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Old 07-03-2013, 08:53 AM   #1
Babbitt OP
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GPS power supply question

I am taking a trip around Lake Superior next week and would like to bring my GPS. I know it is hard to get lost, just keep the lake on my right. J However, it is useful for finding hotels, gas and I have had cell phone coverage issues in that area in the past (ATT).

I have a 1999 F650 classic that I would like to mount a GPS on. I have a Garmin Nuvi that I use in my car and want to use it on the bike. I wired in a cigarette lighter adaptor for power directly to my battery. Unfortunately, it seems to have blown the fuse on the power cable for the Nuvi. In my car I get 13.5 volts from my cigarette lighter but on the bike I get 14.5 volts. Is the extra volt causing the fuse to blow or could it be a random spike in power? The fuse blew immediately.

I called Garmin and there tech support said that it is an automotive unit and not designed to work on motorcycles.

What have others done for power?

Thanks
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:24 AM   #2
PineyMountainRacing
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I've used auto GPS units on my bikes before I got my 60cx. No problem.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:35 AM   #3
victor441
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I use my Nuvi on my bike with no problems. 14.5V is not unusual for a running vehicle and will not cause problems. Are you sure you got the polarity right ? (the center terminal on the lighter socket should be positive) A reversal would cause the Garmin adapter to blow immediately. The lighter adapter itself should be wired with its own fuse on the hot side if you are feeding directly from the battery. I made my own powerlet to lighter adapter to power my Nuvi, cell phone, etc. and the Nuvi adapter is shown in the photo. The powerlet outlet is already fused so an additional fuse was not required.




victor441 screwed with this post 07-03-2013 at 10:45 AM
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:10 AM   #4
wos
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double check your added plugs polarity. I have used 2 different Nuvi's and a Tomtom on my bikes and never had a problem.
Carry a sandwich baggy to cover it if you run into rain.
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:31 AM   #5
JimVonBaden
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USB plugs work better than car plugs in an exposed position like yours.

I use this on my GS for my Garmin:



You can buy them here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/230992598512...#ht_1982wt_758 There are a variety of these available.

I use a standard USB to mini-USB Cord.



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Old 07-04-2013, 11:25 AM   #6
Buckeye71
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GPS City sells the Garmin brand power cable for $22.95.


Or you can go the expensive route and pick a Powerlet Mini USB for $54.95. I've used this one for years in the pouring rain without any issues.
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Old 07-04-2013, 07:08 PM   #7
the_gr8t_waldo
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a factory built cig power cord has a converter built in to the plug. off hand i don't rember what voltage it converts down to, but 12volts- it is not!!! btw, there's also a fuse, also built into the ome plug( to protect the gps )
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:38 AM   #8
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I've used a series of auto Nuvi's on my Versys for the past 4 years. I've found that a dedicated GPS power supply (like the GPS City one) is the most reliable and you can hook it direct to the battery if you don't want to mess with aux boxes (my setup) or finding a switched source. I've also used the standard car charger cable in my plug adapter, never had a fuse issue (I guess polarity issue too). I've also used the USB adapter on my bike...but take note....the Garmin Nuvi needs a special USB GPS power cable, otherwise the Nuvi goes into mass storage mode thinking it is hooked up to a computer.
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:57 AM   #9
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don't know about the Nuvi but the 5 or 6 Garmins I've owned had built in voltage regulation that is typically good to 40V input.

also, Garmin wants you to buy their cables rather than build your own, but heres how....

http://pinoutsguide.com/GPS/garmin_n...r_pinout.shtml
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:11 PM   #10
JimVonBaden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a2ronm View Post
I've used a series of auto Nuvi's on my Versys for the past 4 years. I've found that a dedicated GPS power supply (like the GPS City one) is the most reliable and you can hook it direct to the battery if you don't want to mess with aux boxes (my setup) or finding a switched source. I've also used the standard car charger cable in my plug adapter, never had a fuse issue (I guess polarity issue too). I've also used the USB adapter on my bike...but take note....the Garmin Nuvi needs a special USB GPS power cable, otherwise the Nuvi goes into mass storage mode thinking it is hooked up to a computer.
I'm using a standard mini-USB to USB cable with my Garmin with no issues. The only thing I have is that it takes longer to accept the power, so boot up is about 30 seconds.

Jim
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Old 07-07-2013, 03:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a2ronm View Post
but take note....the Garmin Nuvi needs a special USB GPS power cable, otherwise the Nuvi goes into mass storage mode thinking it is hooked up to a computer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimVonBaden View Post
I'm using a standard mini-USB to USB cable with my Garmin with no issues. The only thing I have is that it takes longer to accept the power, so boot up is about 30 seconds.

Jim
My nuvi 1350 won't take power from any but a Garmin cable. It switches to internal battery power.
I don't know about any other models but with the 1350 there is a resistor in the micro USB connector that causes the GPS to switch to external power. The cable I bought to use with the power supply I built didn't have that pin wired so the whole exercise was a waste.
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotorradMike View Post
My nuvi 1350 won't take power from any but a Garmin cable. It switches to internal battery power.
I don't know about any other models but with the 1350 there is a resistor in the micro USB connector that causes the GPS to switch to external power. The cable I bought to use with the power supply I built didn't have that pin wired so the whole exercise was a waste.
Micro or Mini? The mini is a universal plug, the Micro can be a bit less forgiving.

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Old 07-08-2013, 06:22 AM   #13
MotorradMike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimVonBaden View Post
Micro or Mini? The mini is a universal plug, the Micro can be a bit less forgiving.

Jim
Sorry, it appears to be a mini USB connector on the back of the 1350.

Here is a diagram and explanation I have not verified but the guy seems to have done some investigation.

The problem I had was that pin X was not wired in the cable I was trying to use.
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Old 07-10-2013, 09:56 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by a2ronm View Post
...but take note....the Garmin Nuvi needs a special USB GPS power cable, otherwise the Nuvi goes into mass storage mode thinking it is hooked up to a computer.
+1 for the latest gen nuvis too
i bought another nuvi specific garmin car power adapter on ebay and butchered it to fit in the back of a waterproof case like the one in jimvonbaden's pic, with a curly cable to hella plug for the dash.

car units work fine on bikes, i wont waste my cash on a zumo again.
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:49 PM   #15
MotorradMike
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Originally Posted by davsato View Post
car units work fine on bikes, i wont waste my cash on a zumo again.
Agreed!

Bear in mind though, not waterproof and don't have big buttons for gloved fingers.
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