Cigarette Lighter - February 2016
I used the cigarette lighter as a power port during the trip, as you might expect in the year 2016.  I plugged a dual USB port into it and then plugged some mini speakers into that.  I also plugged my iPhone in to charge it and play tunes.  Life was good.

In Ft. Dodge, desperate for a little warmth and visibility, I bought a small in-car heater and fan, mainly designed to defrost the interior side of the windshield, which plugs into the power port.

Things were going just swimmingly.  I was rockin' down the interstate west of Sioux Falls, SD, alternately listening to podcasts and trying to thaw my feet out with the auxiliary heater when...poof.  No more aux power.  (This would have been a serious road-trip tragedy, but 
fortunately, I have an external battery that I can charge and run my iPhone from all day.  Tunes did not go unplayed).

I will say it did un-nerve me a bit.  These electrical issues were starting to come at me fast and thick.  First the blower fan, then the power port, then the seat belt buzzer.  How long until something electrically crucial such as the alternator decided to give up the ghost?  For four years when I lived in Norway, I owned a 30-year-old 1988 Mercedes 190E and the ONLY thing that ever went wrong with it was electronics.  It seems the circuits are always the first thing to go.

Winter road trips are not the most convenient time to wedging yourself under the dashboard to figure out electrical issues, so I let this one sit until I got home.  As expected, it was just a blown 20A fuse, which I replaced with a new one from $10 packet bought at Canadian Tire.

You can be sure the original designers of that cigarette lighter, power port and fusebox could never have imagined the capabilities and electrical demand of a magical 'iPhone' that would get plugged into the system 43 years down the road.

$ 13,314.51                    Previous Total           
$        10.00                    Fuses    
$ 13,324.51                    TOTAL TO DATE