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Old 10-26-2004, 10:33 AM   #1
Unicorn OP
'99 Triumph Sprint ST
 
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Intro & GPSMAP276C question

Hi

I'm a newbie to this forum but have been lurking for a few days.

Potted history - 50 yr old Triumph Sprint ST rider in the UK who prefers touring in continental Europe as the roads are crowded in the UK. I run the Wales and SW Sprint ST web site and email forum http://www.sprint-st.org

I'm a total technophile and love toys. Treated myself to a GPSMAP276C for my 50th present to myself. Apart from the lack of altitude information in the active track (a deficiency that Garmin are addressing, so I am told), I am totally delighted with the unit and have it plumbed into my Autocomm for the voice prompting. It supersedes a GPS V, a trusty companion for the last two years, but the GPS V screen size makes for poor visibility at night in the rain with my ageing eyesight ;-)

A question for the techies. One of the features of the 276C is it can record temperature from a marine transducer. That sort of information would be a nice record from a bike mounted thermometer to have along with the track. Has anyone worked out how to cobble together an electronic thermometer to provide NMEA input to the 276C other than buying a marine depth and temperature trandsucer .... although with the weather around here a water depth transducer may be appropriate!!!

Thanks for your help.

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Old 10-26-2004, 08:59 PM   #2
BurnieM
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Are you sure it can record it ?
My understanding is that it would display it but not record it.
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Old 10-26-2004, 10:51 PM   #3
Marc
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Hey Mike,

First, hello and welcome! When I got my 176c, I found the same thing. Turns out, it's not an insignificant undertaking (getting a transducer and power source, hooking it up, etc.), so I just said "screw it - too much effort." I've also got a new 276c and see it has the same capabilities...but again, too much work.

However, if you find a way to do this easily, I'm all ears...

Marc
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Old 10-27-2004, 03:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BurnieM
Are you sure it can record it ?
My understanding is that it would display it but not record it.
Possibly not in the track log (at the moment) but I would expect to see it recorded in waypoint records. I'd better ask before I spend any money ;-)

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Old 10-27-2004, 05:29 AM   #5
BurnieM
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When you push enter/mark for a new waypoint mine has fields for elevation, depth and temperature. Had not noticed before.

Mine is not consistent with the elevation info, sometimes it is blank and sometimes it has an elevation when I create a waypoint.
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Old 10-27-2004, 06:33 AM   #6
Unicorn OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BurnieM
When you push enter/mark for a new waypoint mine has fields for elevation, depth and temperature. Had not noticed before.

Mine is not consistent with the elevation info, sometimes it is blank and sometimes it has an elevation when I create a waypoint.
I *think* (because I noticed this same attribute) that the altitude is not saved until the waypoint (current position) is saved. *Possibly* the routine for saving a map waypoint and current position waypoint are the same and it is only at the point of save that it determines that it has the altitude data.

For Marc: I am on the case and have established today that a marine speed/temperature transducer would do the job but not terribly cheaply as they all come with a display unit which supplies the NMEA data. But I am informed that there may be a transducer out there which shoves out NMEA straight from the transducer and may well be significantly cheaper. The other option is checking the RS (Radio Shack) catalogue. Just a question of finding the cheapest way. I hope I don't run out of enthusiasm and get sidetracked onto another project before I find the solution ;-)

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Old 10-27-2004, 10:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unicorn
For Marc: I am on the case
Ok I have just been in contact with a UK marine electronics company which has a device which may be able to do the job cheaply just using a thermistor and a small black box to convert the info to NMEA. In fact the design is already sort of in the "on the workbench" stage ... I have offered to road test it for them ;-)

They seemed intrigued that there was possibly an alternative market they hadn't explored!!!

The main sticking point now seems to be getting the info from Garmin whether or not the NMEA feed will be accepted and logged - their guy at tech-support and I seem to speaking in a different language since he offered a GSD 20 as the solution!

I'll keep you posted but it sounds as if the product, if they do go ahead, will not be ready until next year.

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Old 10-27-2004, 12:23 PM   #8
spagthorpe
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NMEA 0183 is pretty straight forward. It shouldn't be difficult to rig up something like this. I hope that company isn't talking much money for that.

spagthorpe screwed with this post 10-27-2004 at 12:33 PM
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Old 10-27-2004, 12:51 PM   #9
pckopp
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Geek alert.

The Garmin interface spec is here:
Garmin GPS Interface Specification

It is 62 page pdf file.
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Old 10-27-2004, 03:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spagthorpe
NMEA 0183 is pretty straight forward. It shouldn't be difficult to rig up something like this. I hope that company isn't talking much money for that.
I don't think so since it has other applications. But how much would you be prepared to pay? The market price of £40 Sterling was suggested, which I thought was fair if it comes in a watertight, plug-n-play kit. I could live with that rather than trying to find and build the kit myself.

You only have to look at the Datatool hardware to see that tends to be the average figure for bike add-on electronics.

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Old 10-27-2004, 03:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pckopp
Geek alert.

The Garmin interface spec is here:
Garmin GPS Interface Specification

It is 62 page pdf file.
I particularly like page 62 .... helpful, isn't it!

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Old 10-27-2004, 07:21 PM   #12
jdbski
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mounting instructions

How did you mount your gps to your bike?
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Old 10-27-2004, 07:59 PM   #13
BurnieM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdbski
How did you mount your gps to your bike?
Unscrewed (centre screw) the cradle from the marine bracket included.
Attached a RAM 2 1/2 inch ball base to cradle (4 holes line up) with 3 inch RAM arm and RAM handlebar base.

Wired red(+)/black(-) bare wires to BMW style plug (centre is positive)
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Old 10-27-2004, 09:44 PM   #14
spagthorpe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unicorn
I don't think so since it has other applications. But how much would you be prepared to pay? The market price of £40 Sterling was suggested, which I thought was fair if it comes in a watertight, plug-n-play kit.
I would agree, that is fair if it's a complete kit. It's maybe $10 in parts, but by the time you house the thing, plug for power, etc, you have to make something on it. Of course, you would have to want to know what the temp is pretty bad for ~$60.

It's ashame that there aren't more things that could be packaged with it, but the GPS has a pretty narrow range of accepted inputs, and nothing else really applies to riding/car use. Other than water temp, it's got water speed and direction, depth, stuff like that.

I'll probably stick with the $5 thermometer on my jacket zipper pull for now.
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Old 10-28-2004, 03:32 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spagthorpe
It's ashame that there aren't more things that could be packaged with it, but the GPS has a pretty narrow range of accepted inputs, and nothing else really applies to riding/car use. Other than water temp, it's got water speed and direction, depth, stuff like that.

I'll probably stick with the $5 thermometer on my jacket zipper pull for now.
Here in the UK, water speed and depth would be pretty useful right now :-(

Yep I have a stick on thermometer too - just thought it might be nice to have a record of it in the track log.

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