[Avionics Magazine 01-06-17] Operators with an older fleet might be in possession of aircraft carrying a 12-volt cigarette lighter socket in its instrument panel. While the capability might have been applicable in the past, it doesn't do much for pilots flying today with modern technologies requiring a USB connection. That potential conflict, however, is now easily avoidable thanks to Guardian Avionics' Dual 2.1 Amp USB Power Port. The company says it fits right into that old socket opening.
Photo: Guardian Avionics
As mobile devices and other USB-powered technologies have become standards in the cockpit, pilots have had to use larger adapters to convert their cigarette lighters into USB-capable power supplies. Guardian's USB port has a 0.9-inch diameter round faceplate that fits flush in a standard round cigarette lighter socket opening. It is also available with a 0.8-inch custom square faceplate for installations in the panel or passenger cabin, but each option comes with dual ports. The power supply features a green LED backlight for nighttime conditions and reverse polarity protection. It is also electromagnetic interference-shielded to prevent noise in radios.
Guardian's power port is listed as part of its FAA Non-Required Safety Enhancing Equipment letter of authorization. It can be installed in certified Part 23, 27 and 29 aircraft. Two countersunk screws need to be added to mount the new unit, and the power supply can be wired to aircraft power through a 2-amp circuit breaker in place of the existing circuit breaker for the 12-volt lighter socket. The port can convert any aircraft power source from 9 volts of direct current to 48 VDC down to an output of 5 VDC at 2.1 amps per USB port.