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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 09-18-2010, 06:52 PM
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Genuine BMW Flashlight Power Adapter (switched DC power in the glovebox)

I just found out (from this thread) about this $10 BMW Flashlight Power Adapter that apparently plugs into the E39 glovebox flashlight connector to provide switched DC power for accessories.

So I figured I'd start a thread on it to see what others' advice is and what they think of it (since it seems like a good idea).

Do you have it? What do you use it for? What is the best one to look for?

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  #2  
Old 09-18-2010, 07:18 PM
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chiefwej chiefwej is offline
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I've had one for years. Because it is switched with the ignition (unlike the lighter outlet) it is perfect for an aftermarket GPS or a radar detector. They come on and off w/ the ignition and all the wiring can be hidden away. No big ugly plug in the lighter outlet.
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  #3  
Old 09-19-2010, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefwej View Post
They come on and off w/ the ignition and all the wiring can be hidden away
I like the idea of it being switched.

But when in use, do you have to have the glovebox open?

Is there some other way to get the wires OUTSIDE the glovebox (to your windshield for a portable GPS for example) with the glovebox closed?
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  #4  
Old 09-19-2010, 01:07 AM
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My GPS is located in the otherwise useless right cup holder. The wire goes through the cup holder opening and into the glove compartment from the rear. No wires are visible.




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  #5  
Old 09-19-2010, 05:17 AM
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I would think since many plumb their AUX outputs into the GB, you could reverse the procedure with the power plug.
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  #6  
Old 09-19-2010, 06:01 AM
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Nice find. Ive never seen that before, and only $10! Its on the list. I would think you could just have the wire go through the seem of the closed glove box door without any problem.
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  #7  
Old 09-19-2010, 06:12 AM
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BavAuto has lots of goodies.
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  #8  
Old 09-19-2010, 06:14 AM
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The flashlight comes in handy as well Blue.
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  #9  
Old 09-19-2010, 06:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalekressin View Post
The flashlight comes in handy as well Blue.
It would be even more handy if it was brighter than a BIC lighter.
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  #10  
Old 09-19-2010, 06:48 AM
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It's actually cheaper at several dealers ($7.60) who have an online presence, including my favorite, BMW of Schererville.
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  #11  
Old 09-19-2010, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefwej View Post
The wire goes through the cup holder opening and into the glove compartment from the rear. No wires are visible.
I didn't think of the cupholder as the tunnel out out since I'm thinking the cigarette-lighter plug is huge, compared to any opening in the cupholders (or anywhere else).

I have the radio-mount DICE Silverline with the AUX wire and it's always a pain to have to open the glovebox (aka GB) all the time to access it. But, without ripping up the console, I was under the impression there was no easy way to mount it outside the glovebox.

Your suggestion to keep the actual cigarette lighter socket in the glovebox, but just route the wires outside through the cupholder is interesting. Of course, it only works for permanent installations, but, most of us are contemplating GPS and/or phone connections which are semi-permanent anyway.

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  #12  
Old 09-19-2010, 08:45 AM
mtnbimmer mtnbimmer is offline
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I have been using this "feature" since my first E30! I use it in my 540iT to power my iPhone. As noted above, I route the cable out of the back of the glove box for a "hidden" install. I use the cigarette lighter for the V1.
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  #13  
Old 09-19-2010, 09:39 AM
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I use the AUX input also, but I found a much more convenient place than the glove compartment to install mine.




As for fishing a wire with a big cigarette lighter plug on it, fish it the other way, if the other end is smaller. Other options are to remove the plug and reinstall after the wire is in , or cut it and add a small connector in the wire. I just made mine a semi-perm install and made up a spare power cable for use in other cars. That way I can just grab the device, unplug it and use the spare cable.
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  #14  
Old 09-19-2010, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnbimmer
I route the cable out of the back of the glove box
That's a great idea! I didn't know there was any way out the BACK of the glovebox. I must look. Did you drill a hole or is there already a hole?

(I know there is a hole in the driver's side of the glovebox next to the MID because that's where I put the DICE lines; but I didn't know there was a hole out the BACK!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefwej View Post
Other options are to remove the plug and reinstall after the wire is in, or cut it and add a small connector in the wire.
Good hints! All are viable options to "hide" the huge cigarette lighter plug.

BTW, we must teach you how to SHRINK your pictures to 640x480 or 800x600.
I'm looking at bimmerfest on a teeny tiny laptop and the scrolling is killing me.


- How to post shrink modify edit annotate merge upload etc pictures for posting here

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  #15  
Old 09-19-2010, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
...But when in use, do you have to have the glovebox open? Is there some other way to get the wires OUTSIDE the glovebox (to your windshield for a portable GPS for example) with the glovebox closed?
Although other wire routing pathways has been mentioned...the original question hasn't been answered. And that answer is yes...the BMW aux power adapter was designed so that it can be plugged into the glovebox's receptacle and yet have the glovebox closed and the wire routed to the device you want to run. That is why the wire has a straight section immediately after the head...then a coiled section that allows for distance without a lot of dangling wire hanging out of the glove box down onto the floor:

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...79&hg=84&fg=95


And just a general FYI to all (so don't take this as being directed squarely at you Blue ) I'm kinda shocked that this is new to some BimFest members...as someone stated above...this aux power adapter has been around for decades...and it's been discussed on the forum before...here's 2 examples just from me within the last few months:
  1. 7/26/2010 (w/pics & links): http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...91&postcount=2
  2. 6/17/2010 (w/pics & links): http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...04&postcount=6
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  #16  
Old 09-19-2010, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
the BMW aux power adapter was designed so that it can be plugged into the glovebox's receptacle and yet have the glovebox closed
Interesting. So you're supposed to close the glovebox on that initial straight end? Is that right?

Quote:
I'm kinda shocked that this is new to some BimFest members
This is all new to me.

So we always benefit from every action, I put your links in the bestlinks thread:
- BMW Glovebox Flashlight Cigarette Lighter Power Adapter (1) (2) (3)

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  #17  
Old 09-19-2010, 09:12 PM
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Looks useful, surprised i didn't come across this before. I read this in one of the amazon reviews:

The port inside of the glove box appears to be powered at all times even though I read that it only stays active for approx. 30 minutes after the car was turned off.

Any truth to that?
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  #18  
Old 09-20-2010, 09:51 AM
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chiefwej chiefwej is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smmr View Post
Looks useful, surprised i didn't come across this before. I read this in one of the amazon reviews:

The port inside of the glove box appears to be powered at all times even though I read that it only stays active for approx. 30 minutes after the car was turned off.

Any truth to that?
On the E39 it turns on and off with the ignition switch.
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  #19  
Old 11-14-2010, 12:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefwej View Post
I use the AUX input also, but I found a much more convenient place than the glove compartment to install mine.
While, you're the first I know who found an ingenious way to route the AUX to the cupholder panel, interestingly, cn90 today reported another routing to the cupholders.

In that post today, after 3 years of using the iPod connected to the DICE via the glovebox, cn90 wrote up a DIY to re-route the DICE connector from the glovebox to the cupholders.

But, in cn90's setup, the wires might possibly conflict with the cupholders. In your setup, they look permanently mounted to the SIDE of the cupholders.

Can you tell us more about HOW you accomplished that?

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  #20  
Old 11-14-2010, 03:59 AM
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I've used this adapter for years. I have it plugged in full time and added a multi plug adapter so I can connect mulitple devices. I have my phone charger and GPS power cord plugged in and routed the device connector ends behind the center console and coming out of the right side cup holder. I have the aux-input jack mounted there also.

Regards...JL
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  #21  
Old 01-26-2011, 07:47 PM
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As a cross reference, the E36 guys have a recent related thread:
- The Glovebox Flashlight as a Power Outlet?

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  #22  
Old 10-04-2011, 04:32 AM
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Here's another use for the glovebox power adapter from this thread today:
- I just installed a quality sound solution to Aux input for $65!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by seemyad View Post
All, I installed an aux input to my 2002 530i and it sounds great!...

NOTE - If I can find it I will move my hot lead to the glove box flashlight charging cable since mine turns off with the car.
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  #23  
Old 01-09-2013, 04:44 PM
professorman professorman is offline
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That is a nice install. I want to install my power strip under the passenger seat like how I have it in my Accord. Has anyone else installed this power strip? I would like to tap into the flashlight power wires from the back (so that I can keep the flashlight) and just run the wires to under the passenger seat. My main concern is if this power source can manage the power pull from this adapter

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
As a cross reference, the E36 guys have a recent related thread:
- The Glovebox Flashlight as a Power Outlet?

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  #24  
Old 01-09-2013, 05:33 PM
onebadbmw onebadbmw is offline
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I use mine to charge my phone. works good. Had the wire run out the back of the glove box and behind the side carpet piece. The piece right above the passenger floor mat which can be easily removed and reassembled. when not in use i leave the connecting end in the black sliding center storage compartment.
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  #25  
Old 05-01-2013, 05:20 PM
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For the record, QSilver7 posted a nice set of flashlight connector pics over here today:
Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
The flashlight (torch) socket in the glovebox.

(some of these are 5 series & some are 7 series or 3 series glove boxes...but the flashlight is in a similar location...on the left side of the glove box)
--




(e39 glove box)
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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