Helm USB charger install

LaReaLaRea Member, Moderator Posts: 7,627 mod
I just installed a USB charger in my helm -- thought I'd share the details.

The charger replaces a 2" analog clock on the right side of the helm, next to the cupholder where I usually keep my phone.  The clock didn't work, and I normally read time from the VHF anyway, so I didn't need the clock.  

The charger is a panel-mount 2-port charger like this:

To keep the original look, I re-used the clock housing and bezel.  I wasn't certain it would work, but I knew I had the fallback plan of buying a blank 2" gauge from Faria for $20, so I went for it.

I used a Dremel tool to cut an access hole in one side of the housing.  With pliers, I ripped out the clock guts.  Then I used the Dremel to cut away some internal bracing to make room for the USB charger.  I also cut a hole in the back side for the power plugs.

The charger is smaller than the clock face, so I used a 1-1/8" spade drill bit to drill a hole in the clear acrylic gauge face.  Some of the face is visible around the edge of the charger, so I applied black spray paint to the backside of the face.  The charger has a plastic lock nut that snugs up against the face.  

The result looks like an OEM installation, and it only cost me $10 plus 1.5 hours of labor.  


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