Garmin Montana

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by AugustFalcon, May 18, 2011.

  1. joefromsf

    joefromsf Dark Happens Supporter

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    Another option might be an out-of-warranty exchange with Garmin for a refurbished unit. Will probably cost $180-200, not exactly sure of the current pricing.
  2. LeeU

    LeeU Been here awhile

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    Yes I have a SD card
  3. SteveAZ

    SteveAZ Long timer

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    I doubt a third party can repair but you never know

    As mentioned the worst case is the out-of-warranty "repair" - they just exchange for a refurbed unit and (they are at least as good as new

    My power button failed... first the little cover got a hole, then came off completely and I'd turn it on and off by poking a key in the hole left in the unit until the little switch finally broke completely and I did the $160 exchange
  4. LeeU

    LeeU Been here awhile

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    Garmin"s offer is for Montana 680T for $239.95+ shipping
  5. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    I just bought a new powered RAM mount. I noticed that the fuse holder is now near the end of the cable. I think this cable is far too long and was planning to cut it down to maybe 12".
    I wasn't planning on having to resplice the fuse holder into a new position, but will do it if necessary.

    I was wondering what folks are doing with this long cable these days?

    I was pretty sure my original one had the fuse holder much closer to the mount. Guess I can check this.

    But the reason I bought a new one was that old one had the cable break off right at the holder.
    I bought a new holder and soldered it in. But I botched the job and my splice failed during a ride this summer. Fortunately it was easy to repair in the field.

    I have been moving the mount between two bikes and needed a second one anyway. I will use the new one for long trips and leave the old one on my dirt bike for day rides.
  6. cosworth

    cosworth Been here awhile

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    Don’t cut the cable. Just loop it somewhere.
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  7. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b Supporter

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    Cutting the cable is worth it. Much tidier. Much easier to move bike-to-bike.
  8. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    Just cut it to whatever length you want. And forget about the fuse, but connect it to a fused power source. I didn't leave the fuse on any of the four mounts I ran.

    I did attach a SAE plug on the cable so I could plug the gps into a Battery Tender fused wire.
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  9. Anders-

    Anders- 690R

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    x2. I kept about 3dm of the cable, connected it to the power outlet behind the headlight (chopped off all but the plus and minus wires). The fuse is to keep the cable from burning up in case of a short, it won’t do much to protect the gps.
    Did the same deal with heated grips - helps to keep it tidy.
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  10. SteveAZ

    SteveAZ Long timer

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    Fuses aren't meant to protect equipment

    They are to prevent fires... NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) is responsible for the code that specifies how to fuse (among other things like conductor sizes)

    Anything downstream of a fuse should be capable of handling the fuse current and basic rule of thumb is that the fuse should be 50% greater than the maximum continuous draw (the latter is to keep the fuse from "aging")
  11. Ken in Regina

    Ken in Regina Long timer Supporter

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    I left the cable intact. When I initially installed it I had a couple of feet left over. I "temporarily" wrapped it around the stalk on the mount (RAM 4") to test my setup. Four seasons later it's still there. <blush>

    ...ken...
  12. MJS

    MJS Long timer

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    Technically, this is incorrect.

    Fuses can definitely be and are used to protect equipment. Unfortunately with sensitive solid state devices the internal electronic components may be quicker to respond to an overload situation than a fuse. Especially if a fuse has been replaced with one of incorrect value.

    Also the NFPA/NEC code is for electrical installation requirements of fixed structures or buildings. SAE specifies automotive and vehicle wiring standards. USCG and ABYC specify marine wiring standards. The requirements (and ampacity/conductor sizes) are different based on different environments. BWOE, it is acceptable for a 18 gauge wire to have 20 amp overcurrent protection in a vehicle. Per NEC a 12 gauge wire would be required downstream of the 20 amp overcurrent device.
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  13. SteveAZ

    SteveAZ Long timer

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    Admittedly the statement was simplistic, I understand the different codes, but stick by my comment "fuses aren't meant to protect equipment" and that it is a very common misconception... they aren't any good for that

    FWIW, for vehicles ISO is what I'll refer to although they are almost always identical (or nearly so) to SAE - often enough word for word with different paragraph numbering

    Anyway as was mentioned as long as there's an appropriate fuse for the wiring somewhere ahead of the cable you are fine... If I recall garmin's is a three amp (maybe five?) so I wouldn't use something larger than that since there's definitely a well-trodden science behind fusing to ensure the fuse will function properly when needed and doesn't go when not (e.g. aging, inrush currents, etc. need to be taken into account)

    Then again you could likely not even bother and have an oversize fuse and never have a problem - I wouldn't advise wiring directly to a vehicle battery without any fusing anywhere though.. that definitely invites a mess... seen that mushroom cloud :lol3
  14. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I am just going to cut it off to a length I like and not use the fuse holder.

    I think using a fuse to protect hardware is appropriate if there is a chance of a big overvoltage. I can't think of any plausible way this can happen on the bike. I don't believe the unregulated voltage from the stator is much larger than the regulated one.

    I have had two failures associated with the fuse holder. So that in itself is a good reason not to use one if not absolutely necessary.


    I too put SAE connectors on everything electrical I put on. I have used the GPS connector to run my tire inflator a few times too.

    I agree than running an unfused wire from the battery the length of the bike to a fuse is downright foolish.
  15. Anders-

    Anders- 690R

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    You can’t rely on those fuses to protect against voltage spikes, they deal with excessive current.
    Voltage regulators do fail occasionally, and when they go there’s no telling of what the outcome is :lol3
    I’ve seen a RR gone bad, it put out enough power to boil the battery (lead/acid cells) completely dry - amazingly enough, waiting for the battery to cool down and refill it with just distilled water got it back in business enough to ride the rest of the day, well charged...
  16. SteveAZ

    SteveAZ Long timer

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    Vehicles are notorious for large transient voltages (a big part of what ISO/SAE vehicle specifications address). A big reason is there are coils and collapsing magnetic fields. Not as many on a moto but an alternator load dump can put out a lot of energy and can be one of the most difficult to deal with... this will happen when you have a very high load - maybe those extra bright lights, heaters, etc. - that get switched off... to generate enough power for the high load the alternator field is high and when the load is removed all of a sudden the energy in the field gets dumped into the output of the alternator and can be very high energy and hit very high voltages - I've seen ~250V for several tens of milliseconds on 24V vehicles (the loads were electrically driven AC units that kicked on and off)... There are starters and sometimes solenoids that really dirty things up by dumping their field energy too

    Most appliances made for vehicles have transient protection and I'd bet that garmin's vehicle facing power inputs do too - it's not their first day doing vehicle stuff, heck a lot of their start was marine and aviation :nod

    I think one of the reasons they may have gone with the external regulator on the 700's is to push the transient protection into the external regulator, but who knows, they may have other compelling reasons

    I think most (but far from all) of garmin's hardware is good and my greatest complaints are usually just the function/features, buggy early release firmware and they get an F- on documentation although unfortunately with the 600 series the antenna subsystem sucks (the antenna points to the back of the unit!), and position accuracy and precision is poor (I know, I know, don't bother, many think "good enough")...
  17. Anders-

    Anders- 690R

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    On most motorcycles the alternator runs at full tilt all the time, excess power being shunted by the rr - I’d say it’s the rr getting busy when load disappear.
    I don’t know about the 700, but my money is on garmin trying to increase profit :lol3
    Have you tried using an external antenna to improve reception? (on my bike the gps sits in clear air, above the headlight, and there has been no problems finding signals this far)
  18. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    The Montana can take up to 32 volts. It has an internal regulator.
  19. SteveAZ

    SteveAZ Long timer

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    An external antenna would likely make it pretty good but I haven't bothered trying since it just isn't all that practical for how I've used the unit - I almost never use it any more, I guess I just keep it around since it fits in the same mounts as my 276cx

    I tested with the montana internal ad nauseum and it's pretty bad - it's not that it doesn't get signals, it gets them readily, but the average position error is quite high (vicinity of 2-3m RMS if I recall)... my best educated guess is that it's getting a lot of multipath due to the less than optimal internal antenna subsystem (trying to be nice :D)
  20. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    An error of 2-3m doesn't sound high to me. I thought it was more like 50 ft. But I haven't checked in a long time. I thought one needed to go to a differential gps system to get really better accuracy, like down to mm.

    Have you found that an external antenna gives better accuracy? I always assumed the inaccuracies were due to uncertainty in the actual positions of the satellites.

    On another topic. I soldered the SAE connector to the AMPS mount leads and put a couple of layers of shrink tubing over it. I don't get good vibes from soldering a tiny wire to a much larger one.
    Anyone have a good technique for making this connection. It would be nice to be able to get the SAE connector with 20 awg pigtails. I haven't looked for such a thing.