Rostra Changes Up the 12V Power Supply

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Rostra SourcePWR

Rostra announced what it calls a new way for installers to power add-on 12 volt electronics.

Instead of searching for wires to power up devices such as heated seats or a backup camera, installers can now use Rostra’s SourcePWR, which is a 3-wire device that fits in the palm of a hand.

It connects directly to the car’s battery. It can detect when the car’s engine is on to send power to any connected accessories.  SourcePWR automatically powers down these accessories when the engine turns off and enters a sleep mode so that no power is drawn from the battery

For about $39, it drastically reduces the amount of time installers need to spend searching for a stable 12v power supply, said Rostra’s Bill Simmons.

With the microcomputers in new cars it’s getting harder and harder to find a power source to make our products work.  We get a new car, we have to probe all the wires  to find power.  You may have a wire with only 1 or 2 volts that’s also conducting data,” Simmons said.



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  1. The website and this article repeatably use the term “Directly to the battery”. Can the device be connected to any 12v constant source, or does it require an actual battery connection for reliable detection?

  2. Hi Bobbg and thanks for your feedback. The microcontroller within the SourcePWR unit places the device (and connected accessories) into sleep mode when it detects voltage at the battery less than 12.8 volts.

    Please let me know if I can be of any other assistance.

    Bill Simmons
    Director of Corporate Marketing
    Rostra Precision Controls, Inc.
    2519 Dana Dr.
    Laurinburg, NC 28352

    1. What is the current draw of the unit when the engine is off? How much of a swing in voltage will turn the unit on?

  3. This could be suspect to voltage drain on a battery.
    What keeps it from switching on when its not the right time? Some cars have things that turn on to cool the motor or other things even when the keys not in the car.
    Like auto Defrost, ex…
    Also @ 39 bucks its an added extra cost for the consumer in a market that’s losing profits as it is. You would think it plugs right into the on board data connector at this price.

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