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Discussion Starter #1
OK,

After using my brain a little (painful as that is), I think that I figured out how to easily get an always on power outlet. Also, this approach will work without introducing potential electrical gremlins to the system or causing warranty issues.

I looked at the 'Ashtray and Lighter' accessory on our favorite other website, www.hondacuraworld.com.

It seems very easy to install -- the lighter outlet simply plugs into a different wire that's already there, taped to the console and ready to plug in:
http://www.hondacuraworld.com/instructions/mdx/CigaretteLighterAndAshTray.pdf

The price on the site is $40.30, but this includes the ashtray. As I'm content with the existing 'not an ashtray' tray, Tim told me that I could get the different wiring harness and the differerent outlet shipped for $22.10. A added bonus is that the rim around the outlet socket would be lit up :)

If anyone has the smoker's package and can confirm that the light works with the ignition off, that would be great. Otherwise, I'll check that there's current in the other wiring harness mentioned in the directions.
 

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That sounds like nearly the perfect solution (assuming it works). Ideally I would rather have the always on outlet in the center console cuz that's where I usually have my phone hooked up. I guess cell phone chargers work equally well in a cigarette lighter?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yup

Before people quit smoking, they didn't have 'accessory outlets' they just used cigarette lighter sockets. It's the lighter element that actually makes the heat, not the socket, so there's no concern in melting your charger.

By the way, I actually had a local stereo shop hard wire my center console outlet to be unswitched for $35. Took the guy about 30 minutes, and he ran a new, dedicated circuit to it. The reason that I'm looking into this is because my phone has a hands free kit with a speaker available for it, and I could plug the speaker easily into the flip down outlet.
 

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Jens is right -- the lighter is wired in parallel with the two front power outlets, and is only hot when the ignition is in the ACC or ON position. The wht/red wire going to either of those sockets is the hot wire; it COULD be cut and reconnected to another terminal that is always hot, but I'd not recommend your doing it unless you have access to an Electrical Troubleshooting manual, which shows the schematics, plug numbers, pin numbers, wire colors, locations, fuse ratings, etc. You'd probably rather not burn your beautiful MDX to the ground!
 
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