Core Electronics Forum

Raspberry Pi 12 volt DC

I want to install a Raspberry Pi 4 on my boat which has a 12 volt DC system. Can I power the Raspberry Pi via a cigarette lighter fitting similar to the one you would use to charge a mobile phone in a car?

Should be right. It might not have enough juice if you’re loading up your Pi but it’ll be right for most applications.

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Keep in mind power requirements.
5.1volts and 3amp.

any old phone charger won’t do as they may have varied voltage and low amps.

Maybe this, convert 12 or 24v to 5v 5amp or lower amps.

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Hey Peter,

Both of those options are good choices! You can also pick up a 5V 3A cigarette lighter USB charger pretty easily. That should be more than enough for the Pi!

Many thanks for the replies. Could I use one of these to power the Pi?

Hey Peter,

That looks like it’d work wonders! Another alternative option is this Nintendo Switch Car Charger, but that only lets you have access to USB C, not anything that can fit into the USB port of the Jaycar charger.

Probably yes, but just Note the Pi 4 isn’t quick charge compatible so it will restrict itself to 2.4A, but that’s still enough to run a Pi most of the time.

I am not sure I understand. If the charger is capable of delivering 3A and the Pi requires 3A, why would the Pi restrict itself?

It is the quick charge standard. Your device being charged needs to support that and tell the charger to supply the extra power.
The Pi 4 does not support that. Because of this the charger will send the default power which sounds like 5v 2.4 amp.

I just checked the Switch charger and it looks like it is 3amp standard but the Jaycar one says -
" If your device doesn’t support Quick Charge™ technology then you can still charge up to 2.4A. " which is the case so the charger will limit the power to 2.4amp. It will run but you are better off with the 3A supply.

As boats are usually 12 or 24 volt DC I suggested the converter that you could wire in and select 5v (always 5A but that’s fine) leaving your lighter free for other uses.