A Cigarette Lighter Socket on my Sporty
Text and photos by Jay
While many people's tool kit consists of a cell phone and a credit card, if the cell phone goes dead, you're hosed. I found my phone seemed to go down periodically so I installed a cigarette lighter socket to plug the charger into.
I started with a plastic auxilary socket, found at Autozone. It had a flat base, that lent itself to mounting.
After trying a number of spots, I found the most convenient (i.e. not a lot of wiring) was on the side of the battery. Since I had a battery tender connecter installed, it was a natural. I started by snapping off center cross piece in the socket, so I could use the existing battery strap to hold it. Note that the socket I used has a plastic cover. Since the final mount is facing up, the cover keeps the rain and dirt out when not in use.
After snapping off the plastic, I soldered a pigtail wire with the same connector as the battery tender. It turned out to be a standard trailer lighting connector, also available at Autozone (no affiliation). I got a short extension cord, which had both male and female. Make sure you get the right side, or your polarity will be off. (first time, I had it backwards...)
Start by measuring the distance you have to go. Since the battery tender cable is pretty long, I went with about 10 " total for the cigarette lighter. stripping the wires back and cutting your shrink tubing. Don't make the tubing too long, or it won't
Before you solder the wires, slip the shrink tubing on (unless you use electrical tape). Solder the ends with good electrical solder.
Once the wires were soldered in place (using linemans splices), slide the shrink wrap tubing over the splices. Make sure the splices are smooth. Use a heat gun or hair driver on high to fit the tubing over the splices.
Now that you have the wires securely soldered and insulated, remove the strap on the battery, and work the strap through the opening on the socket (sorry, don't have a picture of this). With the socket I used, this took a bit of effort. Replace the strap on the battery, with the socket in place.
Route the wires behind or over the battery (be careful not to scrape the shrink wrap off, and cause a short). Connect the socket to the Tender connection and you're done.
You may want to put a piece of foam rubber or leather between the socket and the battery, under the strap, to hold it in place. This will keep it from sliding up and down.
Add a charger and you're in business. On my version, I didn't fuse the holder, because the battery charger was fused. HOWEVER, I also unplug the Battery Tender connection when I'm not using it, so nobody can drop a penny into the socket and blow the battery.