USB charge ports in the empty radio trim hole. | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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USB charge ports in the empty radio trim hole.


Well-Known Member
November 10, 2008
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City, State
Weiser, ID
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Mountaineer
Since the V8 AWD Sport Trac conversion has left an empty hole in the Mountaineer radio bezel, I've decided to mount a pair of USB charging ports in the hole formerly occupied by the rear defog switch.

First I went looking for a dual port, stacked configuration, USB 2.0 panel from a desktop computer.

The most compact one I found was a Gateway part number 8006737B on eBay. There are several of them on various country's eBay sites.

Then I looked for a 12v to 5v 3 amp converter and found this thing...

Note it already has two panel mount USB 2.0 ports. There's also a version with fully shrouded connectors but with no mounting provision.

My plan is to make a piece to hold the ports using the stock bracket which the foglamp and rear defog switches snap into. Whether I use the ports on the power converter or the Gateway piece depends on which will fit best. Tentative plan is to take apart a switch and mod its housing to hold the ports, then possibly make a mold so I can cast new housings specially made for this modification.

Another possibility is putting in a 3 way switch to change how the data lines are connected. The most common method for devices to detect they're plugged into a higher power USB port is to just short the data lines together.

That generally tells devices they can pull up to 1 amp instead of the paltry 500 ma allowed from a data port on a computer.

But then of course Apple and Samsung have their own methods, using different voltages on the data lines so their phones and tablets can pull 2 amps or more. (Which is why Samsung wants $30 for a @#%@#% wall charger for a Galaxy Tab 3 and *all of them* on eBay are cheap crappy counterfeits.)

So a 3 way switch for Samsung, Apple and Charge. Dunno if I want to put a hole in the bezel for that.

Keep an eye on this thread for updates. I just now bought those two items on eBay so it will be a few days before I get them.


Here's a close up the charge port that's installed in my Expedition: