USB devices are as prevalent on the boat as at home – guests bring devices that require it, I have a ton that need it, and not just your cell phone or tablet. There’s an Amazon Echo which handles all of our music, a Garmin inReach to keep us safe, and a Raspberry Pi that does a ton of random computer things just to name a few. Finding power for all of these devices is easy if you’re plugged in at the dock, if not a bit inefficient with wall warts and adapters. I decided to make this more elegant, and it was a simple project to do with three different and inexpensive products.
The first part of the project was providing more streamlined USB access for people charging their phone and other communications devices. This took the form of the BlueSea USB dual charger socket. I’ve had these in place for a year – one at the Navigation station, and one at the helm. Now the two most frequented areas had always available USB power, available directly from the DC battery bank, no inverter or dock power required.
They are super easy to install, and have a total charging capacity of 2.1 amps. There are no converters or other pieces required – simply a connection to your 12v or 24v battery bank, and you have 5v DC USB power.