GPS power supply question

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Babbitt, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. Babbitt

    Babbitt Vermin wannabe

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    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).<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    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. <o:p></o:p>
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    I called Garmin and there tech support said that it is an automotive unit and not designed to work on motorcycles.<o:p></o:p>
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    What have others done for power?<o:p></o:p>
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    Thanks<o:p></o:p>
    #1
  2. PineyMountainRacing

    PineyMountainRacing Oops....

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    I've used auto GPS units on my bikes before I got my 60cx. No problem.
    #2
  3. victor441

    victor441 Long timer

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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.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. wos

    wos Long timer

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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.
    #4
  5. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    #5
  6. Buckeye71

    Buckeye71 Adventurer

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    GPS City sells the Garmin brand power cable for $22.95.
    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]
    #6
  7. the_gr8t_waldo

    the_gr8t_waldo Long timer

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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 )
    #7
  8. a2ronm

    a2ronm Been here awhile

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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.
    #8
  9. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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  10. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    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 :brow
    #10
  11. MotorradMike

    MotorradMike MIL-TFD-41

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    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.
    #11
  12. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    Micro or Mini? The mini is a universal plug, the Micro can be a bit less forgiving.

    Jim :brow
    #12
  13. MotorradMike

    MotorradMike MIL-TFD-41

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    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.
    #13
  14. davsato

    davsato Been here awhile

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    +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.
    #14
  15. MotorradMike

    MotorradMike MIL-TFD-41

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    Agreed!

    Bear in mind though, not waterproof and don't have big buttons for gloved fingers.
    #15
  16. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    [​IMG]

    Waterproof case for $10 with the mount on E-bay.

    The screen works fine through the plastic, only issue is you need to angle it to reduce glare!

    Jim :brow
    #16
  17. MotorradMike

    MotorradMike MIL-TFD-41

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    I like that!
    I don't use GPS while rolling but I have to stop and put it away when it rains.
    #17