Wednesday, December 5, 2012


All of the gear on what I've taken to calling the "communications shelf" is powered by USB adapters. With up to four more components looking for power, I decided to install a power distribution location in the area at the top of the cabinet. I had the small five-post buss bar in stock and ended up with a ten-post overkill buss bar for the ground side based on availability.

The buss bars are fed from a separate fuse in the trailer's stock AC/DC breaker & fuse box. The power lead is routed along the back of the cabinets and through the refrigerator enclosure. The ground ties into a buss bar I installed below the closet when I installed the Doc Watson power meter last year. Both new leads, plus the heavy ground leads for the Doc Watson, are routed up the back corner of the closet.

Used a Bestek "four way car splitter charger" from Amazon to provide a source for all the USB feeds. Cut the cigarette lighter plug off it and wired it directly to the buss bars. Turns out it draws about .5 watt when idle, so I'll install a kill switch for it one of these days.

The Bestek device hangs in a cradle bent from a piece of 3/4" aluminum strap attached to the wall with some of that multi-purpose 3M Very High Bond double faced tape. The wires in this view are associated with the Doc Watson power meter installation.

Tried to keep the wiring somewhat neat, but it was a challenge given the space and location.  Velcro does wonders for keeping all the extra lengths out of the way. The adapter on the right powers the Wilson Sleek 4V. The two USB cords plugged directly into the four port adapter power the MP3 player and the Novatel 4620 MiFi. The spare cigarette lighter port will be used for an adapter to recharge our phones.

The shelf is now powered, nearly populated, and fully functional.


  1. Looking good John!

    I have a suggestion for the light over the bathroom door now somewhat blocked by that shelf if you're interested. ;)