GPS usb fix

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by hirme, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. hirme

    hirme n00b

    Mar 27, 2013
    Hi guys,
    I’ve been reading on and off the forum for at least a year now, but this is my first posts so here’s a little presentation first :

    I’m from Montreal, Canada and this is my fourth season as a rider. I accumulated about 35k kilometers (that should be something around 20k miles right? :) ) on a 2005 Yahama FZ6. I did a few weekends trips along those years as well as a 8 days solo trip from Montreal to Deal’s gap and back with my camping gear behind me. What a blast I had!!

    Two years ago, I bought a Nuvi 550 and it served me well during my trip (especially during the 800 Kms day under the rain!). Unfortunately the mini-usb connection became a real issue ever since that day (From what I heard, it’s waterproof as long as it’s not plugged-in, so useful!)

    So last weekend, I was looking for a new motorcycle-oriented GPS, but I just couldn’t justified a 450-500$ when I have a working GPS already, minus the usb plug. Ever since my trip, the GPS would randomly enter into « computer-mode » when plug-in on my bike (No, it wasn’t plug to my laptop in the tank bag :p ) Being a hard-believer of DIY, I decided to take it apart and bypass the usb socket. It’s only a 5V and a ground to solder after all, how hard can it right?

    After a quick research on the internet, I found this mini-usb pinout :

    I just needed to connect the 5V to the first pin and the ground to the last one. By bypassing the mini-usb socket, I needed to find a new kind of connector so my GPS wasn’t hardwire to my bike. I decided to go with an AV socket I salvaged from an old DVD player :

    So here’s my GPS board with both wire connected. The red wire is the 5V and the black one is connected to the groud. Notice that I went for the socket itself instead of the last pin (They were so small and close to each other!!!)

    Browsing the internet some more, I found that the extra pin (the one between 3 and 4 on the picture above) need to be grounded for the GPS to go in « charging + navigation » mode. Otherwise with the 5V and ground only, it would go in computer mode. So I also grounded that pin.

    Putting everything back together and apply hot-glue so nothing moves around :)

    And some epoxy so no water gets inside :

    I then cut the mini-usb from the garmin cable and solder the female part of the AV connector :

    Connecting everything together :

    Semi-final setup. Need to find something for waterproofing the connection 

    Went for a ride of 30-40kms (give me a chance, it was about 3deg Celcius outside. See the snow behind the car? Haha) and it’s working like a charm. Not a single « computer » mode or disconnection during the ride while it would typically takes less than 30seconds with the old usb connection.

    Hope this will help or inspire some of you :D

    If it’s not broken, it can’t be fix!!!:evil
  2. 9Dave

    9Dave Bazinga!

    Aug 4, 2005
    Central Ohio
    Nice job of getting it working again.

    The mini USB has been an issue for many people on current production GPS units.