My Motorola Talkabout radio has been dead for 3 out of 3 club events. And for some reason I can't find a cheap car charger for it. Since I only use it in the car, I decided to toss the batteries, and just run it from the cigarette lighter.
YMMV, at your own risk, etc.
Time: 30-45 minutes
1x Motorola Talkabout Radio
1x 4 ft USB cable (standard A/B like a printer)
1x USB cigarette lighter charger ($5 delivered ebay) http://is.gd/4x0r9
1x Zip tie
optional: wire connectors http://is.gd/4wYgM
optional: cordless drill
1. remove battery pack from radio
2. cut the 'B' end off the USB cable (square one) http://is.gd/4wYOl
3. strip back the housing several inches exposing the four wires. Cut the white and greens, they won't be used.
3. Drill or cut 3 holes in the battery door similar to this:
One hole is for the cord to enter the shell, the other two are for the zip tie (yellow) to secure the cord inside so it doesn't wiggle or pull out.
4. Pass the cord through the battery door and secure it with a zip tie. If the cord is still loose, wrap the inside end with a dozen wraps of tape, and try again.
5. Look at the back of the radio (with the door off still), the top left connector is for the red wire (+4.5V) and the bottom right connector is for the black wire. Ignore the rest of the connectors. Strip off some housing from the red and black wires, and twist the exposed part around the battery terminals in the radio compartment. Optional: use wire connectors.
6. Carefully attach the radio door. Plug the USB end into the cigarette lighter
charger and test.
1. My radio was rated for 4.5V, and usb is 5V. Compared to a 15% pully on your engine... this is nothing
2. It sometimes seems to forget the channel when it starts up. I might put a capacitor across the terminals in the battery compartment later, so the radio can keep its settings when I shut off the car.