Garmin Nuvi 550 cable no worky, tech support problems

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by inmate-n00b, May 2, 2011.

  1. inmate-n00b

    inmate-n00b Ciao, Marco

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    Do you think that if the power was switched the cable would last longer?
    #21
  2. inmate-n00b

    inmate-n00b Ciao, Marco

    Joined:
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    I cleaned the connections for a second time after a good soaking with wd40.
    Still didn't work.
    I took out the fuse and checked it. It looks good.
    I took off the cap to the transformer. It looks ok. Should I stick the multimeter somewhere in here?
    WTF?

    Attached Files:

    #22
  3. inmate-n00b

    inmate-n00b Ciao, Marco

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    another pic, if it helps.
    i'd like to know what went wrong so i can prevent it from happening again...

    Attached Files:

    #23
  4. inmate-n00b

    inmate-n00b Ciao, Marco

    Joined:
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    I hooked the cable to my battery and tested it with a multimeter. I measured ~12V DC going into the transformer and less than 1 V DC coming out.
    It's supposed to be about 5V DC coming out. That's what it says on the back of the transformer.
    Indeed, the transformer broke.

    How do I prevent this from happening again? Insulate it from vibes and/or heat? Make it go to a switched source instead of always being on?
    #24
  5. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp REMF

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    Hard to say :dunno
    #25
  6. inmate-n00b

    inmate-n00b Ciao, Marco

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    I asked Garmin how to prevent the power cable from breaking.
    Their response:
    It was working for a few months. I don't think it was defective from the factory.
    #26
  7. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

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    It might. Others have posted that with the GPS off (off the bike even) the power cord still draws power. So maybe trying to feed a non-existent load shortens its life. Do you have any buddies who are electronics whizzes who could do a thorough autopsy on the dead one, re which component actualy failed.
    #27
  8. inmate-n00b

    inmate-n00b Ciao, Marco

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    Moving the Garmin power cable to a switched lead may protect the power cable from the spikes and dips of starting the bike.

    I will ask for help from some buddies in the local owners club.
    #28
  9. inmate-n00b

    inmate-n00b Ciao, Marco

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    Ok..I can't do an autopsy because they put a lot of glue on the circuit board.

    I asked garmin about hooking the power cable directly to the battery.
    Their response:
    Sound like they don't really know what they are talking about.
    Anyways, that's all I can do. Thanks for the help, folks.:freaky
    #29
  10. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp REMF

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    Bingo.

    The Nuvi 500/550 is/was marketed as a "crossover" unit to be used for auto, hiking, boating and even scooter use. It even has a fucking scooter mode!

    Also that exact same "universal mount cradle" kit with that cord is used for the Zumo 220 :rolleyes

    Mine works fine and now you have me pissed off at Garmin too :huh:lol3
    #30
  11. inmate-n00b

    inmate-n00b Ciao, Marco

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    Lol. :rofl
    Yes! Feel the hate flowing through you.........:evil

    Anyways, I'd assume that if the power cable can handle being in an car, it would be ok on a bike.
    #31
  12. SilentJohn

    SilentJohn Adventurer

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    The glue is most likely part of the waterproofing process for the black box. With the glue you wouldn't think anything could move let alone lose connection.

    Do you have pictures of your cable end you plug in the unit?
    I've had an issue of it corroding inside the usb connector, but it sounds like you already tried to clean it off.

    I am upset they won't give you a new cable. It's obvious the customer service rep doesn't know the cable sold with the Zumo 220 is exactly the same as the cable sold for the nuvi500. The P/N: on the black box is exactly the same. You might consider asking if they could get you a new P/N:320-00322-40? That's the one on mine anyway.

    For working with the battery, it has a 1 amp fuse to keep from over powering the unit.

    Good luck!
    #32
  13. inmate-n00b

    inmate-n00b Ciao, Marco

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    hey silentjohn, sorry you got confused, but they are sending me a new cable.
    the first customer service rep was acting wierd, though.
    after a few emails, they just said they'd send me a new one.

    i dont think corrosion is the problem. i proved this by using a multimeter before and after the transformer.
    i'd like to know what caused it's demise, so it doesn't happen again in an inconvenient place. i guess i'll never know...........
    #33
  14. the_gr8t_waldo

    the_gr8t_waldo Long timer

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    vibrations on a bike are bad enought. ad to that wiring or black boxes , unsecured and you'll probably be troubling shooting sooner than later. the wires in thoes power cords are small .- in my own case, i noticed that brakage happened within a few inches of the gps connection.
    #34
  15. inmate-n00b

    inmate-n00b Ciao, Marco

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    i'm going to use industrial strength velcro and secure it close to the battery.
    #35
  16. greer

    greer Long timer

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    Bump for a re-hash, please. I have same cable as OMG WTF and it's failed too. Wondered why in the heck my battery was dying and when I started checking all my wiring I find the transformer on this thing really, really warm. I get nothing when I plug it up to my Nuvi 550, so I figure the cable is toast but the transformer is suckiing juice. It is this cable:

    http://www.gpscity.com/garmin-bare-wire-power-cable-for-nuvi-series-and-zumo-220.html

    [​IMG]



    Rather than try another round with that one, I was thinking about this:

    http://www.gpscity.com/garmin-power-and-data-cable-for-nuvi-5xx-zumo-220.html

    [​IMG]

    I'd just do away with the data wires like I read in some of the reviews. It'd be nice not to have that big black box under the seat and I thought maybe the smaller transformer on this one might have an easier life up on the handlebars. And I'll go with a switched wire this time instead of direct to the battery. What do you all think?? I'm a gadget dummy so I feel like I need to double-check myself. Thanks very much for the help.

    Sarah
    #36
  17. opmike

    opmike Choosing to be here.

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    Sorry to bump up this aging thread, but has there been any developments with any of you having problems? Anyone else with issues? I too have the USB power cable/cradle shown in the first post, and have been having problems.

    Essentially, whenever the unit is plugged in to the charger, it will randomly go into the "PC Connect Mode". This obviously is a big problem when you're moving along on the street and you get greeted by stupid computer icon on the unit when you have a series of back-to-back turns coming up. It will stay in that mode anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes; totally random. The unit works fine just running off battery power, so I'm inclined to think there's something funky going on the the charger, and I'm concerned that it's just going to fail outright someday.

    I'd get a replacement, but it's not entirely clear if there's something inherently wrong with the design or if some of these just ship defective from the factory.
    #37
  18. greer

    greer Long timer

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    #38
  19. shu

    shu ...

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    Colorado
    Similar issues on my Nuvi 550. Mine would sometimes go to 'PC Connect Mode' more often it would turn itself off and restart. A few minutes later when the restart was complete, it would tell me to make a U turn as I had missed my turn! :baldy

    I replaced the cord but still had the same problems. On mine it turns out that the USB connection is just not strong enough for motorcycling and engine/road vibrations would make it lose it's connection. Once that happens it re boots as the connection is made again.

    Anyway, I fixed it by gluing a pigtail in to the Garmin. An additional bonus is this makes it a waterproof connection as well.

    [​IMG]

    I posted directions/pics for my fix a while ago here: (see post #2).

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=672276

    The fix lasted 2 years, 20,000 hard miles on my DR650. I just had to re-do it recently, and everything's working right again.

    hope this helps........................shu
    #39