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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10 Apr 2006, 07:48 am
jeffy3@hotmail.com
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Default Car Chargers Keep Blowing Out

I got SIRIUS satellite car kit which plugs into the electrical outlets
in my Honda Accord (2004) and the first one died after less than a
week, then I exchanged it for a new charger and that one died in 5
minutes. I was then thrilled to find that a charger I have for another
device matches the specifications of the Sirius charger, so was using
that and now this morning that charger is dead. I'm starting to wonder
if maybe a power surge is causing this? Should I always unplug these
chargers when I turn off the car, and not plug them in again until the
car has been started? I took the one charger apart...can I repair it
by just replacing the little cylinder fuse inside? Are they easy to
find? Any help would be appreciated.

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 10 Apr 2006, 09:37 am
Steppenwolf
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Default Re: Car Chargers Keep Blowing Out

If you are referring to a glass cylinder with metal caps and a thin (but
broken) wire between them, yes. Go to any auto parts store, and they will
have a fuse of the proper length and amperage. Don't be tempted to replace
it with a higher amperage fuse though, it's a good way to have other, more
serious problems, including a fire.

If you are burning out chargers at that rate, you should entertain the
possibility that your radio is drawing more than it's designed amperage,
which could indicate an internal short, or possibly a bad ground, which is
less likely . I would go back to the dealer where I bought the radio and
have them check it for abnormally high amperage draw. I'd bet on this being
a radio problem rather than a charger or car power outlet problem.

Good luck
<jeffy3@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1144673298.154080.87140@g10g2000cwb.googlegro ups.com...
>I got SIRIUS satellite car kit which plugs into the electrical outlets
> in my Honda Accord (2004) and the first one died after less than a
> week, then I exchanged it for a new charger and that one died in 5
> minutes. I was then thrilled to find that a charger I have for another
> device matches the specifications of the Sirius charger, so was using
> that and now this morning that charger is dead. I'm starting to wonder
> if maybe a power surge is causing this? Should I always unplug these
> chargers when I turn off the car, and not plug them in again until the
> car has been started? I took the one charger apart...can I repair it
> by just replacing the little cylinder fuse inside? Are they easy to
> find? Any help would be appreciated.
>



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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 10 Apr 2006, 09:49 am
jeffy3@hotmail.com
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Default Re: Car Chargers Keep Blowing Out

Thanks very much for the reply. It's a portable Sirius radio unit.
If it helps to narrow down the problem, this is the second radio too.
When I went to exchange the car charger, I had to also exchange the
radio itself (for inventory/returns purposes). So if it's the radio
causing the problem if it's happened with two different units, does
that change your opinion in any way? Thanks much.

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 10 Apr 2006, 10:42 am
Elliot Richmond
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Default Re: Car Chargers Keep Blowing Out

On 10 Apr 2006 05:48:18 -0700, jeffy3@hotmail.com wrote:

>I got SIRIUS satellite car kit which plugs into the electrical outlets
>in my Honda Accord (2004) and the first one died after less than a
>week, then I exchanged it for a new charger and that one died in 5
>minutes.


If the fuses are burning out, it is due to more current flowing
through the fuse than it was designed to handle. There are at least
four reasons why this could happen:

1. Your alternator is operating at too high a voltage. If your car
regularly burns out other fuses in other circuits, this would be the
most likely culprit. But, have it checked anyway if you think this
might be the problem.

2. The radio is drawing excessive current due to some internal flaw.
This is less likely, since you have gone through two radios with the
same problem. But maybe it is a bad design.

3. The charger design is faulty. The fact that a different charger
also blew a fuse is not compelling evidence to me, because I do not
know that the specifications on the other chjarger really exceeded the
specifications on the charger that came with the unit.

4. There is a fault (intermittent open) in the power outlet or its
circuit. If the radio has its own internal rechargeable batteries, it
might run off of internal power when the external power was off, so
you might not notice it. The intermittent open causes excessive
thermal shock to the fusible wire, causing it to fail.

There are probably other possibilities that I have not thought of.
Somebody else will.

Hope this helps





Elliot Richmond
Freelance Science Writer and Editor
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Old 10 Apr 2006, 10:52 am
jeffy3@hotmail.com
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Default Re: Car Chargers Keep Blowing Out

Thanks very much. THis does help. How do i determine if it even is a
blown fuse? Is it visible to the naked eye?

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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 10 Apr 2006, 01:53 pm
Elliot Richmond
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Default Re: Car Chargers Keep Blowing Out

On 10 Apr 2006 08:52:28 -0700, jeffy3@hotmail.com wrote:

>Thanks very much. THis does help. How do i determine if it even is a
>blown fuse? Is it visible to the naked eye?


Yes. You say you have taken one of the chargers apart and you saw
something that looked like a fuse (small glass cylinder with metal cap
on each end). You should be able to see a small wire running through
the cylinder between the metal caps.



Elliot Richmond
Freelance Science Writer and Editor
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 10 Apr 2006, 02:23 pm
Steppenwolf
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Default Re: Car Chargers Keep Blowing Out

I would be less inclined to blame the radio knowing that it had been changed
as well, and would look at the wiring more closely for a short or a poor
ground. The first thing I would want to do is to find out how much current
(amperage) draw the unit has while running. For instance, if it was
protected by a 14 amp fuse and drawing 10 amps regularly, (just as an
example) this might be enough to blow the fuse after a few days but not
right as soon as it is plugged in.

Maybe Tegger or some of the other guys here might give you a more current
(ouch!) answer. I'm 35 years away from twisting wrenches for a living.


<jeffy3@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1144680546.111905.15320@e56g2000cwe.googlegro ups.com...
> Thanks very much for the reply. It's a portable Sirius radio unit.
> If it helps to narrow down the problem, this is the second radio too.
> When I went to exchange the car charger, I had to also exchange the
> radio itself (for inventory/returns purposes). So if it's the radio
> causing the problem if it's happened with two different units, does
> that change your opinion in any way? Thanks much.
>



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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 10 Apr 2006, 02:49 pm
jeffy3@hotmail.com
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Default Re: Car Chargers Keep Blowing Out

Thanks much. Went to Radio Shack to get a replacement fuse (which were
naturally out of stock) and the manager guy there told me in general
it's not a good idea to have any charger plugged in until the car has
been started because it may not handle the power surge. Seems like a
lame answer to me.

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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 10 Apr 2006, 05:05 pm
w_tom
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Default Re: Car Chargers Keep Blowing Out

I'm not exactly sure which 'replacement fuse' you are replacing?
Fuse inside the charger or one inside car? If a car fuse is blowing,
then the charger plug (into Honda power outlet) may be shorting. This
because a charger's plug is not properly designed to not shift.

Fuses blow typically because hardware has failed. Fuses do not
protect hardware. Fuses are for human safety; so that failed hardware
does not kill humans.

If "the manager guy there told me in general it's not a good idea to
have any charger plugged in until the car has been started because it
may not handle the power surge", then that charger is defective by
design. SAE and ISO standards are explicit. Charger can experience up
to (if I remember) 230 volts on 12 volt supply. A charger should
withstand at least 60 volts due to a rare condition that all vehicle
electronics must withstand without damage: load dump.

IOW start a car every time and have no electronics damaged. How
often is the car computer destroyed by a startup surge? This was
standard probably longer than you have existed. The Radio Shack
manager would be hyping a myth.

But again, not entirely clear which fuse is blown. Therefore I am
not sure a charger failure occurred. Charger plug into Honda's power
outlet may be defective by design. Shifting the plug may cause a short
circuit that blows Honda's fuse. Honda's fuse blows to protect you
from a short circuit created by a defective (by design) charger power
plug.

jeffy3@hotmail.com wrote:
> Thanks much. Went to Radio Shack to get a replacement fuse (which were
> naturally out of stock) and the manager guy there told me in general
> it's not a good idea to have any charger plugged in until the car has
> been started because it may not handle the power surge. Seems like a
> lame answer to me.


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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 10 Apr 2006, 10:54 pm
Michael Pardee
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Default Re: Car Chargers Keep Blowing Out

"Steppenwolf" <aspenbus"@"ballsouth.net> wrote in message
news:Ody_f.12$2_.4@bignews8.bellsouth.net...
>I would be less inclined to blame the radio knowing that it had been
>changed as well, and would look at the wiring more closely for a short or a
>poor ground. The first thing I would want to do is to find out how much
>current (amperage) draw the unit has while running. For instance, if it was
>protected by a 14 amp fuse and drawing 10 amps regularly, (just as an
>example) this might be enough to blow the fuse after a few days but not
>right as soon as it is plugged in.
>

Most modern high current electronic devices use switch-mode power supplies,
which are compact, inexpensive and efficient. One of the peculiarities of
switch-mode supplies is that they draw more current at lower voltages
(pretty much constant power), so if you are trying to power them while
cranking the current may be too high.

While you are looking at it, jeffy, if the fuse is in the part that plugs
into the socket unplug it and give it a feel after it has run a minute to
see if it is hot. It may be that the socket is bad (oxidized center contact)
and is simply overheating the fuse.

Mike


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