Car cigarette lighter and its device
All car owners are familiar with such a device as a cigarette lighter. It first appeared in 1920 and was intended for only one purpose - to light a cigarette using the vehicle’s electrical system. An interesting idea, it would seem, should have caused a sensation, but, as time has shown, subsequently the car cigarette lighter was not particularly needed. Those who smoked continued to use matches and lighters, and those who did not smoke did not even know what to do with it.
But at the end of the twentieth century, the situation changed dramatically. The advancement of electronics has opened up new possibilities for effectively utilizing this recently useless device.
What is the cigarette lighter
The device car cigarette lighter is quite simple. The device itself is like a plastic cork from champagne. On his hat is usually drawn a cigarette or in English written "cigar". Inside is a nichrome spiral, which is the heating element.One contact is the central rod to which the wire is soldered, the other is the metal circumference of the device. A dielectric is inserted between the two contacts, protecting the conductors from short-circuiting each other. Also the device has a bimetallic thermal relay. This is a grip.
On the dashboard, usually in the middle of the bottom, there is an inconspicuous socket, called a contact glass, which is connected to the car's battery. It has a recess and two metal contacts: one - in the middle, the other - the inner shell of the socket. It is inserted into the handle, which pops up when it warms up.
How the device works
In order to heat the car cigarette lighter, just insert it into the socket and press the cap. For some time it will lock in the lower position, while the cigarette lighter contacts will connect to the vehicle's power supply, and the coil will begin to heat up. Once the temperature reaches the desired value, the thermal relay will turn off the power. A signal of readiness will serve as a click - now you can pull out the cigarette lighter and use.
Nowadays, the Chinese masters have invented many electronic devices capable of operating from the vehicle’s onboard network. And since the cabin does not have a special outlet for connecting such equipment, then the cigarette lighter socket comes to the rescue. In this regard, device manufacturers quickly added a plug to the cigarette lighter socket with a voltage limiter and a corresponding connector for their equipment.
So, what are the main devices with such an additional car outlet?
The car heater from the cigarette lighter is a kind of hair dryer at 12 volts. In a plastic case with small cuts there is a nichrome spiral wound on a ceramic or mica frame. It also has a small fan, which forcibly blows the heater, thereby spreading warm air through the cabin of the car.
There are different uses of heaters. Some are designed for short-term heating of the cabin in winter, when the car is still cold. Others, in the form of a hair dryer with free movement in the hand around the cabin, are used for local heating, for example, of frozen glass. In an extreme case, they can dry their heads, hitting the rain.
The car heater from the cigarette lighter is attached to the instrument panel or glass with velcro. Power devices varies within 200 watts.
Another useful thing in the cold season, and not only, can be automotive thermocup. From the cigarette lighter, they heat up by connecting to the network of the car with a cable with a plug under the corresponding socket. They look similar to ordinary ones - with a stainless steel cup, a plastic case and a lid. The difference between a car mug is the presence of a heating element in it, which is able to heat water or a drink up to 70º С and maintain this temperature as much as you like.
A very useful thing is the connectorUsbEach electronic device comes with a cord with this connector for recharging or powering the device. It can be a navigator, mobile phone, tablet, car TV, vacuum cleaner for interior cleaning and much more. In connection with the need for this connector, an adapter was invented - a car USB cigarette lighter. It most often looks like a regular cigarette lighter, but on the top cap there is one or several USB connectors familiar to each.
There are other options for the appearance, but they perform the same function - to provide the motorist with a popular, universal connector.
What can be useful car cigarette lighter for the battery? Everyone is familiar with the situation when the motor stalls, but it is impossible to start it again due to the discharge of the battery. And here again the automobile cigarette lighter familiar to all comes to the rescue.
The first option is to recharge the battery with a special cord, on the one hand of which there are two crocodiles for connecting a friend's car to the battery, and on the other, a cigarette lighter socket.
The second option is a special device that can now be easily purchased. This is similar to a small starter, which is based on a small-capacity battery. The cable from it has at the output of the usual cigarette lighter socket. In normal mode, the device is charged from the vehicle network, and in the case of the unpleasant situation described above, it gives its charge back to the car battery. As the manufacturer of this device says, the charge will be quite enough to start the car.
Safety of use
As you can see, over time, the car cigarette lighter really became a popular and useful connector. But there are some “pitfalls” here. As for such energy-intensive devices as mugs and heaters, there are many questions about the safety of their use.
First, the fuse in the cigarette lighter circuit has a rating of about 10 A, and this is 250 watts of power, when the load is exceeded, the fuse simply blows.
Secondly, the cigarette lighter itself is quite flimsy. The contact part can not withstand long-term loads of large currents, which will lead to their destruction and burning.
Thirdly, the wire in the same circuit has a cross section of 1-1.5 mm², and even if you increase the value of the fuse, the wiring will burn out instead of it. All such cases may cause a fire.
Therefore, these subtleties should be taken into account, including various devices in the connector. There is a way out, of course. Run a separate line directly from the battery with a heat-resistant wire with a cross section of 4 mm² and through a fuse of 20-50 A. Accordingly, the cigarette lighter socket must also be modified.