retired, why am I so busy?)
 

tps5352

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Oct 30, 2019
502
321
Bay-Delta Region, California, USA
So how did this work out for you?

So far--good!

I put it (temporarily) into the 12-volt outlet of a Toyota Camry rental (since my Honda Clarity is visiting the dealership and my Tesla is still just a gleam in my eye).

Worked fine. Of course, the real test is whether it holds up. Won't know that for a while. But I must say, the finish and design are flawless. (Attractive. Matches the level of quality inside a Tesla, for example.) Appears to be well engineered and built. Aluminum body, I believe. No "pot" metal. I like that it has an enlarged front end that can be conveniently grasped to remove the adapter (unlike adapters that are "flush" with the surface of the dash, and can be difficult to pull out of a 12-volt receptacle hole). And unlike those truck-stop adapters you can get for only $5.99, this one should not fall apart or burn up (I hope).

Simple (which is good). As pictured, it has two USB outlets and a small LED to indicate that it is receiving power. Looks like it is intended to supply about 5 volts of current through each USB outlet to an accessory, specifically an Apple iPhone or tablet. Since my intention is to charge my iPhone (and free up dedicated data-transfer USB ports), that is perfect for me. I played around with my new AVHzY USB meter/tester system and found that I could adjust the amperage level from up to 3 amps down to 0.5 amps (with accompanying small changes in voltage). (You may want to check the power requirements of the accessory you intend to charge before investing in one of these.)

Of course, the USB outlets only supply power--no data--as far as I know. So you can power a cell phone or other device with a USB cable, but you cannot transfer data. It would therefore not work with a USB memory-storage device (for music or dash-cam videos, for example). But that is the nature of 12-volt receptacles in most cars, right? They are made to supply electrical power and not to allow data transfer, I believe.

So if you are looking for a good quality 12-volt (auto cigarette-lighter-style) adapter (specifically intended to charge an Apple device, I guess), so far I can recommend this one made by mophie and available (exclusively?) on the Apple site

mophie Dual USB-A Car Charger

or at Apple brick-and-mortar store locations.

Note that mophie produces less-expensive models (at other places like Amazon and eBay), so I would be sure to get the more-expensive version if you want the higher quality.)

mophie (Apple) USB Car Charger.jpg

PS -- I do not work for Apple or mophie, and am receiving no compensation of any kind for this review, darn it.
 
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