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USB at the Helm

JRT

Feb 14, 2017
1,384
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
Has anyone looked at a USB solution at the Helm of the C310? I use Navionics App on my phone but the battery gets low within 5 hours or so. My Navpod is only sized for the 3 instruments, so no additional room. I know there are threads on this I was mostly curious to see specific C310 solutions out there before I start cutting.
 
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Likes: SailingErrant
Nov 16, 2012
830
Catalina 310, 2000, #31 Santa Cruz
Has anyone looked at a USB solution at the Helm of the C310? I use Navionics App on my phone but the battery gets low within 5 hours or so. My Navpod is only sized for the 3 instruments, so no additional room. I know there are threads on this I was mostly curious to see specific C310 solutions out there before I start cutting.
I cut a hole in the engine control pod and installed a 12V cigarette lighter outlet (with 15A fuse). No problem to install a USB power adapter in it. I’ve also seen the same form factor with two USB power ports, in fact, put one of them on the breaker panel inside.

I’ve got a picture of it, but it’s too large for the new forum software, I guess.
 

JRT

Feb 14, 2017
1,384
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
I didn't consider the engine control pod due to the length to connect the phone with a USB cable. I'll look closer at that this weekend, but I really want something at the top of the navpod to keep the cord normal. The rounded nature of the NavPod backside also pose a challenge.

I do have USB at my breaker panel, what I've been doing is take phone inside and charge for awhile.
 
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Likes: SailingErrant
Nov 7, 2011
2,512
Catalina 30 Mk II Barnegat, NJ
Has anyone looked at a USB solution at the Helm of the C310? I use Navionics App on my phone but the battery gets low within 5 hours or so.
I do the same as I like to use Navionics on my iPhone as a trip log. I have a JBL BT speaker battery powered speaker we keep at the helm for music. This one also has a USB port for powering a cell phone. If the iPhone battery goes low, I plug it into the BT speaker to keep it going.
Or maybe a pocket size spare battery for phones will work until you find a permanent solution.
 
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JRT

Feb 14, 2017
1,384
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
I'm looking at this year's Great River Race, which will be our longest day on the water with some sailing at night for a workable solution.
 
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Likes: Ward H
Nov 18, 2010
2,155
Catalina 310 Hingham, MA
We also have a two USB outlet at the nav station. A two USB outlet on a secondary panel for entertainment/internet stuff. A standard 12 volt cigarette lighter style plug at the nav station. Another standard 12 volt plug at the helm. And a two USB plug up in the vee berth.

My preference is to charge 12 volt if possible. So phones, tablets, Kindles, cameras, Bluetooth speakers, tool batteries, flash lights, laptops, etc. are all charged 12 volt. Our Dyson vacuum is the only thing I can't find a 12 volt option for, so I use the inverter. The inverter is also used for the electric kettle to make coffee, the small shop vac, the clippers to shave my head and my heat gun when the project is too big for my torch.
 
Dec 16, 2011
164
Catalina 310 Atlantic Highlands
Has anyone looked at a USB solution at the Helm of the C310?
When I had the original VHF replaced with an AIS-Receive GPS-built-in VHF, it required a new Remote Mic cable from the Nav station to the helm. At the same time as I was having that installed, I asked the guy to also install a two-port USB charger for the exact same reason you are asking - I use my iPhone and Navionics for navigation and by the time I get to where I am going my phone is nearly dead. I forget the brand, but if you really want to know I can check tonight when I'm on the boat.

IMG_0251.JPG
 
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Likes: SailingErrant
Feb 14, 2014
4,032
Hunter 430 Saba Waveland, MS
I use Navionics App on my phone but the battery gets low within 5 hours or so.
I have 2 of these to alternate them as needed. USB charger is below.

USA 500000mah Portable Power Bank LCD LED 4 USB Battery Charger For Mobile Phone - Walmart.com

There are small Power Banks, but we like this one for iPads and the digital display showing how much is left in the Bank
Jim...

PS: This one is solar powered and waterproof.
Waterproof 600000mAh Dual USB Portable Solar Charger Solar Power Bank For Phone(Red) - Walmart.com
 
Apr 7, 2016
184
Beneteau First 305 Seward, Alaska
Have you tried to run a 10ft usb cable from a warm, dry place inside? No new holes or wiring. That is what I did on my 305. Works great in most conditions. If it gets too snotty, you unplug for a while and you have a full battery.
 

JRT

Feb 14, 2017
1,384
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
Thanks all, a cable from the panel to the helm would be way longer then 10' and with crew would probably not survive. Looking at all the installed solutions that require flat area room, the duel battery powerbanks might be the best solution for now.
 
Jun 2, 2018
11
Catalina 310 Port Orchard
Dual USB outlet on the lower side of my NAVPOD facing the helm. Modern electronics are very shallow, so there is a lot of extra room in the navpod.

Cutting the hole for the USB outlet is child's play with a stepped drill. Cuts like butter, leaves a smooth hole.
 

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Likes: SailingErrant
Dec 28, 2015
561
Laser, Hunter H30 Standard Tacoma
I switched to the Rokk Charger from Scantrust. A little more money but worth it. Two waterproof connections. I installed it on the back of the navpod.
Just recieved my today from this recommendation. Looks quality built. One thing that caught me was it is not flush mount and requires about a 1" hole.
 
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Likes: SailingErrant
Nov 18, 2010
2,155
Catalina 310 Hingham, MA
Just recieved my today from this recommendation. Looks quality built. One thing that caught me was it is not flush mount and requires about a 1" hole.
I think they tried to make it compatible for an upgrade if you already have the cigarette lighter type of outlet. I wish they made a flush mount as well but it works.
 

JRT

Feb 14, 2017
1,384
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
Ok I think I have a plan, I really like the Scanstrut ROKK Charge Rapid Charge Waterproof USB Socket that @JK_Boston_Catalina310 recommended. My Navpod for my 3 instruments just doesn't have any room so I looked at the lower trim skirt with the drink holder and cockpit table attached. It is all flat with some nice area to use on the helm side. Only real problem the bottom is open so I'm not 100% sure how to make it look neat with wires for power down there.
 
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