This past Saturday I drove my newly drivable mostly 1923 Runabout to a breakfast meeting of the Orange County Model T Ford Club. The car is still pretty new to the road and I'm still just a bit nervous that it will turn me into a pedestrian at some point so I was very pleased to make it all the way there without issues. After the meet I went for an additional drive in the local hills just for the sheer joy of it.
To aid getting to know this car I set the iPhone on the seat side of me with a speedo app that tracked distance, current speed and highest speed. While I found the data very helpful, it was hard to see on the seat and the battery ran down rather quickly.
Two things would improve the utility of the iPhone or other similer device for Model T use. First, it needs some sort of suction cup mount to put it up closer to line of sight in an area such as the lower portion of the windshield. The second thing would be a power source that could power the thing with the 6v from the car.
Has anyone seen anything that will help make this work?
Years ago (70s) I had a six volt 1940 Buick and bought a 6to 12 volt converter so I could put an "ultra modern" 8 track player in the car ( I would have put in an E Timer too, but of course they weren't invented, and of course the Buick didn't need it ).
While they no longer make 8 Track players, I'll bet there is still a 6 to 12 volt converter out there.
The vendors sell one, as do others (Google). Or, you could get a small sealed 12 volt battery and hide it somewhere. I have done it both ways.
Paul, What app do you use to get that on your phone? Thank you. Bill
The I Phone charging voltage is 5 volts DC.
Honestly I would go find an original speedometer and put it in there or get a new one from Lang's he sells all the parts for the Speedometers then you wouldn't have to drain the iphone battery (you might need it to call AAA because there is no magneto just an E- timer ) Don't worry it should work fine I am just one of those people who believe that the car should remain original
My guess is if you wired up a cigarette lighter to the 6V in the car now the usb cigarette adapter that fits in it will act like a voltage regulator and send only 5Volts to the iPhone. John am I right here? This is how I will use my Garmim.
Here in Australia and, I would think, in the US there are many and varied generic windscreen mounting devices for the iPhone (and all other smart phones), all quite cheap that will allow you to attach your iPhone via a suction cup to the glass. I have one for just that purpose. I use a GPS app that gives speed etc.
Forgot to add......if your magneto is working well you can connect the iPhone direct to it, it will charge the phone ONCE! :-)
Do not plug your phone or gps or any other modern device into your T unless you have a voltage regulator of some sort.
As Ron said most phone chargers are 5 volts.
Chris is right if you hook any modern device like a cell phone or GPS which run on 12 volts dc (the normal voltage for a cigarette lighter) to a model t (6 volts on battery) it won't charge it. If you hook it up to the mag (6 to 30 volts ac) You will fry it I would also be careful not to leave them next to the hogs head the magnets might mess up the electronics
Setting up your iphone for 6V shouldn't be to difficult. Best solution would be to use a regulator chip to drop the 6V to the 5V required for the iphone. But a simpler solution would be to use silicon diodes. Each silicon diode will drop 0.7 VDC regardless of current draw.
Assuming your 6V battery doesn't reach much more than 6.4 volts while charging, 2 diodes in series (forward biased) would give you the 5 V you require.(You might want to use 3 diodes to be on the safe side if your battery exceeds 6.4 V at top revs)
If you can dig up an old charging cable and find the pinouts for it, building the charging cable should be easy.
Call iPhone tech services and ask them . I did this with Garmin and the guy said to use the plug that comes with the unit as it drops the voltage to five volts, i use my GPS as a speedometer and charge my phone on six volts on one car and twelve on the other.
Similar to what Rick Goelz said above, a quick Google search indicates that you can use a 12V cigarette lighter USB charger/adapter with 6V and it will still drop the voltage down to the required 5V.
Otherwise, just buy an external iPhone battery for $25.00.
As far as a mount goes try "mountguys.com" they have a mount for just about everything.
another option is one of these. http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=19708206&KPID=15308740&ca gpspn=pla&CAWELAID=1917834564 I have one and it works great! just put it in your back seat. Easy to take out and charge. It has 12v and 115v. Also makes a great reserve for power during poweroutages and such.
Thanks guys, the app is Speedometer+. I got it on the iTunes store, probably for free.
I have no desire to install a permanent speedo in this car, none was fitted originally. I just want to use it to get used to the car, to learn what 25, 35 & 45 mph feels like. After that it may still be useful to measure distance from time to time.
My car has the Fun Project voltage regulator, a product I can recommend to anyone, even us electrically challenged sorts.
I see a business opportunity here for someone to manufacture a 6v to USB converter to power various devices. These could be sold to a huge range of vintage vehicle owners.
Is there an easy way to test the 12v cigarette/USB converter to make sure it would work & not harm the iPhone?
I love that mountguys.com page, it has lots of things that might just work.
I just ordered one of the windshield suction cup mounts. It was $20 to my door and is even Model T black. Now to sort out the electricical aspects . . .
Vintage Paul, Green Acres today . . .
I believe this is how you could check the voltage on a 12V cigarette lighter USB converter regardless if you hooked it up to 12V or 6V.
It's impossible to take the leads from a multi-tester and put them in the male USB plug to check for voltage.
However, you could buy a USB patch cord with a female plug and a male plug. Cut off the male plug and strip the ends of the wires on patch cord. Then, plug the male USB plug from the converter into the female plug of the patch cord. Use your multi-tester to check the voltage on the red and black wires.
This is video is how I got the idea. However, you would need a cord with a female plug, not a male plug in like the video, so you could plug the male plug of the converter into the female plug.
try a backup battery for the iPhone, iPad, iPod
I got one for about $20 because the iPhone is a power hog and it almost has enough power to run a whole day.
The back up battery 6600 will recharge my iPhone 3 times without having to recharge. It usually takes about 30 minutes to go from 30% to 100%
You can also get a 7800 for a bit more that will recharge the iPad.
When I am at a trade show I usually I run the iPhone on the backup battery so it has enough power in the evening
Ps. You can also get a case that holds AA batteries that is a backup for the iPhone. It is about $10. I think it is made by MemoreX
Hey fellas what's wrong with a normal speedometer To me it seems simpler to install than this new high tech stuff and the old speedos don't need batteries unlike your smart phones
That question was answered at 1:21 pm above.
While we're on this, I'd like to find a small alternator (I think that's the simplest way to go) to charge my 12 volt batteries in our pre starter cars. Then I would be able to use the 12 volt batteries to run phones, iPads, and small appliances (joking) without worrying about a charge.
What do you think of this solution?
If I remember correctly from Tinkering Tips, you just change out the bulb for 12V.
That is a good idea. I'm trying to find a way to charge a battery on our N and K (sorry, should have said ,that). Again, great idea.
rob, if you google "smallest alternator" it will bring up the small denso, internally regulated, one wire unit popular on small tractors. i got one new on ebay for about 60 bucks for my kubota tractor. i've seen them run a rubber drive wheel against an open flywheel down where it cant be seen on early cars. how about a 12 volt solar panel from northern equipment? your k has a top the size of a car port, you could put the solar unit up there!
How about a solar panel? There are fold-up panels out there that might work. I have a 2X3 solar panel that I use as a "portable" battery charger as it puts out a regulated 2 amps! Or have I been sitting in the Calif sun for too long?
I don't know about the rest of you, but I installed a standard power point in my car and just plug the GPS or cell phone into it. It works just fine.
Out of curiosity, I first tested the setup on my 0-8V power supply. I started at 0 and slowly dialed up the voltage. At 2.9 V the cell turned on and started charging. The same with the GPS. That was over 3 years ago with no adverse effects. My brother does the same in his old Jeeps.
So I say, just plug it in to 6v and see what happens. I really doubt 6v could kill off something that actually need 12v to operate.
I recently purchased a cigar lighter receptacle with alligator clips attached. I also purchased the USB adapter that plugs into the cigar lighter.
As noted above the iPhone and iPad charge at 5 volts.
I have connected the alligator clips to both 6 volt and 12 volt batteries and used both my iPhone and iPads successfully with the USB adapter.
Experience tells me that iPhone works great. Unfortunately, there are insufficient amps to power the iPad indefinitely. While plugged in the iPad is indeed charging, but not as fast as it s discharging from use. Knowing this, I turn off the iPad when not needed so that it can recharge and be ready to use as needed.
I have a power outlet on mine, 6volts, keeps phone charged and works the gps. Ron Patterson already gave everybody the answer.KB`