Oregon power alternative

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by houlster, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. houlster

    houlster Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    Oddometer:
    114
    Location:
    AZ
    So I've had a Garmin Oregon for several years & have used it extensively on the bike & snowmobile. The USB connector on it sucks balls. I constantly have issues with it not having a good connection. It actually broke free of it's little mini-board which I had to re-solder back into place. In general though, it works for a while, then won't keep a good connection and constantly looses power (common issue it appears).

    I've now hacked in an alternate connector. Smallest DC co-ax connector I could find that looked like it would work is a 1.3mm x 3.5mm jack. It's a threaded body. I did have to trim it down on my mini-lathe to fit like I want, but it works good.

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    The hole through the back of the garmin was drilled so the connector just fit though, & I screwed it into the plastic letting it cut it's own threads. Made for a very tight fit. The knurled top edge is the part I trimmed off and it sticks up to fit through the rear cover when it's installed.

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    Works with the RAM cradle as well.

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    #1
  2. houlster

    houlster Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    Oddometer:
    114
    Location:
    AZ
    (cont.)

    I did not get any details of the wires soldered to the USB port, but it's not hard to figure out. The NEG was easy. The 5v line was tougher. There's a couple spots, but they're extremely tiny pins and I wasn't having any luck with my soldering on them. In the end, I soldered the POS wire to it's connector pin for the ribbon cable.

    Both wires are on the back (dry) side of the board, so it's still water-tight.

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    After wiring it up & testing, I RTV'd the crap out of the connector to make sure it stayed water-proof.

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    I made up 2 cables. First is just a USB cable snipped and wired to a plug:
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    2nd one I plan for using on the bike has an inline, 5v switching regulator in-line with a 2.5mm x 5.5mm plug on the other end (common co-ax for heated gear). The switching regulator is supposed to be more efficient & generate less heat than a regular linear type. The shrink-wrapped portion I'll cover with velcro and attach to the back of the cradle in use.

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    I'll have the USB adapter/cable as a backup, and worst case I can go back to a standard USB cable if sanity allows.

    I just finished this up this weekend to test out. Will probably be a while before any off-road testing is done, but I fully expect it to be a fix for my power issues.

    --Dan
    #2
  3. mbabc

    mbabc Curmudgeon trainee

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,038
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Wow nice work! Looks like you have something there.
    #3