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USB port power upgrade

Dude85D

Member
Nov 3, 2015
94
42
LA/OC
I know there is a test showing the center console USB ports only outputs around 1 amp each. Has anyone bought a 2-port, 2.1 amp,aftermarket USB charger and tried to upgrade the USB ports from the back? Does anyone know how to take the center console apart? I'm trying to charge up my iPad without taking up the 12v port.
 

Fezzik

P100D, M3LR
Nov 6, 2014
554
60
Lincolnshire, IL
Search for one of my threads on radar laser install. I show where the USB connection is at the passenger foot well near the feet under the center console area. You could unplug from there and plug in a 2 amp charger. I just bought a. 2 amp cig light charger
 

kendallpb

Model S: P 8061
Oct 29, 2010
1,251
53
MD, USA
I know there is a test showing the center console USB ports only outputs around 1 amp each. Has anyone bought a 2-port, 2.1 amp,aftermarket USB charger and tried to upgrade the USB ports from the back? Does anyone know how to take the center console apart? I'm trying to charge up my iPad without taking up the 12v port.

FYI (and if you know this, never mind), iPads will charge on a lower power USB port. I've charged my iPad in the car. Yes, while using it (or just screen on) it won't charge - it uses that power to power the screen/etc. - but with the screen off, it uses what power it gets to charge. Obviously, not helpful if you want to use it and charge at the same time.
 

David99

Active Member
Jan 31, 2014
4,850
7,026
Brea, Orange County
I know there is a test showing the center console USB ports only outputs around 1 amp each. Has anyone bought a 2-port, 2.1 amp,aftermarket USB charger and tried to upgrade the USB ports from the back? Does anyone know how to take the center console apart? I'm trying to charge up my iPad without taking up the 12v port.

I measured my USB ports and they only delivered 0.5 Amp each. Maybe they upgraded them in the cars with AP. I was thinking the same thing, it would be nice to upgrade. Or even install extra ones just for charging. Also for the people sitting in the back. Should not be hard to do as there is already a strong 12 Volt source. But I don't know how to open the console.
 

mikeash

Active Member
Oct 26, 2014
1,105
703
Fairfax, VA, USA
If you need the 12V outlet for other stuff, note that you can get splitters for them too. You'll be limited to drawing only as much total power as the one original port can provide, but since the original port is rated for something like 120W, that won't be an issue for typical accessories and especially not for phone chargers.
 

FlasherZ

Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv
Jun 21, 2012
7,024
1,014
FYI (and if you know this, never mind), iPads will charge on a lower power USB port. I've charged my iPad in the car. Yes, while using it (or just screen on) it won't charge - it uses that power to power the screen/etc. - but with the screen off, it uses what power it gets to charge. Obviously, not helpful if you want to use it and charge at the same time.

I wouldn't rely upon this. I had an iPad that was suffering from the "too much crap the kids installed" syndrome - and even when the screen was off, the thing was warm from high CPU usage and would burn through battery quickly - for some iPads this likely won't work. I like the idea of patching in supplemented power for USB under the console. In the meantime, I just use a 4-port high power USB power supply in the 12V accessory port.
 

kendallpb

Model S: P 8061
Oct 29, 2010
1,251
53
MD, USA
I wouldn't rely upon this. I had an iPad that was suffering from the "too much crap the kids installed" syndrome - and even when the screen was off, the thing was warm from high CPU usage and would burn through battery quickly - for some iPads this likely won't work. I like the idea of patching in supplemented power for USB under the console. In the meantime, I just use a 4-port high power USB power supply in the 12V accessory port.

Wow, must've been some weird stuff that did a lot of background work I guess? One could force-quit those, I suppose, or fix settings to limit what's allowed to do background stuff, or both. But yeah I probably don't have a lot of apps that are running background/network stuff (which is kinda limited on iPads anyway, though)....

Best would be for Tesla to (a) update this, and (b) offer a low-cost update. I'm not a car hacker/refurbisher. ;-) But I like keeping up on what folks come up with!
 

FlasherZ

Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv
Jun 21, 2012
7,024
1,014
I ended up having to restore to factory and then reload all the apps... that relieved some of the problem.
 

gzerninplatz

Member
Aug 24, 2014
329
125
Portland OR
the Scoche dual 12v works great for me...leaves the 2 USB ports for audio flash drives...and could easily split one of those 12V->usb...or use a 12v splitter to get one leg for the dual 12v->usb and the other for another 12v accessory...they can supply well more than the current needed for most stuff...
 

whitex

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
6,616
7,945
Seattle area, WA
Thanks for the suggestions. Fezzik has a good write up (Install of Radar Detector, Dashcam, and Laser Jammer (LONG)) where he came across the USB connector when installing his radar detector. I'm going to try to tap in there so it will be tucked away out of sight. I like to keep the clean look and not have an adapter, splitter, or both.

Just a quick note, the wiring going from the footwell to the jacks maybe designed for only 0.5A (USB2.0 standard). Plugging in 2A source to it can give you 2 problems:
1. You could overheat the wire, causing an electrical fire (or at least melted wires)
2. A lot of power will be lost in the wiring - so even though you may connect it to a 10W charger, you will not get a full benefit of it. When using a 10W charger and using a garden variety USB charge cable you can easily lose 1W in the cable - that's why the rapid chargers come with their own, short and fat USB cables.

You will also lose the ability to connect thumb drive storage for music.
 

green1

Active Member
Mar 25, 2014
4,548
1,123
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Just a quick note, the wiring going from the footwell to the jacks maybe designed for only 0.5A (USB2.0 standard). Plugging in 2A source to it can give you 2 problems:
1. You could overheat the wire, causing an electrical fire (or at least melted wires)
2. A lot of power will be lost in the wiring - so even though you may connect it to a 10W charger, you will not get a full benefit of it. When using a 10W charger and using a garden variety USB charge cable you can easily lose 1W in the cable - that's why the rapid chargers come with their own, short and fat USB cables.

You will also lose the ability to connect thumb drive storage for music.
My Note4 came with a rapic charger, and the cord it came with is no fatter or shorter than any other phone USB cable I've ever seen...

That said, I understand your point. My thought was always around doing something right near the port in behind the centre console, I was wondering if I could increase the power via a USB hub back there, more power without losing the USB connectivity. sound plausible?
 

FlasherZ

Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv
Jun 21, 2012
7,024
1,014
Just a quick note, the wiring going from the footwell to the jacks maybe designed for only 0.5A (USB2.0 standard). Plugging in 2A source to it can give you 2 problems:
1. You could overheat the wire, causing an electrical fire (or at least melted wires)
2. A lot of power will be lost in the wiring - so even though you may connect it to a 10W charger, you will not get a full benefit of it. When using a 10W charger and using a garden variety USB charge cable you can easily lose 1W in the cable - that's why the rapid chargers come with their own, short and fat USB cables.

You will also lose the ability to connect thumb drive storage for music.

Let's put #1 in perspective - "overheating the wire" is only going to happen in the case of bad connectors, dead shorts and/or unprotected chargers. Fusing ("burning") current for 24 AWG is 29A, and 22 AWG is 41A, and that's using the most conservative of numbers. At that current level, the ability to withstand physical damage is more important than current-carrying capability.
 

miamibeacher

Member
Nov 23, 2015
68
2
Miami Beach
Has anyone tried something like this?

aa1b365a2c69bb4ce33f11be9305b060.jpg


It seems to me this could be installed somewhere in the USB line from display computer to the ports in the console. It doesn't come with a power supply, so just getting a DC-DC converter with how many Amps you're looking for.

https://www.solidsignal.com/m/product.aspx?p=5vusb
 

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