How to keep the iPad charged, even in the wettest conditions? Answers in this article!
Last update : Feb 2019
Installing a waterproof cockpit socket (or not):
As a reminder, smartphones and tablets are charging on a 5V USB power supply, and not on 12 or 24V! It is therefore necessary to convert the voltage on board.
Some boats have a cigar lighter plug at the helm, but it is not easy to find a cigar lighter charger that is resistant to moisture and corrosion.
It is therefore preferable to install a dedicated cockpit socket*. We offer two models of waterproof plugs that can be mounted on all types of boats or vehicles. They both power on 12/24V and deliver a 5V/2.1A signal perfectly adapted to the iPad and other tablets:
Waterproof 10000mAh Power-bank (the best solution is to have two batteries to charge in parallel the one that is not used!)
Recharging the iPad with a cable
Among the protective cases currently on the market, only the aiShell cases allow charging with a 100% waterproof cable, which exists in lengths of 1m or 2m.
These cables are equipped with a specific connector that matches the opening of the waterproof housing + a seal ensuring an IP68 waterproofness (recharge is even possible when immersed!). The tip can be mounted and dismounted in a few seconds thanks to its two screws.
At the other end, the cable has a standard USB connector that can be plugged into any USB charger, including of course the two waterproof sockets mentioned above!
Recharging the iPad without cable
The aiShell cases are also the only ones to offer an extremely original and practical system for the boat (and others!): the rechargeable Car Cradle.
The system consists of a holding bracket equipped with its own power cable, which can be connected to any USB charger. It comes with a special connector for the aiShell case instead of the usual Lightning plug. This connector is 100% waterproof (IP68). When the iPad is placed in the Car Cradle bracket, the connector touches the gold contactors of the bracket and allows the charging current to flow through.
The advantage of this system is to keep complete freedom of movement with the iPad, which can be removed at will without worrying about the cable and without risk of waterproofness.
The Car Cradle is moisture and saline resistant and is available for all iPad sizes.
Car Cradle with connector
Charge and mount securely!
Protecting the plug
As mentioned above, the waterproof cable or the Car Cradle are each equipped with a classic USB plug**. This has the double advantage of being able to be connected to any USB charger, and to accept any USB extension to adjust the length according to the installation. For a longer life, it is recommended to protect this plug from corrosion.
A simple trick is to buy a small USB extension cable and place a heat-shrink sleeve at the connection between the cable and the extension. A little anti-humidity grease in the connection will provide additional protection. This way this part will remain protected, and the extension can always be replaced at the end of the season if necessary.
A little moisture repellent spray in the waterproof sockets will also help to keep them in good condition!
Have a good sailing!
** Why not provide a waterproof connector at this level? There are some models on the market, but there is no established standard for a waterproof connector. The choice of USB seems more universal. However, it is within the reach of any DIY enthusiast to replace the existing connector with a commercially available waterproof connector that is suitable for its installation (only 2 wires are used for charging).