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The use of cigarette lighter receptacles to supply 12 volt DC power is an example of backward compatibility to a de facto standard. As a power connector, the lighter receptacle is larger, harder to use and less reliable than other DC connectors [ citation needed ]. Cigarette lighter receptacles are in widespread use in many highway vehicles and some boats.
Portable cigarette lighter receptacles attached to cables and alligator clips for connection directly to car batteries are available for temporary use. In newer vehicles, one or more USB connectors may also be provided. This standard covers plugs and cord sets that insert into cigarette lighter receptacles.
In Europe, 12 volt plugs and sockets are not specially regulated, and do not require approvals for the CE mark. The male plug is sometimes used to feed power into a vehicle to recharge its battery, because it usually has no regulatory circuitry between the outlet and the car battery. For instance, portable solar battery maintainers generally connect to a vehicle's battery in this manner.
Trickle chargers also sometimes connect in this way, eliminating the need to leave a vehicle's hood open, as well as eliminating the possibility of reversed polarity. While polarity is not an issue for a cigarette lighter, it is prudent to verify correct matching of polarities when connecting other kinds of accessory. In some models, the cigarette lighter outlet is not powered when the ignition key is removed and charging is not possible.
For the 12 volt systems, the center contact is the positive terminal and the shell is the negative terminal. Most automobiles connect the negative terminal to the frame of the vehicle negative ground. UL was developed to cover the requirements for portable adapters rated 24 V DC or less that are intended to be supplied from the battery powered electrical system of a vehicle. Products covered by the standard include cord assemblies of a plug that mates with the standard cigarette receptacle found in automobiles.
Plugs often include a pilot light LED indicator to indicate that electrical power is connected. Optionally, the plug may be equipped with an internal fuse for electrical safety, usually rated at 10 amps or less. In some designs, the tip of the plug may be unscrewed to reveal a cylindrical glass fuse; other variants may use a blade-type fuse inserted into the side or back of the plug. Since the cigarette lighter socket was originally designed only to heat a cigarette lighter, repurposing these sockets as generic power connectors can lead to many problems.
In addition to the issues with partially-compatible physical dimensions, the plugs can vibrate out of the socket under normal driving conditions, owing to poor retention. Also, there have been reports of melted plug tips due to poor contact and heat generation from ohmic resistance. As a DC power connector, it has the disadvantages of bulkiness [ clarification needed ] , relatively low current rating [ citation needed ] , and poor contact reliability.
However, due to its large diameter, the connector and appliances can have a robust design against damage such as bending. Additionally, the connector is reversible. A second problem is that nominally "twelve-volt" power in cars fluctuates widely. Your transaction is secure. We work hard to protect your security and privacy.
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